(Health Secrets) European farm cheese, also known as quark, is a soft and fresh kind of cheese that is made without enzymes known as rennet which are used to coagulate milk in most forms of cheese. Although quark is traditionally made with cow milk, goat milk quark is every bit as appealing and useful, and it has healthy benefits over cow milk quark.
Although relatively unheard of in the United States, quark is popular in much of Europe, where it is also commonly referred to as curd cheese. It was quark cheese, and not it’s relative cottage cheese, which Dr. Johanna Budwig used in combination with flaxseed oil in her famous and highly documented Budwig Protocol for cancer.
Being able to easily make a rennet-free cheese is a good thing, because rennet production methods and sources are raising eyebrows among the health conscious, including lacto-vegetarians and people concerned about GMO foods.
Natural rennet is a complex of enzymes produced in any mammalian stomach to digest mother’s milk, and is traditionally used in the production of cheese. Rennet includes the enzymes protease, pepsin and lipase, which cause milk to coagulate and separate into solids (curds) and liquid (whey). But most rennet today is not natural.
Traditionally, rennet for cheese making has been obtained from dried and cleaned stomachs of young calves which are sliced into small pieces and then put into saltwater or whey, together with vinegar or wine to lower the pH. Today, this method is used almost exclusively by traditional cheese-makers in central Europe.
Because of the limited availability of stomachs for rennet production, many less traditional cheese makers are using vegetable sources of enzymes, including plants, fungi, and microbial sources, that will substitute for animal rennet and be suitable for lacto-vegetarians. Most of this rennet is GMO. In the United States, as much as 90% or more of vegetable rennet, such as Phizer’s Chymax, is genetically engineered.
Quark made from goat milk has all the advantages and appeal of cow milk quark and then some, though both goat and cow milk have the advantage of not requiring rennet. Not only is goat milk healthier and more nutrient dense, it is also often tolerated by people who are otherwise lactose intolerant. Of course, as is true with cow milk, raw goat milk is by far the healthiest and most preferred form. Following is a healthy recipe to make quark from goat milk. It can also be made using cow milk if you prefer.
How to make goat milk quark cheese
First, heat 1 quart of goat milk to 88 °F in a pot and then add 1 tablespoon of buttermilk with active cultures. If your buttermilk is not quite fresh, add an extra tablespoon, as the culture activity declines over time.
Cover the pot, and leave it at room temperature for 24 hours. At the end of that time, the mixture should have a consistency very similar to yogurt.
Pour the mixture into a cheese cloth-lined colander. Either leave the cheese in the colander and cover, or tie the cheese cloth corners together over a wooden spoon or stick and hang over a pot.
Leave the cheese to drain for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator. Remove from the cheese cloth, place in a dish, and enjoy much as you would cottage cheese! Normally, you will get about 8 oz. of quark from 1 quart of milk.
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