Ricotta (Maplebrook Farm)
Maplebrook Farm was founded in 2003 after a chance encounter. Founder, Johann Englert, came across Al Ducci's Groceria in Manchester, Vermont during a visit and when she tasted their mozzarella, it transported her back to her time in Italy during college. Johann immediately bought 20 pieces of the mozzarella since she knew she couldn’t get anything that good in Boston, where she lives. After returning home, she contacted the Al Ducci’s and spoke to the owner’s son, Mike Scheps, who happened to be the cheesemaker and asked him if he could supply her in Boston with the curd to make their own mozzarella. With an answer of yes, the agreement was in place and Maplebrook Farm was born. Today, Maplebrook Farm is a major producer of artisanal cheese on the east coast. It employs around 20 cheesemakers, who are each trained in old world cheesemaking techniques. The Farm sources its rBGH free milk from small family farms throughout Vermont to make their line of mostly Italian cheeses. Mike still is the head cheesemaker for the majority of their cheeses, but as of 2010 now has help from Domenico Marchitelli, who makes the Burrata and Scamorza. Domenico hails from Puglia, Italy, the birthplace of Burrata. Maplebrook Farm’s Hand-dipped Ricotta is a very fresh Ricotta made in very small batches using rBGH-free milk and no preservatives. The cheesemakers produce the cheese in small kettles by hand using vinegar to begin the process of curd development rather than rennet.
The result is a Ricotta with a rich, delicate texture. It has a subtle, sweet flavor that is balanced with a touch of salt.
Traditionally, Ricotta is used in deserts and in fillings for stuffed pastas such as Ravioli. Maplebrook’s Hand-dipped Ricotta is no exception. With its various uses in cooking, either a bold red wine could be used, when using the Ricotta in pasta dishes with tomato sauce, or a light white wine when it is used in desserts.