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Buttermilk cheese

There’s no doubting the freshness of this cheese: the recipe specifies that the milk should be taken “as hot as possible from the cow“! It is another indication that our unknown ladies kept their own cattle.

Making this cheese is a rather labourious process. The milk has to be churned, as if to make butter, in order to obtain the buttermilk. But the result is an incredibly fresh, soft cheese made purely from natural ingredients: milk, rennet, salt, and a splash of marigold juice for colouring:

Georgian recipe for buttermilk cheese from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

Georgian recipe for buttermilk cheese from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

To Make a Buttermilk Cheese

Take 36 qrts of milk as hot as possible from ye cow. Put it in ye churn which must be made hot with boyling water before you put ye milk in it. Churn it as you do butter & as long as any butter will come. Gather it & lay it by, yn pour out ye buttermilk into a tub yt had boyling water in it ye minute before. Let it be very warm. When you put in ye buttermilk, colour it wth ye juyce of marygolds. Put in 2 handfulls of clean salt & as much runnet as will make it come, & when tis well come, lead out all ye whey, breaking ye curd as small as possible. Put it into ye fatt, which must be larger a good deal what it will require when tis fininsh’d. Besure press out ye whey with yr warm hands very well. When you have put in all ye curd into ye fatt, put it into ye press & give it half a dozen turns to get out all ye whey. Then, take it out of ye fat, slice it & cut it like minc’d meat. Then pour warm water on it. Mix it quick with yr hands & pour of ye water as fast as you can, which will bring out a great deal of ye grease & whey. Then work ye butter you took of ye churn into ye curd very well & then put it into ye fatt, & so into ye press, turning it often with care, & often changing ye cloths. Let it remain in ye press till next day. Then, take it out of ye fatt & rub it wth salt. Let it stand in a dry place, turnning it & wiping it every day with care. Ye fatt must be a quarter & an half deep & a quarter wide.

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