If you’re a cheese lover, you may have heard of curd cheese. But what exactly is it?
Curd cheese is a soft, creamy cheese that’s similar to cream cheese and cottage cheese, but with a lower fat content. It’s made by adding a lactic starter to milk, which gives it a light acidity and unique flavor.
Curd cheese is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from pastas and desserts to fillings for noodles and pancakes.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at full fat curd cheese, its nutritional benefits, and how to use it in your cooking. So grab a snack and let’s dive in!
What Is Full Fat Curd Cheese?
Full fat curd cheese is a type of curd cheese that contains a higher percentage of fat than its low-fat counterparts. It has a rich, creamy texture and a unique flavor that sets it apart from other soft cheeses.
This cheese is made by adding a lactic starter to whole milk, which is then heated and allowed to curdle. The curds are separated from the whey and pressed into a soft, creamy cheese.
Full fat curd cheese is a natural product that does not contain any preservatives. It’s a good source of protein and calcium, making it a nutritious addition to your diet.
How Is Full Fat Curd Cheese Made?
Full fat curd cheese is made by curdling whole milk with a lactic starter. The milk is heated to a specific temperature, usually around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and then a few drops of rennet are added. The mixture is then stirred a few times and left to sit for about four hours until it sets to a custard-like texture.
Once the curds have formed, they are cut into small pieces and gently heated again until they reach a temperature of 115 degrees Fahrenheit. The excess liquid, or whey, is then strained off, leaving behind the bouncy and creamy curds.
To enhance the flavor and texture of the cheese, it is bathed in buttermilk and a touch of cream before being chilled. The final product is a rich and flavorful full fat curd cheese that can be enjoyed on its own or used in various dishes.
It’s important to note that the quality of the dairy used in making this cheese is crucial to its taste. It’s recommended to use high-quality dairy that is not labeled “ultra-pasteurized” as this can affect the cheesemaking process. Additionally, full fat curd cheese is a fresh cheese that is not aged like other cheeses such as Cheddar or Parmesan.
Nutritional Benefits Of Full Fat Curd Cheese
Full fat curd cheese offers a range of nutritional benefits that make it a healthy addition to your diet. One of the main benefits of this cheese is its high protein content. Just one ounce (28.35g) of full fat curd cheese contains 8 grams of protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscles and tissues in the body.
In addition, full fat curd cheese is a good source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. One ounce of this cheese provides approximately 150 milligrams of calcium, which is about 15% of the recommended daily intake for adults.
Full fat curd cheese also contains other important nutrients such as vitamin B12, which is essential for healthy nerve function and the production of red blood cells. It also contains phosphorus, which is important for healthy bones and teeth, and selenium, which has antioxidant properties and helps to protect against cell damage.
While full fat curd cheese does contain a higher percentage of fat than low-fat varieties, it’s worth noting that not all fats are bad for you. In fact, the fat in full fat curd cheese is mainly saturated fat, which has been shown to have neutral or even positive effects on cholesterol levels in some studies.
Ways To Use Full Fat Curd Cheese In Cooking
Full fat curd cheese is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. Here are some ways to incorporate this delicious cheese into your cooking:
1. Cheesecakes: Full fat curd cheese is a popular ingredient in classic cheesecake recipes. Its creamy texture and tangy flavor make it the perfect addition to this rich dessert.
2. English curd tarts: This traditional English dessert features a sweet pastry crust filled with a mixture of curd cheese, sugar, butter, and eggs. Full fat curd cheese can be used to give the filling a softer texture and richer flavor.
3. Chocolate cakes: Adding full fat curd cheese to chocolate cake batter can give the cake a moist, tender crumb and a subtle tangy flavor that complements the chocolate.
4. Citrus tarts: Full fat curd cheese can be used in lemon or lime tart fillings to add richness and depth of flavor.
5. Salads: Full fat curd cheese can be crumbled over salads for a creamy, tangy accent. It pairs well with greens, nuts, and fruits.
6. Pizza: Sprinkle full fat curd cheese over your favorite pizza toppings for a creamy, cheesy finish.
7. Pasta: Use full fat curd cheese as a substitute for ricotta in baked pasta dishes like lasagna or stuffed shells.
8. Burgers: Top your favorite burger with full fat curd cheese for an extra creamy, tangy bite.
9. Skewers: Thread full fat curd cheese onto skewers with cherry tomatoes, basil, or grapes for a fun appetizer or snack.
10. Breadmaking: The leftover whey from making full fat curd cheese can be used in breadmaking to give the crust and crumb a delicate acidity.
With its rich, creamy texture and tangy flavor, full fat curd cheese is an excellent ingredient to have on hand for all kinds of cooking and baking projects.
Conclusion: Full Fat Curd Cheese – A Delicious And Healthy Ingredient
Full fat curd cheese is not only delicious but also a healthy ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. It’s high in protein and calcium, which are essential for building and maintaining strong bones and muscles. Additionally, research suggests that dairy fat may not pose the same heart threat as saturated fat in meat and could even help prevent type 2 diabetes.
While many people opt for low-fat or fat-free cheeses, full fat curd cheese offers a richer taste and texture that can enhance the flavor of your favorite dishes. It’s perfect for spreading on crackers or bread, adding to salads, or using as a topping for pizza or baked potatoes.
When choosing full fat curd cheese, it’s important to pay attention to the serving size and sodium content, as most cheeses are high in sodium. However, some varieties like goat, whole-milk mozzarella, and Swiss are lower in sodium than others.