DNDIY Cheese

13 Sep

In seven days, I will officially be able to say that I’ve been in Ghana for three months. Everyone loves to ask me how long I’ve been here, probably as a way to assess my progress in learning to speak Ewe, or to see how “sweet” Ghana is for me. When I tell them how long, their response is usually “Oh! You are trying!” 

Three months already and it’s gone by in a flash of sunburns and dirty children. It’s surprisingly easy to get used to life here — I’m waking up on my own at 6 (who would’ve thought), craving the local food (including but not limited to greens large enough to be a makeshift dress), and there is a child that calls me “Momma”. However comfortable I am here, I do find it hard to live without a few home comforts, the main one being cheese. 

After a year in France eating the finest cheese money can buy, Laughing Cow just doesn’t cut it. Not to mention it has a shelf life of far too long and I’d guess it isn’t packed with healthy bacteria. After three months sans fromage I’ve reached my breaking point. This weekend, I took the bull by the horns (or should I say, the cow by the utters?) and attempted to make cheese. Yup.

Made a few friends at the slaughter house down in Zongo (one goes by “Zingaro”…??) to get the fresh milk hook-up, did a bit of DIY cheese research, and went to town. Who knew you could make cheese with boiled milk and lime juice? 

We let it strain in a makeshift cheesecloth (my bandana) and hoped for the best.

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I learned that while you certainly CAN curdle milk with lime juice, it doesn’t yield any sort of cheese that I find particularly appetizing. Even after jazzing it up with some garlic and basil, it disappoints.

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Needless to say, I think I’ll leave cheese-making to the professionals. 

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