For a year since I started this site, I have been receiving many emails from those in the states that were looking for kosher rennet. I have been referring them to http://www.thecheesemaker.com for their purchases. It has come to my attention that this site is no longer under the supervision of Wisconson Kashrut for the repackaging of their rennet or any of their bulk products that they were receiving.
So as these products are originally kosher parve, they are not going to be treif. The main problem that will arise is with the purchase of rennet. As both parve and treif rennet are being sold the end user does not truly know what he is getting and for a kosher consumer this is of the utmost importance.
If you are needing to have 100% Kosher rennet, that was supervised by The rabbinut of Israel for the repackaging and was broken down into smaller bottles by a frum Yid who received smicha from HaRav Don Channan Shlita in 2003, then you can shop at kosher curds.com and feel confident that you are getting a 100% kosher product.
Cheese Workshop in Jerusalem. For over a year in waiting
I have been wanting to get a cheese workshop together in the holy city of Jerusalem for over a year, and last Thursday morning it finally happened. The host/organizer of this workshop is someone that I had never met, but from the conversations that we had, I knew that she was going to get this done and done well.
I was not let down. The morning started with her preparing coffee and bagels for those that came to the workshop. This was a wonderful surprise as it really set the mood for what was going to take place.
I had come in the night before so I had had a chance to speak with her a little about the crowd that was going to come. This group she explained was her walking group and they were friends. I thought ok, that’s nice she got some friends together that like to go walking and now they want to make cheese.
Well, it was so much more than that. These were not just friends, but FRIENDS. The bond that this group had was truly wonderful to see. I saw this as soon as each one came in to the room. They were all excited about not only what was going to happen, but to see each other as well. There was just a true happiness to be there by all of them. I have to say, it was wonderful and heartwarming not to say the least.
One of the things that I loved was the mix of countries that were there as well as stories of cheese making experiences that were shared. One participant was from Holland, another from Canada, then we of course had the US representatives as well as Israel and our host was from Wales. It was great. But what made it even more so, was that all found home in Israel and Jerusalem.
We started the workshop right away with the making of the Ricotta cheese. This cheese takes the longest to make, so we get it out of the way at the beginning so we can focus on the cheese making process, ingredients, equipment etc… We ended up with wonderful Ricotta the first time round. The Mozzarella seemed to shine for some and well not much for others. This does sometimes happen though and when it does, just eat what you have and enjoy it.
I want to say thank you to all of you for making this a wonderful day.
I think that all in all it was a wonderful time, and I think that this email that I received sums up the feeling of the participants.
“just having some rice crackers with the ricotta, topped with home grown/dried tomatoes: Delicious!!!!!!!!!!
thanks so much to Dovid and Angela, and all the participants who made it a particularly pleasant morning. I can’t wait for the next work shop…..hint, hint, hint….shall we?”
After my wife and I were married for some 1 or 2 years,
we were in New York walking down Broadway and maybe 72nd street or it could have been 76th street or it could have even been on 6th ave and 10th.
I don’t remember exactly nor does it really matter. What does matter is that we were going to have a wonderful Bagel and cream cheese breakfast. My favorite bagel is Poppy seed and hers she told me as if going back in time to when she was a student living in Boston was Cinnamon Raisin cream cheese, coffee and a paper. We each had our favorite with the fillings that we liked. It was a wonderful morning.
We were now back in Israel, and my wife had told me about a Bagel placed in Jerusalem that we should check out. I think that it was called something like New Your Deli or something like that. We found the place and ordered. Well New York Bagel it wasn’t but it wasn’t bad either. But what was missing? They had poppy seed, sesame, garlic, onion, everything. There was cream cheese, scallion cheese, lox spread just like it was supposed to be all lined up and ready to be spread on the bagel of your choice. So I made my standard order. Poppyseed with scallion cheese, slice of tomato and pepper cut in half. I never understood why a bagel store had to reminded to cut a bagel in half if made with spreads. Now it was my wife’s turn. She said that she would like to have a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese and coffee. The person behind the counter not only gave her the “you must be crazy” look, but stated that they don’t make that kind of bagel. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. The place was stating that they have been in the bagel business in the states for over 5 generations and that they bring New York Bagels to Israel, but they forgot one the most loved flavors in the bagel world. They did not have the cinnamon and raisin bagel. This flavor was ranked #7 according to the Huffington post May 2015. But for my wife, and many others it is #1 on any bagel platter. Since they didn’t have her desire, she ordered a sesame or plain I don’t remember as it was many years ago.
