Dark Days: A local snack

December 29, 2009(updated on October 3, 2018)

ricotta cheese and a fuji apple

I spent last night on an airplane, struggling to get comfortable in a narrow seat, in the very back row. When I got back to Philly earlier this morning, on very few hours of sleep, my brain was slow and I felt a little squishy in the stomach. After a shower, I headed into work and proceeded to spend the rest of the day gazed blearily in the general direction of my computer.

I haven’t done much in the way of cooking since Christmas day, and I’m certainly not in any state to be operating a cooktop right now (I’m not to be trusted with a stove on less than four hours of sleep). But knowing that I wanted to keep up my Dark Days participation, I wandered into Sue’s Produce on my way home and bought three lovely local apples (that one up there is a Fuji) and a scant pint of wonderful, creamy ricotta cheese.

However, this isn’t just any ricotta. This is Claudio’s ricotta, made daily in their Italian Market cheese factory (it’s made with Lancaster milk, just blocks from my own 20th floor home). It is luscious cheese, and when combined with slices of apple, becomes something akin to a tangy whipped cream. Putting out a generous bowl of this ricotta along with slivers of sweet-tart apple is one of my favorite party food tricks (just make sure to toss the apples with a bit of lemon juice first, to keep them from browning badly). It is incredibly easy and is so, so good to eat.

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9 thoughts on "Dark Days: A local snack"

  • I can’t believe I’ve never had this combination, but now I’m inspired. I love Claudio’s Ricotta. It is so far-removed from that sandy stuff I used to buy at the grocery, reserved only for the occasional lasagna recipe. I really like to use Claudio’s as as a pizza topping.

  • that sounds really really good 🙂 we have an apple tree in my yard, will make note of this to try with my own apples next year, til then off to the local market to see if I can find ricotta..

  • When you’re feeling more up to it, ricotta is really, really easy to make. I make some with milk from an in-state dairy every so often. Deeelicious. I never thought of pairing it with apples–sounds wonderful.

  • I’m going to have to try that. I tried granny smiths with parmesan and that was surprisingly non-gross. (I don’t branch out much.)

  • oooooooooooooooo, that looks yummy! I’ve never had Claudio’s ricotta. My usual party standby is fresh chevre from Shellbark Hollow Farm (West Chester), drizzled with honey.

  • In Phoenix we don’t have many (any) dark days, but locally the trees are filling with citrus: Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Tangelos and Grapefruit. Lots of bright bright flavors on the way.

  • We are blessed to have a local source of milk that is even delivered to our door once a week. Just wanted to share how easy it is to make ricotta yourself: heat 1/2 gallon of milk to about 180*, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Stir and let sit for a few minutes. Strain off the whey with a fine mesh colander. Enjoy! (You can also reuse the whey for lots of stuff.) It takes just a few minutes, but tastes SO GOOD! And of course, you can store the leftovers in a jar in your fridge. 😉

  • Madame Fromage, I do believe you’d love it. It’s not pungent pairing, but is wonderfully light and refreshing.
    Sarah, did you get over there to try it?
    Lindsay, I hope you found some good ricotta! The grainy supermarket stuff just doesn’t hold a candle to the freshly made kind.
    Jen, I’ve always intended to make my own ricotta, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Hopefully someday soon.
    Lauren, I bet a Granny Smith with some parmesan would be wonderful!
    Sibyll, I’ve never had the chevre from Shellbrook Hollow Farm, but it’s going on my list of things to seek out. Thanks!
    Keesha, I envy you all that local citrus!
    Kimberly, you are so fortunate to have a good local milk delivery service. I so wish something like that would come to Center City Philly! And, you’ve made homemade ricotta sound so simple that I’m going to buy some good milk tomorrow with which to make it.