ISO rennet: another exercise in futility

summary: searching for rennet in Toronto

We are so miffed about the quality (or lack thereof) of commercially produced mozzarella that we thought we’d try making it ourselves. After all, the ricotta cheese we’ve made has been absolutely stellar. And after watching a couple of videos, it looks like it’s not that hard or time consuming to make mozzarella.

We were excited! We headed out on our bikes to get milk and rennet. We were going to make mozzarella. Whoohoooooo!!

Well, rats. It turns out that rennet is required for making the curds. Can we find rennet? Anywhere in Toronto?

We went to Fiesta Farms, where they allegedly sell rennet. Yes, indeed they do sell rennet. But it’s not pure rennet but “junket rennet” tablets:

Junket Rennet Tablets […] Salt, Calcium Lactate, Corn Starch, Rennet, Tricalcium Phosphate, Calcium Stearate (Food Grade) junket rennet tablets

Can all those extra ingredients be right for making cheese?

I DON’T think so….

And internet search comes up with the following answer to the question “Can junket rennet be used for making cheese?”:

With that kind of result, we decided we should get pure rennet (we’d settle for vegetarian rennet).

So far, we have called the Big Carrot asking if they carry vegetable rennet (they said that LOTS of people have called asking the same question. Hmmmmm. Mightn’t that be a clue for them to find some??)

And we checked at an Italian cheese store that makes fresh ricotta. Nope. But they suggested we try our pharmacy.

Pharmacy?! Okay….

Our pharmacist asked us to call back in 15 minutes while he did some research about the availability of microbial rennet, while he called two of his biggest suppliers. Sounded promising…. Answer: nope.

We looked online:

Rennet tablets (Microbial) – Box of 100 tablets
[…] One tablet for fifty (50) liters of […] cow milk at 35 C. rennet tablets (microbial)

50 litres!? Yikes! We don’t have a kitchen large enough to house 50 litres of milk!

We have emailed Danlac Canada Inc. to ask what they suggest for people who are making cheese from one or two litres of milk. We await their reply.

In the meantime, even though some say that junket rennet tablets won’t work for cheese making, we’re going to give it a try anyway. As soon as we get some citric acid and junket rennet tablets. Fingers crossed that it works!


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