Cheesemaking 101: The Easy Cheeses, Chevre and Ricotta

Homemade cheese might seem like a daunting skill to learn, but although some cheeses are very complicated to make, others are incredibly simple, and also delicious. You can learn to make homemade cheese a regular part of your home cuisine by focusing first on the simplest cheeses. Chevre, meaning goat in French, is one of the simplest cheeses to make and can be a delicious part of any simple breakfast. Ricotta is used in many dishes and is traditionally made with the whey byproduct of cheesemaking, but there is also an easy and quick way to make it at home from whole milk.

In this class, homestead cheesemaker Dan Durica will explain the basics of cheesemaking and demonstrate the making of the easy cheeses chevre and ricotta from store bought cow’s milk (and yes, you can make store bought cow’s milk have the flavor of goat’s milk). With knowledge of these basic cheeses you can be on your way to trying more challenging cheeses in your home.

Dan lives at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Missouri where his passion is making great food from scratch. There he grows many of his own delicious ingredients and has access to fresh raw goat and cow milk produced in his ecovillage. He’s been making his own cheeses for over 15 years and has taught many other classes on food, drink, and gardening. You can see his work on his YouTube channel Hardcore Sustainable or check him out on Instagram, as well.

General Admission: $35
Low Income/Senior: $15 (limited number)

Although our base price for this course is $35, Sweetwater is a nonprofit that puts on educational programs for elementary schools in the neighborhood and teaches them about food systems and basically where their food comes from. We also host community volunteer days and a farmer’s market every Sunday from November through May. You can donate to Sweetwater in addition to your course fee if you’d like to help us continue our programs. And if you want to get your hands dirty in our gardens you can contribute your time by volunteering Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday mornings from 9-12.