Tvorog: Farmer Cheese
Historically the evidence shows that tvorog has been around for approximately 500-650 years.
Tvorog is an all natural, soft, tasty cheese that Russian’s farmers have made for centuries. People of the Rus mixing sour cream with the tvorog spreading it on their black bread & sprinkling it with sugar or jam & eating it with the relishÂ that only a hungry person can give to eating. Tvorog is produced commercially also but in pre-packaged units of varying sizes. In the US, the EU & Canada tvorog is made from pasturized milk. It is sold in sealed containers with dating informarion plainly labeled. All Slavic, Ukrainian & Russian markets, delis & groceries in the US, the EU & in Canada sell tvorog in the comemrcially prepackaged sizes.
Tvorog is made from cow milk, usually but it can be made from sheep’s milk, goat’s milk or even reindeer milk. You can make this at home by taking large curd cottage cheese, placing it in a cheese cloth bag & gently but firmly squeezing the whey from the cottage cheese. Once you have the whey removed you can add a small amount of cream or Half-&-Half to the cheese, stir it in good and now you have tvorog.
In the Rus you go to local Molokom (dairy stores) or to the local renok (bazaar) where you will be shown a seelction of tvorogs. You hold out your hand palm down & they will place a small amount on the back of your hand for you to taste. Once you have made decision which tvorog is the best for your needs then you will buy the amount that need, take it home for use & make delicious thinsg for you & your family to enjoy.
Tvorog is a the basis for tvorog-cheese products that contain fruits, nuts or even other cheeses. One version contians raisins and is very popular both in the Rus as well as abroad.
Traditionally, tvorog is made with raw milk which has been allowed to sour naturally. Usually, the right bacteria take over, but by not always. You can speed things up by adding traditionally made sour cream. This is also is also made with raw milk. Sour cream in the US, the EU & Canada is made by inoculating pasteurised milk with the right bacterial mix then the resultant product is pasteurised once more thus making it quite dead. Using the above ingredients & nothing else will not result in a good sour cream or tvorog. Whatever bacteria take over will be certainly not be the correct & necessary type. If you cannot locate raw milk products then you must obtain some active bacterial culture. It does not matter whether it is of the sour cream or the kefir kind. You will use this as your starter.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â TVOROG RECIPES
Bulbianka w/ Tvorog
Categories: Russian, Ethnic, Cheese, Sidedish
Yield: 4 servings
4 ea Potatoes
2 cÂ Tvorog
3 tb butter
1/2 cÂ Sour cream
Salt to taste
Grate potatoes, pour off liquid, add tvorog, salt then mix.
Pre-heat oven to 350 deg-F.
Put mixture in a buttered skillet then transfer it to oven for baking.
Bake for 25-30 mins.
Cut bulbianka into pieces & drizzle heavily melted butter mixed with sour cream.
Dr. Raisa D. Balinova, Kherson-Ukraine, circa 1999
Categories: Cheese, Russian, Ukrainian, Ethnic, Sidedish, Appetizer
Yield: 1 batch
2 cÂ Flour
1 ea Egg
1 cÂ Tvorog
Mix tvorog with flour & egg.
Roll out into a long roll.
Divide into small balls.
Sink into boiling water then add salt.
Take out when they come to the surface.
Dr. Galina Larenkova, Moscow-Russia, circa 1999
Categories: Russian, Ukrainian, Ethnic, Dessert, Sidedish
Yield: 1 batch
2 1/2 cÂ Tvorog
1 c Flour
2 ea Eggs
2 tb Sugar
2 tb Breadcrumbs
3 tb Butter
1/2 c Sour cream as garnish
Grind tvorog in a mincer.
Add all ingredients then knead carefully.
Divide into several equal parts.
Shape each portion into a ball.
Roll out each roll into a fine sausage shape 1/2″ diameter.
Slice into small rhombuses.
Drop a few at a time into lightly salted boiling water.
Cook until they float to surface.
Remove galushki from pot.
Place into a large bowl & pour melted butter over them.
Serve sprinkled with fried breadcrumbs & dollops of sour cream.
Dr. Larisa V. Tschern, Minsk-Belorus, circa 1999
Cirnya Paska – Easter Cheese
Categories: Cheese, Russian, Ukrainian, Dessert, Holiday
Yield: 12 Servings
3 lb Tvorog
1 c Butter softened
1 c Sugar
4 Egg yolks
1 ts Vanilla
1/2 c Dried apricots, raisins nuts,candied & dried fruits
1 10″unfired clay flower pot
Cream butter into sugar & egg yolks.
Stir in vanilla, cheese & fruits.
Dampen 2 thicknesses of cheesecloth.
Line flowerpot with the damp cloth.
Add cheese mixture & fold edges of cheesecloth over top.
Cover with foil.
Weight the cloth down with a heavy can of food placed on a saucer.
Set flowerpot on a rack over a shallow pan & place into refrigerator for 24 hrs.
Remove after 24 hrs. & slice to serve.
Marina Bulikova, Kyiv-Ukraine, circa 1996
Tvorog Salad w/ Walnuts
Categories: Russian, Ethnic, Salad, Cheese, Nut
Yield: 4 servings
3 cÂ Tvorog
1 1/2 cÂ Walnuts broken
1/2 cÂ Sugar
2 ea Apples peeld cored diced 1/2″
Mix tvorog with walnuts in a blender.
Add sugar & stir thoroughly.
Remove from blender to a bowl.
Sprinkle apple pieces with lemon juice to pervent browning.
Add apple pieces & mix well.
Chill if necessary.
Olga Y. Sakunin, Rostov-Russia, circa 1997
Milk & Dairy Products of Russia
Grigory T. Mulin, Moscow 1986 (Russian)
Slavic Cheeses (pamphlet)
Elena L. Sanczuk, L’viv, Ukraine 1998
Â© Donald R. Houston, PhD, 2006Â – 2008 All rights reserved.