Last Thursday I went to the second of Fair Food's DIY educational series, and my only regret as I left the presentation was that I had missed the first one! Rynn Caputo of Caputo Brothers' Creamery ably demonstrated the art of turning curd into fresh mozzarella cheese. Rynn was an incredibly engaging speaker; thanks to her animated storytelling and her finesse with bowl and spoon, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative presentation. It came as no surprise when the entire class erupted in applause as she produced her first perfect ball of mozzarella.
Rynn began with the captivating story of how she met her husband, moved to Italy on a whim, and decided to become a chef. While in Italy, she learned to make gelato, pizza, pasta.... And she was disappointed when she returned to the United States and couldn't find products that matched the quality of what she had tasted in Italy. Rynn was particularly displeased with the lack of options for fresh mozzarella cheese; she noted that 75% of "fresh mozzarella" sold in grocery stores and even specialized shops is not fermented and she explained that Caputo Bros fermented curds are a key reason why they yield such a unique and delicious product. She drew an analogy between cheese and wine, asking the audience if they would be satisfied with grape juice spiked with citric acid. After a resounding "no!" from the class, she began her demonstration.
Rynn poured, pulled, and pulled some more and before we knew it we were sampling three different batches of fresh mozzarella. If you would like to watch the process (which I highly recommend) and see the Caputos' step-by-step instructions, click here. The end result is mouthwatering, so I suggest that you stop by the Farmstand, and pick up some ready-to-go frozen curd so you can prepare your own.
Rynn also brought samples of Caputo Brothers' ricotta (pronounced ric-OH-ta not ric-OT-a ) as a treat to end the lesson. I brought some home and combined it with grilled Farmstand eggplant, and heirloom tomatoes and basil from the What We Sow tasting. My family agreed the result was delicious. Just wait until I rope them into stretching the strings of curd into balls of mozzarella for the next batch!