Farmer Cheese- جبنة المزارع - جبنه طريه
Farmer cheese is a fresh acid-set cheese (made without rennet) with several regional variants (Mexican queso and Indian paneer for example). As Harold McGee explains in On Food and Cooking , the caseins, or curd proteins, clump together in acid conditions and coagulate, while the whey proteins remain suspended in the liquid. As the milk's pH approaches 5.5 from the normal 6.5 there is loose clustering of the caseins, and around 4.7 the milk curdles (solidifies). This happens naturally when milk sours or can be induced by introducing acid-producing bacteria or an acid such as lemon juice.
Farmer cheese typically ranges from dense and soft in texture to smooth and spreadable, and is creamy white in coloration. It can be produced in a variety of shapes, but is usually sold in small rounds or blocks. Unlike aged cheeses, it has no rind or waxy coating and can be completely consumed.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
Farmer cheese can be used in a variety of dishes depending on the particular kind of cheese. Creamy farmer cheeses such as goat cheese, Neufchâtel, mascarpone, and cream cheese are often used as toppings for hors d'ouvres or incorporated into desserts. Queso blanc, alternatively, is a melting cheese frequently used in casseroles or bean dishes and is excellent for frying. Paneer is an example of a denser farmer cheese and is a common staple of Indian cuisine, where it is often sautéed and served with curries or spiced sauces.
Conserving and Storing
Always store farmer cheese in the refrigerator in a sealed container and use within six to ten days of purchase. While freezing is not typically recommended, cream-style farmer cheeses will freeze and thaw adequately.
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