Is Ricotta cheese halal? Ricotta cheese is a staple ingredient in many dishes, but for those following a halal diet, determining whether or not it is permissible can be tricky. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the ingredients of ricotta cheese to determine its halal status.
Is Ricotta Cheese Halal?
Yes, the short answer is that Ricotta cheese is halal. It’s among the soft cheeses that rarely use animal-based rennet in the cheese-making process.
Since rennet is an animal byproduct, not all cheese varieties are halal-friendly.
Rennet derived from animals is an enzyme extracted from the stomach lining of young ruminants, most commonly calves. The enzyme acts as a thickener, converting the milk into curds.
The milk is separated into curds and whey after it has been thickened. The curds are solid, and the majority of cheeses are made by pressing and forming them.
Whey is the liquid that remains after the curds are separated, and it is used to make ricotta cheese with a small number of curds.
Soft cheeses like ricotta are traditionally made from whey, so they practically never contain animal rennet, meaning they are halal-friendly.
Can Ricotta Cheese Be Made Without Rennet?
Hard cheeses such as cheddar, Emmental, and Pecorino Romano are typically made with animal-based rennet.
In contrast, soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, and gorgonzola are typically made without the use of animal rennet.
Ricotta cheese is typically made without animal-based rennet because it is considered a soft cheese.
If you want to be certain, check the product label when purchasing ricotta in a store.
You can also make your own ricotta cheese without using rennet. Most recipes are simple to make and require few ingredients.
Milk and lemon juice are commonly used as natural coagulants. Whey can also be used to make homemade ricotta cheese.
Making your own ricotta might require more effort than fetching it from the store, but the fresh flavor makes it worthwhile.
What Brands of Ricotta Cheese Are Halal?
When a cheese manufacturer uses plant-based rennet, they’re likely to state it on the label. If its label says “non-animal enzymes,” “thistle rennet,” “plant rennet,” or “vegetable rennet,” the ricotta cheese is vegetarian and halal.
Depending on the product, you can spot a few more labels or symbols that help you determine if the cheese is halal:
Look for “Cruelty-Free,” “Vegetarian,” “Vegan,” or “Animal Friendly” labels on the packaging.
Check if “Microbial Rennet” is among the ingredients. Microbial rennet is an enzyme extracted from fungi, mold, or yeast, and it’s also vegetarian-friendly. However, it isn’t widely used, as cheese made from microbial rennet can develop a bitter taste over time.
Kosher dairy products are all halal. Consuming milk and meat products together is a prohibited food practice in Judaism, so kosher cheeses are made with no animal products. They are marked with “K” or “OU” symbols on the packaging.
When in the U.K., look for the letter “V” on the packaging. This symbol signifies that the cheese in question is vegetarian, as it is required by law to label all vegetarian products.
Fortunately, finding vegetarian ricotta isn’t as challenging as finding vegetarian hard cheeses. Here are some brands to consider:
This brand sells an award-winning Ricotta Con Latte made from the best cow’s milk and whey. It has a soft and creamy texture as well as a fresh and milky flavour.
To add richness to lasagna, calzones, or cheesecake, or pair it with berries and granola for a healthy breakfast.
Dragone ricotta is available in two varieties: part-skim and whole milk.
The former is an excellent choice for ricotta stuffing recipes, while the latter is an excellent cooking cheese.
Frigo is a cheese manufacturer that offers a diverse range of cheeses. There are three types of ricotta cheese to choose from. Choose the Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese if you’re cooking with ricotta.
When making ricotta stuffing, use part-skim or light ricotta cheese, which contain 50% less fat.
Grande Cheese Company
Grande Ricotta is created using fresh whole milk and sweet whey. It comes in four different styles to meet a variety of culinary needs.
The first one, Prima Dolce, is reminiscent of the traditional hand-dipped Italian ricotta, and it features a creamy and smooth texture.
Sopraffina blends well with herbs and is ideal for cooking and baking. Tenera is best used for pies and spreads due to its smooth texture. Finally, Del Pastaio is dense and perfect for pasta dishes.
Stella Ricotta Cheese is rich in flavor and soft and creamy in texture. It’s best used for making cheesecake, stuffing cannoli, replacing mayonnaise, or thickening sauces.
With so many delicious dishes to prepare, it may be difficult to give up ricotta cheese. Even if you avoid eating meat and its byproducts, you can still enjoy cooking with ricotta.
Given its traditional production, rennet-free ricotta cheese is relatively easy to find. When in doubt, reading the label is the simplest way to determine whether ricotta cheese is vegetarian and halal.