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Rennet

 
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district2k5



Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:57 pm    Post subject: Rennet Reply with quote

I only recently discovered what rennet is, and now I'm grossed out by my once-favorite cheese: Parmesan. I feel like I'm eating sour death. Is there such a thing as a good-tasting, rennet-free parmesan (or parmesan-style cheese)?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1619
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Specifically, why are you grossed out by rennet? If it wasn't gross when you didn't know what it was, why is it gross now? Do you feel like the grossness is something you can overcome?

I ask because there are a lot of tasty foods that are "gross" because they are outside of what we're used to but there's really no reason to be grossed out by it. Many people season foods with the sexual organs of flowering plants and routinely eat the muscles of animals but won't come close to sweetbreads, offal, or insects many of which (when properly prepared) are quite delicious.

Unfortunately, I never looked into finding a good Parmesan style rennet-free cheese.
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district2k5



Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My grossed out-ness is illogical, especially given that I eat meat. Well, certain cuts of pork, beef, and chicken, that is.

Something about a ground-up calf stomach/lining is very unappetizing to me-- just a personal idiosyncrasy, I suppose. And no, the taste of the parmesan itself has not changed since last week, when I was happily grating it over pasta.

OK, how about this-- what about cooking for vegetarian friends? I used to toss a parmesan rind into a pot of soup or sauce for flavor. Oops.
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district2k5



Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for me overcoming a particular food's grossness, I think I'm sunk. I have an overactive imagination that really just wrecks a lot of stuff for me. I had boudin noir once and felt like I had scabs stuck in between my teeth all night.

Other Things I've Tasted That Temporarily Ruined My Life:

-Calf heart glands
-Sheep's head
-Organ meats outside of the safe, non-identifiable sausage format
-Some form of kosher horse(?) sausage

Thank you for at least humoring me with a reply.

Smile
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1000
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you read the labels on most any processed food product on the shelf, you're like to not want to eat most of the ingredients.

rennet occurs naturally in mammal tummies, also in plants, and in today's better living through chemistry - artificial form.

almost all cheeses are "made" using the rennet enzyme - it's what curdles the milk.
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district2k5



Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right, but there are vegetable enzymes that can be used as curdling agents, too. I know, I know, it's not the same thing, why tamper with tradition, if it ain't broke..., etc.

Jeez, can't I just find ground-up calf stomach kinda unappealing?
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1000
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>Jeez, can't I just find ground-up calf stomach kinda unappealing?

be my guest!

in today's parlance, it's a "Don't Ask, Don Tell" thing.

should you have/have had the opportunity to view the industrially scaled up slaughter / processing of (anything non-vegetable) you'll likely be off your feed for a couple days.

it's not pretty, but it tastes just like chicken.
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IndyRob



Joined: 17 Dec 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rennet is not ground-up stomachs or intestines. It is an enzyme found therein. We usually find it as a tablet quite free form any accompanying offal meats. It can be found in liquid form as well.

Economy has a way of separating the useful from the undesireable or dangerous and gross. When you buy a rennet tablet you are not buying an intestine or any of its former contents. You're buying the enzyme.
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

district2k5 wrote:
As for me overcoming a particular food's grossness, I think I'm sunk. I have an overactive imagination that really just wrecks a lot of stuff for me. I had boudin noir once and felt like I had scabs stuck in between my teeth all night.

Other Things I've Tasted That Temporarily Ruined My Life:

-Calf heart glands
-Sheep's head
-Organ meats outside of the safe, non-identifiable sausage format
-Some form of kosher horse(?) sausage

Thank you for at least humoring me with a reply.

Smile


Two things. First, horse is NOT kosher. The second is, I guess you won't be having any more Junket rennet custard, which is too bad because it is yummy!!!

I guess Rocky Mountain Oysters are out of the question. Shock Shock
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1619
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is non sequitur but this thread reminded me that I'll be having the Iron Chef Battle: Offal dinner this Saturday at Incanto.

http://www.incanto.biz/ica_menu.html

In case the page goes down after they conclude the serving of the special menu:
Lamb heart tartare
Finanziera Piedmontese, cockscombs, duck bits & riso
"Turf & surf": tripe & clam
County fair gut fry
Pig's trotter with bacon & tarragon
Calves' liver & kidneys

Please note:

1) Iron Chef Menu will be available from November 13 to December 20, offered on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings only. Please be advised that Incanto will be closed on Thursday, November 27, 2008 in observance of Thanksgiving.

2) Cost of menu is $95 per person for each person at the table. Price includes all food (including the dessert of your choice off of that evening's dessert menu) but excludes beverages, service, and tax.

3) Due to the specialized nature of the menu we can only offer it to parties of four or less.

3) A minimum of one week's advance reservation is required. A valid credit card will be required to secure the reservation, subject to $25 per-person charge for cancellations less than 72 hours prior to reservation time.

4) Items on menu may be subject to modification depending on ingredient availability. Please be advised that this is a specialty menu served as-is; we are unable to accommodate requests to modify the menu.

5) Optional wine pairings will be available by the glass or flight for an additional cost.

I'm really excited about this dinner.
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