Molly's post yesterday about the Steve Jobs head of cheese reminded me of the best cheese news story of 2010 thus far (although I doubt anyone will top this over the next nine months). Daniel Angere, head chef at the Manhattan's Klee Brasserie, whipped up a cheese made out of his wife's breast milk, encrusted it with maple caramelized pumpkin and served it to a group of friends. Daily Beast food writer Gael Greene was able to track him down for a sample, which she described as “strangely soft, bouncy, like panna cotta.”
Although it never made it onto plates at Klee Brasserie as widely reported, the New York Health Department nevertheless stepped in, forbidding Angere from ever doing so. Breastfeeding advocacy group La Leche League wasn't a fan of the cheese either. According to Strollerderby blog, the organization opposed the chef's use of breast milk since its naturally intended to feed baby and only baby. But here's the thing, If Angere hadn't converted mother's milk into cheese, it probably would've gone to waste, as he explains on his blog. To do so, he says, “would be like wasting gold.”
The Australian-born chef also isn't the first person to try this. A French company, Petit Singly, claims to have sold mother's milk cheese since 1947. Unfortunately, I don't read French so I can't share more of its histoire, but you can order some of this special formagerie for your next wine and cheese get together.
Or better yet, if you or someone you know is lactating, save yourself the international shipping and handling costs and make your own breast milk cheese, courtesy of that zany New York chef. Angere posted his breast milk recipe on his blog post “Mothers Milk.” Essentially, you combine and heat breast milk and regular milk then add in yogurt for bacteria, which kick starts the curdling process.
Angere's recipe is far more tedious than the one attempted by a mother a few years ago. She tried – and failed -- to make it the same way as paneer, the tofu-like cheese featured in many Indian dishes. For that, all you have to do it is heat the milk and add lemon juice until the mixture curdles. But breast milk requires more coaxing to curdle, so the short-cut process didn't take.
If your breast milk cheese making goes off without a hitch, do beware eating a lot at a time. That “liquid gold” is naturally formulated for baby's stomachs' but can have a diarrheic effect in adults.
To learn more about breastfeeding and the brouhahas surrounding it, check out the Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast episode "Does breast-feeding make better babies?" from Molly Edmonds and yours truly.