What The Press is Saying
Food and Wine Magazine
DIY Cheese, By Barbara Kingsolver
Following is an excerpt of Barbara Kingsolvers article:
"I know, you don't have time. Who does? To calm the great American subservience to hurry, to convince us that an hour or two spent rendering up cheese in our own kitchens could be worth the trouble—what would that take? A motivational speaker, an artist, a devotee, a pal who builds your confidence? A Cheese Queen, maybe?
The answer is yes, all of the above, and she exists. Her name is Ricki Carroll. Since 1978, when she started New England Cheesemaking Supply Company and began holding workshops in her western Massachusetts kitchen, she has taught some 7,500 people how to make cheese. That's not even counting those of us who ordered her supplies online and worked our way through her book, Cheesemaking Made Easy, which has sold over 100,000 copies (the new edition has been renamed Home Cheese Making). She's inspired artisans from the Loire to Las Vegas. Partly to hone my own skills, but largely out of curiosity, I sought out the woman whose Web site really does identify her as the Cheese Queen.
Her reign began even before the Sunday morning last spring when my family and several of our cheesemaking friends stepped onto the porch of a colorful Queen Anne with lupines and lilies blooming around the stoop. We walked through the door and fell through the looking glass into a place where cheesemaking antiques mix in with handmade dolls and African masks, unusual musical instruments and crazy quilts.
Ricki waved us into the big kitchen as she hastily pinned up her curly hair with a parrot-shaped barrette. She'd generously invited our group to sit in as her guests at an ordinary one-day workshop for beginners. We sat at long tables and introduced ourselves to the 20 other students. For several men this was a Father's Day gift. Others described practical goals: a chef hoped to broaden her culinary range; mothers desired healthier diets for their families. Martha, from Texas, owned water buffalo and dreamed of great mozzarella. Our common wish was to understand a food we felt passionate about."
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Cape Cod Times, by Laurie Higgins
I was thrilled (and my husband was jealous) when I had an opportunity to attend a hands-on workshop, hosted by The Lamb and Lion Inn, to learn how to make my own cheese with Ricki Carroll, self-described cheese queen of New England.
There were home chefs, restaurant owners, artists and teachers of cooking classes. They all loved cheese and most of them loved to cook, or at least eat
The whole time she was cooking, Carroll passed out tidbits of information, stories about cheese and tips to make the process easier.
Since 1978, Ricki Carroll has taught literally thousands of people how to make cheese - usually in her home kitchen in Western Massachusetts....
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The Austin Chronicle-Food-o-File, by Virginia Wood
Behold the Making of Cheese
Back during the holidays, I got a call from a guy who promised to send me a sample of his sister's great mozzarella cheesemaking kit for a trial run. "Sure, sure, send it along," I told him in my holiday haze. When the promised kit hadn't arrived by late January, I called looking for it. I eventually received a small package from The New England Cheesemaking Supply Company and the fun began.
The package contained Ricki's 30-Minute Mozzarella & Ricotta Kit, an instruction booklet, a supply of vegetable rennet tablets, citric acid, flake salt, a thermometer, and a piece of butter muslin. Who knew making cheese could be so quick and easy? With the contents of the kit, one gallon of whole milk from the grocery store, and 30 minutes, we had three-quarters of a pound of fresh, delicious mozzarella. The ricotta recipe takes longer only because it requires some hang time to drain. According to the kit, any milk will work with the recipes, regardless of the butterfat content, whether it's powdered or skim, from cows or goats. The booklet also offers recipes for things like lasagne, bocconcini (little mouthfuls of mozzarella marinated in herbs and olive oil), plus pizza dough and bread that can be made with the warm whey saved from the ricotta-making process. The package also contained the company's latest catalog, which features kits, equipment, supplies, mold cultures, books, and instructions. Pretty much everything you'd need to make cheese except the milk.
The 21-year-old New England company is the brainchild of cheese maker Ricki Carrol and her enthusiasm for her subject is obvious in the kit, the catalog, and the company Web site. And the cheese is great!