Monday, July 11, 2011

About Juustoa

Juustoa is considered to be one of the simplest cheeses to make.  It is a fresh cheese that does not use lactic acid bacteria (LAB) to culture the milk before curding.  Therefore, it does not keep long in the refrigerator.  It is mildly sweet.  Basically, it's solid milk.  Traditionally, it is broiled on both sides to produce a golden/brown bubbly skin.  It's not only aesthetically pleasing, but it imparts an extra flavor and helps drive out excess whey.

It is also called Finnish Squeaky Cheese because, when fresh, it squeaks against your teeth as you chew it.  The basic recipe originated in Finland and was brought to the US by immigrants, many of whom settled in the UP of Michigan.  Other Scandinavian countries have similar variations.  I came to like this cheese while I was in college at Michigan Technological University, where I met my wife as well.  She is of Finnish decent, and this was a staple in many local households.  I have never been able to recreate this cheese until recently.  My success with juustoa spurred me on to try home cheese making. 

I'll be posting recipes, tips, successes, and most importantly, failures on this site.  Failures are important because that is the best way to learn.   

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