The story doesn’t end there though. Many years later we were in another bagel shop in the Old City of Jerusalem. We went in and I ordered my standard, and my wife did the same only guess what, yep, no cinnamon raisin bagels from this place only. I have to ask myself why would a bagel company that is going to cater to a heavy American audience not put on there menu this bagel. Well the answer was finally answered. Yes another bagel company was needed in Jerusalem, and even opened up in Ramat Beit Shemesh and guess what , they got it right. Breakfast was served. Poppyseed for me, Cinnamon Raisin for my wife and son. Cream cheese all around coffee, juice, the works very satisfying breakfast that day. But then when the bill came it was rediculous. Each Bagel sandwich was 26NIS plus drink. Needless to say we didn’t eat there that often.
Last week some friends of mine (actually she was in the very first Kosher Curd Workshop) started to make bagels to add to their baking repertoire and posted them on the local facebook group. They looked wonderful. They had poppy, sesame, plain but alas no cinnamon raisin either. I decided to take the matters in to my own hands.
I had worked in a bagel shop for a few years while living in Santa Fe, it was called Bagelmania. I dont know if it is still around, but I knew that I could still make bagels. I had made them once before while in Israel but that was many years ago, and I was not making cheese at that time.
So the adventure began. My wife was out of town for the night and I knew that this would be a great surprise for her when she came back the next morning.
I got the ingredients soaked the raisins, made the dough, mixed all together let rise, baked and behold. I present to you 100% Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Now that they were out of the oven. I let them cool down nice and slow.
Time to move to stage two of this surprise. Making the Neuchefetal Cheese. Now many that have grown up in the US or Cananda for that matter are familiar with that silver rectangular box that says “Philadelphia” cream cheese on it. And truth be told it is a high fat content cream based, commercial tasting cheese spread. But the cheese that speaks love, that speaks complex taste that speaks cheese is one that has it’s history rooted in Neufheftal France. Traditionally this cheese is aged with the addition of p.candidum mold and placed in a heart mold for shaping. The taste is a cross between a cream cheese and camembert. But there is one major difference between this cheese and cream cheese. There is no cream. Just whole milk.
I know that these images are a bit bright, but I think you get the idea of how this cheese is drained and then formed into a heart (I did that with my hands, so it is not perfect) but I think you get the idea, and I know that my wife got the idea when she
saw it. The next day she arrived. I told her that I had a surprise for her and that she needed to go wash her hands. She came back sat at the table and saw the surprise. For me, to see such a pleasure from my wife and seeing her go back to those days in Boston eating her cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese brought me as much joy as her I think. It is said that we can tip the scale by doing just one more mitzvah and Moshiach will come. How much more so when you do not only a nice thing, but something that really comes out of left field, and stays in center field for many years for your spouse. Knowing that it came from the heart and went to the heart. I guess the only words that I can think of that would describe not only the action but the feeling that follows would be summed up the way that Reb Shlomo would say “AWESOME”
One the great things about teaching people to make cheese is when I find out that they actually went home and continued to make cheese. In the Koshercurd cheese making workshop you will leave with wonderful cheese that you made, but when you get home you will find an ebook with many more recipes to continue what you have learned in the class.
This summer I was blessed with the visit of a couple that was traveling from the Shomron, and was looking for something fun to do. They had contacted me wanting to know if I would give them a cheese class. I told them that I would we scheduled the day they would visit. Well, I thought that it would be more fun if we could get a small group together and we were able to get a fun day together with a mini workshop.
Now after doing these workshops for quite some time, I know that many that have taken them have not continued on or if they did, they did not let me know. So when I get a phone call, or email from someone that was in the class and wants to make a cheese that was in the ebook that they received, then I know that they were bitten by the koshercurd nerd bug, and they have started a wonderful hobby.
