This is a generic recipe for making Queso de Mano. Queso de Mano is a very popular Venezuelan cheese who’s translation from Spanish to English means “Handmade Cheese”. As per it’s name, this cheese is generally produced on a small scale.
Queso De Mano cheese is a soft, elastic and creamy unripened cheese of the “pasta filata” type and is historically made from raw whole cow’s milk.
- 3.8 liters/1 US gallon whole Cow’s Milk.
- Optional: Calcium Chloride if using store bought pasterurized milk, amount as per manufacturers directions or your experience.
- Rennet, amount as per package directions or your experience, use little extra if using pasteurized milk and no Calcium Chloride.
- Salt for brine.
- Place milk in stockpot or double boiler on stove and gently warm to 39°C/102°F then turn heat off.
- Note, if using store bought pasteurized homogenized milk then dissolve the calcium chloride in ~50 ml/1/4 cup, trickle into milk while whisking for 1 minute to fully dilute.
- Dissolve or dilute the rennet in ~50 ml/1/4 cup water, trickle into milk while whisking for 1 minute to fully dilute.
- Cover and set aside at room temperature for ~15 hours.
- Cut curd as normal into 1 cm/3/8″ diamonds, set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
- Ladle curds out of stockpot and into new stockpot with light brine, discard whey.
- Heat curds in salted water and worked by stretching and kneading.
- When the elasticity of the curd is adequate, form by hand into small flat disks.
- Use immediately or store in container in fridge, or if available, wrap in banana leaves, the old way.
- Start this cheese making early in morning or night before so that you don’t have to form the cheese in the middle of the night.