Best Cheese Recipes
You will find in this section the three ways
to make the three Pennsylvania Dutch cheeses. And you will find
here recipes for what are pretty much the only indigenous
recipes that are made with cheese-Cheese Cake and Cheese Pie.
(You may or may not be able to tell them apart!) The
Pennsylvania German love cheese, but they are disposed to keep
it where it belongs and there is very little adding of cheese to
vegetable and meat dishes in Pennsylvania kitchens.
Ball Cheese, Cup Cheese, and Schmierkase take
time and patience in the making-time, patience, and space to
store the crock or cheese board and a place to hang the cheese
bags. Consequently, cheese is made nowadays chiefly on the
farms. But when it is taken to the large city markets, it is
eagerly snapped up by people who remember how good it tasted
when they were young.
Someone told me not long ago that he could
remember as though it were yesterday the cheese making in his
boyhood home, as well as the time the cheese was ruined. It
seems that he and his mother heard strange popping sounds coming
from the attic and, when they investigated, there was little
brother, carefully poking a finger into each and every cheese,
saying "pop" as he did so and licking his finger between the
There is a German cookbook published in
this country in 1879 fur die
Deutschen in Amerika. Although it is
otherwise rather elaborate, it lacks cheese cookery.
However, in this book was found the method of
making Ball Cheese that is given here. The recipe was not in the
body of the book-it was written in pencil on the back flyleaf.
For detail, it rivals the cookbook itself; if reproduced here in
all its ramifications, it might well deter one from cheese
making forever. But it is an interesting recipe for all that.
You are supposed to "heat the milk long
enough so it sings," add coloring matter "the size of an apple
kernel" and "when it is thick nice, that which is in the boiler,
you set on the stove." Then you proceed with the cheese:
Pennsylvania Dutch Did You Know?
The origin of the word 'Dutch' is a "folk-rendering" of the
Pennsylvania Dutch's own self-designation Deitsch. There is also
some speculation among scholars that "Dutch" is actually an
archaic term that was used to refer to all people of Germanic
descent, and that is the term that stuck in the English-speaking
community. It corresponds to German Deutsch and the Netherlands'
"Diets," meaning 'of the common people' as opposed to the
learned lords and clerics who had mastered Latin.