A soft, fresh "cheese" made from the whey discarded during cheese production. Though ricotta is typically referred to as a cheese, "whey cheese" is the technical definition, as it is a byproduct of the cheese-making process. It can be made from cow, sheep or water buffalo milk, and is common as a filling for both sweet and savory dishes. Ricotta is often prepared and packaged in a variety of ways: ricotta salata (salted, baked and smoked), ricotta infornata (baked), ricotta affumicata (smoked), and ricotta scanta (soured).
Ricotta (Italian pronunciation: [riˈkotːa]) is an Italian sheep milk or cow milk whey cheese. It is somewhat similar in texture to some cottage cheese variants, though considerably lighter. Like many fresh cheeses, it is highly perishable.