The great feeling came on a Thursday. I received the phone call from C. She wanted to know if I thought that a Lemon dressing would go well with the Cherkesi cheese that she wanted to try to make. I told her that it would go great as the acidification of the cheese was created by Lemon juice. I just told her to make sure that she sends me pictures and that she enjoys the process of making this semi-soft cheese.
Well, I finally received the email that stated the following:
“Bh it came out awesome the dressing I made enhanced it and worked wonderfully it was gone within half an hour of being placed on the table a huge hit..”
Now you understand why I just get a great feeling when I feel that I actually helped someone be able to make a part of their life just a little bit more special and different.
Here is the wonderful Cherkesi cheese that was made by Chagit for her family’s Shabbat to be enjoyed by all that were there, I wish that was there as it looks wonderful.
Thank you for the great feeling and looking forward to hearing more about your cheese making.
Well after many months of putting this off, I finally decided to do it. This cheese by many is considered to be a rather difficult cheese to make. I would tend to agree. I started out with two, and ended up with only one in the end.
What seems to be the tricky part is the combination of temperature and humidity. If it is too cold the Camembert won’t grow the wonderful fuzz that gives it the wonderful color as well as taste, and texture. What is actually happening is the white mold is eating the cheese the same that it is providing a barrier against other molds. This is held under control by the addition of salt as well as the correct temperature and humidity. If the humidity is to wet, the mold will also not grow in a way that will cling to the cheese. This is actually what happened with mine. As it is rather hot right now, I think that the opening/closing of the fridge door had a lot to do with what happened to the cheese.
Today (17/8/2015) I picked it up to turn over, and the center felt as though it was ready. I thought that it was strange as it had about another 3 weeks to go. I decided to open and see what was there. Well it poured out a creamy sauce and the center was like cream cheese, The mold had formed nicely, but seemed to have slipped off the cheese. Taste was amazing though. My wife and I ate the entire little wheel.
I will wait until fall before I attempt this cheese again. I have started a baby brie, but I think that the conditions right now will bring this cheese as well to early ripening.
The Whey to make Camembert
This recipe will make about a 1/2 kilo of cheese. Should be 2-4 cheese molds depending on the size of your Camembert mold.
Milk – In Israel use Tnuva sack milk only or if you are able get raw milk use that. The whole process will take around 6-7 weeks from the time you start until you end. 5 hours to make the cheese 5 hours to drain the cheese and 6-7 to age.
Ingredients: You will want to use either Flora Danica mesophilic culture (OUD) or Sacco MW036N (OK/CY) culture P. Cadimum mold powder this will either be OUD or OKD for Chalav Stam or Valiren P. Cadimum for (OK/CY) Calcium chloride Liquid Bulk (OU) Badatz Jerusalem (Granuals) Liquied Rennet (OK), and Sea Salt (non iodized)
3 liters whole cow’s milk
1/4 tsp. Flora Danica or MW036N Culture
1/8 tsp. P. Cadimum
1/4 tsp Calcium Chloride
1/4 tsp liquid rennet dissolved in 1/4 c. un-chlorinated water
4 tablespoons salt
1.) In a stainless steel 4-6 liter pot, heat the milk to 90F/32C. Once target is reached turn off the heat.
2.) Sprinkle the starter and mold powder over the milk and let rehydrate for 5 minutes. Mix well using a slotted spoon in a up and down motion. Cover and maintain the target temperature and let the milk ripen for 1.5 hours. Add calcium chloride and gently stir in the rennet in the same way. Cover and let sit, maintaining the target temperature.
3.) Cut the curds into 1/4- to -1/2 inch pieces and let sit for 5 minutes. Gently stir with slotted spoon to prevent matting, then pour off 1/3rd of the whey. Add the salt and gently stir to incorporate.
4.) Ladle the curds into a 4-inch Camembert mold set on a draining rack over a tray, let drain at room temperature until the cheese is firm enough to flip, about 2 hours. Flip the cheese every hour for 5 hour or until it stops draining.
