Adyghe cheese - soft pickled cheese based on cow's milk. For its production, not rennet is used (produced in the rennet glands of mammals), but soft sour-milk sourdough. This makes cheese affordable for vegans and vegetarians.
The taste and structure of the product is neutral, and therefore suitable for any dish. You can make a simple sandwich from bread and a piece of Adyghe cheese or add the product to soup, open / closed pie, salad, pizza, khachapuri, roll, puffs. The cheese is dense enough not to fall apart during quick frying, but moderately soft so as not to spoil the baking structure.
The quality of dairy products is regulated by GOST, which strengthens the position of the product on the market. How to cook Adyghe cheese and is it safe to introduce it into the daily diet?
Adyghe or Circassian cheese is a national dish of the Circassian culinary tradition. The name was formed due to territorial affiliation. The first industrial batches of cheese were made in the Republic of Adygea by the Circassian population. The first cheese bars were made from whole goat or cow milk. Later, when the industry became larger and more influential, producers switched to cow's milk to reduce the cost of production.
The product belongs to the category of soft cheeses without ripening. It has a muffled sour-milk taste, delicate texture and neutral aroma. There are only 2 variations of industrial dairy products: smoked and fresh. In the photo and even on the store shelves, Adyghe cheese can be easily confused with mozzarella, feta cheese, ricotta, mascarpone or feta. But the main difference between the product produced by the Circassian people is pasteurization. The milk mixture is subjected to heat treatment, then fermented milk whey is introduced and the precipitation of milk protein is awaited. The external shape of the cheese is made mainly in the form of a cylinder with convex lateral surfaces and rounded edges.
The taste of the product is pure, spicy, sour-milk. Sophisticated consumers will notice the specific taste of pasteurization and the subtle salty taste of whey protein. Its structure is moderately tender, but not loose. Hue can vary from snow-white to light yellow. GOST allows for individual cream spots on the surface of the bar and slices. Adyghe cheese has no crust. Small slit-like voids and light layering are allowed on the surface.
Varieties of dairy product
Important: industrial Adyghe cheese can be found throughout the post-Soviet space. Recipes may vary from country to country. Moreover, a similar product can be sold under different brand names. Be careful before buying.
Homemade Adyghe cheese, unlike industrial cheese, can be found in 3 different variations: fresh, dried and smoked. Fresh is practically no different from that sold on supermarket shelves. But in a homemade product, there may be rennet. If its presence / absence plays an important role for you, be sure to check with the seller.
Smoked Circassian whetstone has several names: red, Armavir or Kabardian. The product has gained particular popularity in the western part of the North Caucasus. The product is smoked for several days until the crust becomes dense and impervious to bacteria or air. The shelf life of smoked dairy product is 6 months.
Dried Adyghe cheese is very similar to the local kurt (cheese sour milk balls). From ancient times, the product served as food for shepherds, warriors and hunters. The dried product is very salty and hard. It stores only 20% moisture and 2% salt. Local dry the bars in the shade, after which they are poured into huge boxes, covered with a layer of grain and sent to a barn with a stable temperature and stable humidity. The shelf life of the food component can reach several years.
Interesting: before use, the dried head is poured with boiling water or dipped in boiling water. The product instantly becomes soft and supple, but its structure is still denser compared to classic Adyghe cheese.
Important: the product is prepared on the basis of pasteurized milk, whey and table salt. It is classified as a dietary food with a high nutritional value and rich nutrient composition. The mass fraction of fat in dry matter is 40%.
|Calorie content||264 kcal|
|Alimentary fiber||0 g|
|Beta Carotene (A)||0,1|
|Ascorbic acid (C)||0,2|
Adyghe cheese is eaten as an independent snack or added to such dishes:
- vegetable salads;
- pizza, khachapuri;
- wrap in puff pastry, pita bread;
- cheese masses;
- pies and pies;
- cheese sauces.
Fried cheese is especially popular. The structure of the product allows it to be subjected to all types of heat treatment. It can be fried in a regular pan or grilled to give a specific smoked flavor. Fry the product in a drop of vegetable oil for 1 minute on each side until a dense crust forms.
Fresh Adyghe cheese can be replaced with suluguni, mozzarella and other varieties of soft dairy products. Dried is best rubbed in pasta, fried eggs or salad. You can prepare dried Circassian whetstone at home: leave the fresh product unpacked in the refrigerator, covering the surface with a linen napkin. In a month, dried Adyghe cheese will be ready.
Features of industrial production
Interesting: cheese became a brand in 1980. It was during this period that its industrial production began. Since then, in the city of Maykop (Republic of Adygea) a cheese festival has been held annually. At the time of the holiday, locals organize themed fairs, dress up in ethnic outfits, and prepare many varieties of cheese.
How is the product made? The milk mixture is heated to 95 ° C, after which sour milk whey is introduced. Once the whey coagulates, milk clots are collected in willow baskets. From these baskets on the sides of the Adyghe cheese remains a beautiful recognizable pattern. The head is formed in the same basket. This manufacturing method preserves the nutritional properties of the product and further disinfects it. The output is low cheese cylinders. Their weight does not exceed 2 kilograms, the surface is convex, and the edges are rounded. An ideal cylinder is stable and elastic when pressed, while inside it is delicate and soft. The aroma of the product is very reminiscent of baked milk with a subtle sourish aftertaste.
Important: the price of the finished product may vary depending on the quality of the raw materials and the authority of the manufacturer. The average market value is $ 6-10 / 1 kilogram.
How to cook Adyghe cheese at home
We will need:
- cow's milk - 2 liters;
- fermented milk product to taste (kefir / whey / yogurt)
- 3 liters.
Bring the milk to a boil, pour the fermented milk product into it and mix thoroughly several times. After a while, curd flakes will appear on the surface. As soon as this happened - turn off the fire. After a few minutes, the flakes will disappear and the serum will take on a clear or slightly greenish tint. Pour the finished mass into a colander / sieve / special form for making cheese. After 10 minutes, turn the mass over and leave for 10-12 hours until the whey completely drains.
Ready cheese can be salted or soaked in a solution of salt and spices, but this is optional. Saline recipe: 1 tablespoon of whey + 3 tablespoons of salt. Soak the cheese for 2-5 days, depending on the desired salinity of the product. Aged mass must be sent to the refrigerator for 2-3 days, after which the snack is considered ready.
How to buy and store the product
Fresh Adyghe cheese is not stored for long. Carefully inspect the surface for mold or unnatural dark spots. If you find at least one, refuse the purchase. The product should be stored in a refrigerator or in a dry, cold place.
The shade of the bar does not really matter. The main thing is that it is within the boundaries of a white-yellow palette. The quality and taste of cheese does not depend on color. Hue may vary depending on the type and fat content of the milk used.
Industrial dairy product is always sold in vacuum packaging. First of all, look at the date of packaging - it should not exceed 1 month. After 30 days, the cheese begins to get stale and rot, so choose the freshest bars possible.
The surface of a quality product is moist and resilient. Crusts and holes should not be, only small cracks are allowed. The flesh of the cheese should be softer than the surface, and the smell should exude a pleasant milky aroma.