Holiday Gifts for the Cook or Baker (Or For Your Own Kitchen)

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Cheese making kit from Cultures For Health (Screencaps via Cultures For Health)

Cheese Making Kits

Cheese is one of the greatest discoveries of humankind. This delectable technology allowed herding cultures to preserve their milk to keep them fed throughout the year. It’s ubiquitious in modern cooking, in sweet and savory recipes. It’s also perfect all by itself, or accompanied by a simple cracker. Fresh cheese is an experience. If you’ve ever had cheese that you didn’t buy at a grocery store, you know what I mean. If not, go find a dairy farm and buy some. Or buy one of these neat cheese making kits for a friend and invite yourself over for dinner!

The Creamery In A Box® essential cheesemaking starter kit from Midwest Supplies includes recipes and ingredients for both mozzarella and farmhouse cheddar. The kit also contains a dairy thermometer, professional curd skimmer, stainless steel curd knife, cheese mold & follower, reed drying mat, beeswax, natural bristle brush and sanitizer.

You can find this DIY Goat Cheese Kit at Food52. It includes instructions and recipes, citric acid, cheese salt, a thermometer, a cheese towel and a storage container. This kit makes one pound of cheese at a time and has enough supplies for 10 batches.

Cultures for Health offers five different cheese making starter kits, including Paneer & Queso Blanco, Mozzarella and Ricotta, Basic Italian (to make mozzarella, whole milk ricotta, ricotta salata, and mascarpone cheeses), Goat Cheese, and Fresh Cheese (feta, cottage cheese, cream cheese, fromage blanc and quark).

If you want to level it up, The Cheesemaker sells kits to make Camembert, baby brie, and blue cheeses, and Adventures in Home Brewing (they know cultures!) sells the Mad Millie Blue Cheese Ingredient Kit, which contains the supplies and ingredients to make blue cheese at home, including Penicillium Roqueforti mold spores for that distinctive veining.