The other day, I received a unique cheese recipe from a reader who lives in Israel. +DovidWheeler sent through the instructions on how to make Tzafatit, which is a traditional cheese from his part of the world dating back.
Unfortunately, it is way too hot here in Melbourne Australia for me to make this cheese. With daytime temperatures peaking at about 43° C and night time currently at around 32° C, it is not the time nor place to experiment with a new cheese. However, I am looking forward to getting back into cheese making after the weather cools down (maybe in a few months!) and having a go at this cheese.
Anyway, here is Dovid’s email which he gave me permission to share with you all.
I don’t think that you have done this one yet. It is the only true cheese that has been recorded from Israel. It has been around since about 2000 years after the second temple. It is called Tzafatit (Cheese from Tzfat)
It is a soft and salt cheese. Tastes great with Watermelon.
Originally made with either sheep/goat milk, but tastes wonderful with store-bought milk as well.
- 3 Litres Whole (Full Cream) Milk or 3 quarts.
- 3 large granules (3 ml I think) of Calcium Chloride in 2 tsp water (or equiv of liquid)
- Mesophilic Culture (small amount)
- 2 tsp Vinegar
- 4 drops liquid rennet in 2 Tbsp Water
- 3 Tbsp Cheese Salt
- Heat milk to 37° C or 99° F. Add Culture, Calcium Chloride, Vinegar and Rennet and stir while adding each ingredient
- Hold the heat for 40 minutes without moving pot
- Cut the curd into 1/2 cm or 3/8 inch cubes, then let it rest for 10 minutes
- Stir the curds slowly for 15 minutes
- Drain the whey until it is at the curd line
- Add the salt and mix through for around 2 minutes
- Place in small cheese hoops and flip every 15 minutes for the first hour.
- Let sit for 12 hours draining.
- Put in Fridge
- Next day – EAT 🙂
If anyone gets the chance to make this in the next few days, I would love a photo of your creation and will post it up with this post. I cannot seem to find one on the net.
Happy cheese making!
That's a very interesting recipe with rennet and vinegar. If you are still in contact with Dovid Wheeler, will you ask him what he means by "2000 years after the second Temple". As I understand it the first Temple was Solomon's Temple started around 960 BC and the second Temple was a reconstruction of Solomon's Temple around 500 BC which would make this Tzafatit cheese recipe about 500 years old. I wonder what the original method was back then.
Look very salty