Celebrating Stretched Cheese!
Stretched curd cheese are also known as Pasta Filata. They are made with a very special technique that stretches the curd and makes it elastic and stringy. This style of cheesemaking originated in Italy.
Pasta filata means ‘spun paste” hence the English translation to stretched curd cheese.
How it’s made
The basic process of making these cheese involves firstly ripening the curd overnight with lactic acid bacteria cultures to produce a highly acidic curd. The curd is then chopped into small pieces before being put in a hot whey or water bath (85oC). The cheesemaker then kneads the curd in the whey or water, until the curd becomes soft and stretchy. Once the perfect texture is reached, the curd is pulled apart to create the desired shape. The cheese can then be put into a brine bath to help create a protective rind and keep the cheese for longer.
While most stretched curd cheese is fresh, there are a few that are aged and sometimes smoked. These include Provolone and Scamorza.
One of our favourites is Burrata, where the stretched curd is wrapped and enveloped around a parcel of fresh cream and chopped up curd pieces.
Special Halloumi mention
At Barossa Cheese our favourite is of course the Halloumi. Made through a process of pressing, heating and cooking the curd, it is the all year around winner for us.
Storage and tips for buying
Fresh stretched cheese usually comes in a tub or pack that has some brine in it. They should look and smell clean without any discolouration or murkiness in the brine.
Boconccini, fior di latte, treccia, mozzarella, buffalo mozzarella (Mozzarella di Bufala Campana), burrata, Caciocavallo, provolone, scamorza, Queso Oaxaca, Halloumi.
Until next month,