We could smell that we were at the right place before we saw it. Mmmm, cows. But that’s what you need to make mozzarella in its various forms – lots of cows. According to our charming guide, only the milk from pregnant cows is used. Once they have their calves, they are given a year to rest before they are put back into service. These pregnant ladies were very curious to see us:
We got to watch the guys make cheese and then learn how to tie it off ourselves – this was a real highlight of our trip. Don took a movie of me doing it – it’s a hoot! They offered me a job – starting at 4:00 am every morning.
They make a bunch of different shapes with the same fresh cheese and also smoke some kinds. I got to make a little mozzarella knot and a burrata, with strachiatella and cream inside.
After the dairy, we headed to the bakery for our pasta lesson. The recipe is very simple: a small mountain of semolina flour and some water. Judging the amount of water is the tricky part. Then the tiny lady rolled her dough into a snake, cut a little bit, pressed it with her knife and then pushed in on the bottom side to make the tiny orecchiette (ears). Then it was our turn:
We pretty much failed this test, but it was fun and probably just needs (a lot of) practice. Off we went to see the rest of the cows and gardens before a tasting of various items the far produces: salami, cheese (of course), pickled zucchini and eggplant, biscuits and bread, and wine.
We were very lucky to have a very small group – only 6 of us – for this hands on tour. Apparently the numbers can go up to 30, which definitely would not have been as much fun.
For our last night in Locorotondo, we definitely learned our lesson from the night before and booked a table inside the restaurant for dinner. Since dinner isn’t until 7:30 or later around here, there was left to do but grab a table at an outside bar and watched the glorious sunset.
4 responses to “Jan Makes Mozzarella!”
What wonderful experiences you two are having. Loving your photos and blog!
How fun is that a course learning how to make cheese and pasta.
I bet it’s the best tasting cheese and pasta and of course a good glass of wine.
Yum! Let’s make orecchiette next GNO.
Oh – and pear ravioli in brown butter sauce too.
It’s a date!!