5.) Take the cheese out of the mold an put it in a ripening box. Place a wadded piece of wet paper towel in a corner of the box with the cheese to keep the humidity at about 85%. Place the box on the bottom of the refrigerator. Flip the cheese daily. After 5 to 10 days the cehese should have around 75% mold coverage. When the cheese is fully covered in white mold, remove it from the box, wrap it in foil or cheese paper, and put it back in the refrigerator for another 5 weeks. It is ready when the center begins to feel soft. Consume within 2 weeks and enjoy.
IMPORTANT: The temperature is very hard to control when making this cheese you will want to have your house be around 68-70F or 21-21C. The fridge needs to be around 50F/10C.
Taking our Mini Workshop is not only tasty, but fun as well. This mozzarella workshop is great for all family members as well as couples. You will learn about cheese making, what makes cheese kosher, taste some wonderful home made cheese, and finally make your very own Mozzarella that you will be able to eat or garnish the way that you want. Truly a great way to get out of the heat, and have a great time.
This summer is hotter than ever… with the temperatures being registered as the highest ever in years.
Here we are in the midst of the travel season, families with children and babies are trying to enjoy the coolness of the springs and the Kinneret and not understanding how dangerous being outside in heat of the summer at mid day. Now I have to admit that it is not that great staying in the air condition when children have vacation from school either, so I would like to recommend two things you could do while school is still out and summer heat is still blazing:
1. we recommend not going to the water aka Kinneret or swimming pools during the hottest times of the day (10am -4pm). Two weeks ago our son almost got a heat stroke as we had been in the Kinneret before 10am and believe me int was terrifying. Please go the springs, the Kinneret, and the beach in the late afternoon.
Or if you are traveling North and looking for something totally different….
We at koshercurds are HOLDING A SPECIAL MINI MOZARELLA WORKSHOP (WITH AIR CONDITIONING) in our home in Katzrin. A truly great for family or couples and a great way to get out of the heat of the summer.
Call to Schedule: 058-674-7710 (English) 050-674-7710 (Hebrew)
What have we done. The last 7 weeks we have been working on ourselves (counting the Omer) to be spiritually ready to receive the greatest gift to the Jewish people ever. Everyday we have been working on fine tuning ourselves just right. We have waited and waited and the time has finally come for us to get the Torah. Not as individuals, but as a collective unit. We all will receive the Torah this Sunday again just as or Neshamas received it over 3000 years ago.
So what does this have to do with making cheese? Great question.
As we all know there is a minhag to have a dairy meal during the holiday of Shavuot. My family has only dairy meals and I make a lot of cheese for this one day holiday here in Israel. This year I made Spicy Mozzarella, Ricotta (my wife makes the best lasagna), Halloumi (without mint) Fresh Feta, and Caerphilly. Yep, all of those for our festive meals.
I gave a workshop the other night and the one thing that many people want to know is does it take a long time. Well the answer is sort of yes. What I mean to say is that the preparation of making the cheese does take time, just like making sour dough bread. You are creating a new thing out of something that was already there. We need to warm it up, and let it get ready to change into something that is worth eating and this can take time. But the final product is what you had in mind and the taste is what you were looking for. In the end the time invested was well worth it.
I thought that this was very much in sync with what Hashem had in mind when he took us out of Egypt so many years ago. The journey was long and hard. But we were not just going on a tour, we were going through a change. A change that was needed in order for us to be who we are , Am Yisrael a nation that needed to become warm in order to receive the Torah. That is one of the reasons that Amalek attacked us. We were getting to warm, wewere getting fired up about the Torah.
Today is no different, in the Alter Rebbe’s siddur we are told to remember leaving Egypt every day. We need to remember that everyday is a new day with new challenges, but we have the strength to go on and by learning a bit of Torah everyday we are renewing our connection with not only Hashem but his world. We can become warm again and make the changes that are needed to make this a better place all.
Since the second night of Pesach until tonight, we have been counting the Omer, refining ourselves, becoming warm for the reception of the biggest light ever given. This has been happening daily and we are finally ready, each and everyone of us to receive the Torah. Like the making of cheese (L’havdil) we are already here. But everyday we need to change in order to become great. Yes, it does take time.
Wishing all of you
Chag Shavuot Semach
May you receive the Torah with Simcha and Pinyumut.