Basket Weave 101

To make ricotta salata (salted, aged ricotta), the whey of sheep’s milk (i.e., fresh ricotta) is drained, pressed by hand to ensure as much liquid is removed as possible, salted, and then aged in baskets (like this one pictured) for at least 90 days. In the old days, wicker or wood baskets were used, but…

Celebrating Ricotta? Count me in!

October in Sicily is packed with feasts and festivals celebrating local gastronomy. This weekend in Paternò on the southern slopes of Mount Etna, they are celebrating the 2nd annual Festival of Ricotta and Mostarda. Ricotta, pictured here, is a fresh cheese made with either sheep’s milk (most common in Sicily), cow’s milk, or goat’s milk….

Ricotta salata cheese is made from sheep’s milk. It is made from the milk whey left over from the production of other cheese, like Pecorino Siciliano, in this case. Here, it is in the form of fresh ricotta, set in baskets to age into a salty bliss. #cheese #formaggio #ricotta #sheep #pecore #baskets #cestini #sicily…

In the Sicilian mountains where the sheep graze, cheesemongers like this one make ricotta daily. #sicily #sicily_travel #sicilia #sicily_tourism #italy #ig_sicily #italia #ricotta #cheese #sheep #formaggio #siculo