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Winner: Pluto, followed closely by Rosebud, 9 O’Clock Judy, Almond Joy, Judge Judy, and Tall Paul.

Lots of controversy tonight. What was actress Marilyn Monroe’s last completed film? It was “The Misfits,” a film which many think was Marilyn Monroe’s best dramatic performance.

For some reason most folks thought she had died during the filming of “The Misfits,” and put up a loud and vigorous challenge. In fact, she had only been hospitalized during its filming. It was during the shooting for her next film “Something’s Got to Give” that she died, and that film was unreleased. BTW, Clark Gable, often referred to as “The King of Hollywood,” died of a heart attack just after filming “The Misfits.” He was only 59 years old.

Good Question!: Ricotta is a cheese traditionally made from the milk of which animal?

Choices: a. goat  b. cow  c. sheep  d. camel

Answer: Cow

Oh Boy! Much more controversy here, because many folks thought that ricotta was made from sheep milk, and you know what, they were right, too.

What is Ricotta Cheese?

Ricotta is a soft, sweet, fresh, white cheese made from what is left over after making other cheeses. Basically ricotta is made from whey—that is, the watery liquid that remains after cow, sheep or goat cheese is made. Used in abundance all over Italy, ricotta—in all its various forms—has played an important part in Italian cucina for centuries. Ounce for ounce, Ricotta has five times more calcium than the cottage cheese it closely resembles.

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Want to know much more?

First, better remember, “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

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Ancient and Modern Ricotta

“In the ancient times of the Roman republic, the production of ricotta was regulated by Cato the Elder—a statesman known for his humble origins and practical wisdom. Among other laws, he codified rules for sheep farming and agriculture. In those days, sheep’s milk had several uses: as a part of sacrificial rites; as a beverage; for the production of pecorino cheese—and ricotta. Even back then, the practice of using whey, instead of merely discarding it, already existed.

Ricotta, which literally means “recooked” in Italian, was probably accidentally discovered during the production of pecorino. The process for making ricotta is relatively simple: By allowing the whey to ferment one or two days in lukewarm temperatures, it becomes more acidic. After fermentation, the whey is cooked to almost boiling; afterward, the residual proteins solidify into curds, which are then filtered through a cloth. The result is a product with a consistency similar to cottage cheese, but with a sweet taste.

Cheese making is a real craft—it takes a lot of skill, practice and experience to make a good cheese. Even ricotta, in all its simplicity, follows traditions, rules, and methods. Though fresh ricotta is not so readily available—even in Italian cities it can be hard to find, and outside of Italy, it’s still something of a rarity—it is possible to find tasty commercial ricotta just about everywhere.  The commercial versions of ricotta—sold in many parts of the world, as well as in Italy—are very useful in the kitchen, particularly in pastry and pasta dishes. But, there is nothing that can compare to the taste of fresh authentic Italian ricotta.

Made without any additives and naturally low in fat, undoubtedly, the best ricotta you’ll ever experience comes straight from the farm—sold in street markets and local cheese stores all over Italy. Fresh ricotta is readily available in a variety of forms, but the most common types are: ricotta di mucca (cow milk ricotta), ricotta di pecora (sheep milk ricotta), and ricotta mista di mucca e pecora (a mixture of cow and sheep milk ricottas). Cow milk ricotta is more widely consumed in Northern Italy, and sheep ricotta is more prevalent in the central south. Ricotta di capra (goat) and ricotta di bufala (buffalo) also exist but they are a bit harder to come by.

The differences between these ricottas are noteworthy. Cow’s milk ricotta is milder and has a more neutral taste than the other varieties. It’s ideal for the celebrated filled-pasta delicacies of northern Italy—such as, ravioli, tortelloni, agnolotti, savory stuffed crepes—as well as cakes and pastries. In the regions where sheep herding is more widespread—such as in Tuscany, Lazio, Abruzzi, Campania, Puglia, and of course Sardinia, which has the largest sheep farms in all of Italy—naturally, sheep milk ricotta is more prevalent. Each region produces a slightly different tasting milk and cheese. In general, sheep milk ricotta has a slightly richer taste than the cow milk variety.” (George DeLallo Company)

 

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