My friend Jenny asked me in June if I had plans after work on July 17. I said, “no.” She said, “Good, we’re doing something, so mark your calendar.” I didn’t ask her what we were doing because I trust her and I knew that whatever it was, it would be fun. The mystery around the activity intensified as the date grew closer and she began sending me clues as teasers.
The first set of clues she sent me…
Pale as driven snow,
On a wintry morn.
Pure as a crisp new tee,
That has never been worn.
Springy like Santa’s bowlful of jelly,
Stretchy like Spanx that suck in his belly.
My Guess: Taffy Making
The second set of clues she sent me…
Deliciously smooth and cool to the touch,
You want to dive in and just swim through so much.
Unless it’s a hot toasty blanket of ooze,
You pull into strings of long luscious moos.
My Guess: Ice Cream Sundae Festival
The final set of clues she sent me…
It can stretch from your lips to the sky,
Where it makes up the moon or a big pizza pie.
Fit for Little Miss Muffett or Cinderella,
Whoever invented it is a pretty good fella.
My Guess: Bubble Blowing Festival
The evening of the event finally arrived. We met outside of the movie theater, where Jenny revealed that we were attending an Italian Cheesemaking Class. Reflecting back on the clues I thought ohhh cheese, it all makes sense now!
The class was hosted by Caputo Brothers Creamery, led by a husband, wife and their two sons. The event kicked off with a brief movie about Caputo Brothers Creamery. Next, Rynn, the matriarch, gave a dynamic presentation on the history of mozzarella cheese and explained that in the U.S. there is no such thing as authentic “mozzarella”. In 1996, the European Union granted it Protected Designation of Origin. Genuine mozzarella must be made using a traditional recipe that includes water buffalo milk from only the region just south of Rome to just south of Naples. What we eat in the U.S. is actually called fior di latte, which is made from cow’s milk. It is a semi-soft cheese made in the style of Italian mozzarella.
Caputo Brothers Creamery produces the country’s only fermented cheese curds that can be stretched into mozzarella-style cheeses. Rynn taught us how to cook, stretch and make one of the mozzarella-style cheeses using curds from their creamery. Her husband Dave sliced the glorious cheese mounds and their lil helpers, Giovanni (7) and Matteo (5), aka the Caputo Brothers, passed around samples of the incredibly delicious fresh cheese to everyone. At the end of the event, we were all given a bag of frozen cheese curds to take home with cooking instructions. An educational and filling evening!