We’ve all heard the children’s story about Little Miss Muffet, but how many people really know what curds and whey are? And if you do know what it is, do you know that it is really easy to make yourself?
What are curds and whey?
Curds and whey are what you get when raw milk sours (ferments) and separates. The curds being the white chunky bits and the whey is the liquid. Whey is typically a by-product of cheese-making. Whey is a great starter for all kinds of fermented foods.
How to make whey and cream cheese yourself:
Straining Yogurt Method – To do this, you simply strain the plain yogurt through a cheesecloth into a jar or bowl. I recommend using a stainless steel strainer to support the cheese cloth. Allow it to strain for 4-8 hours or overnight. What you’re left with is cream cheese in the cloth and whey liquid in the bowl. Now do you see why it’s called cheesecloth? Cool huh?
Note: We make our own yogurt, which is especially good for straining since it isn’t pasteurized and homogenized. If you do use a store bought yogurt, make sure to use an All-Natural, Regular, Plain Yogurt. Don’t get the low-fat, fat-free or flavored varieties.
Soured Raw Milk Method – You could let your raw milk sour by sitting it out at room temperature covered by cloth. It will separate into the curds and whey. Then strain it through a cheese to separate. This method can only be used if you have raw (unpasteurized and homogenized) milk. If store-bought milk is left to set out, it will spoil not sour! This is because the beneficial bacteria that allow the milk to properly ferment were killed when the milk was heated and pasteurized.