Let’s start with the ricotta.
Estimated prep time: However long it takes you to juice a lemon, pour 4 cups of milk into a saucepan and heat it a bit, pour in the lemon juice, wait 5 minutes, pour the lemony milk into strainer and then wait 1-2 hours for it to drain. So let’s say a total of 2 hours and ten minutes, with about 15 minutes being active. The rest is low-key coffee drinking time.
In Shanghai, it is actually possible to buy cheese. Not everywhere, mind you, and with very variable options. In most shops in non-laowai neighbourhoods, you’ll generally just find the Chinese equivalent of Kraft Singles. At City Shop, a Hong Kong based grocery chain where the foreigners push their trolleys down aisles full of expensive, imported non-melamine dairy products, German muesli, Mexican salsa and French chocolate, a tiny, tiny 150g pot of dubious ricotta (when in stock, which it wasn’t) costs about 50 rmb (about US$8), which is totally absurd. So I decided to make my own. (more…)