Ricotta salata, is the more mature and flavorful older sister of fresh ricotta. Ricotta salata on its own has a mild and nutty taste, saltier than its younger sibling. But slice it, grate it, or crumble it over any dish and BOOM! You've got more flavor.
Ricotta salata is a Sicilian-born version of ricotta that's pressed, salted, and aged several months. The result is a bright and fresh flavor, slightly briny, with a texture that's firmer than ricotta. In Wisconsin, we use this snow-white beauty anytime we need a flavor boost. It never steals the show, but it brightens everything around it. So, you go, ricotta salata.
Ricotta salata is a friend to everyone. Meaty ragus, grilled fruits, peppery salads, cured sausages, roasted veggies, or as a sidekick on a cheese charcuterie spread – there's nothing ricotta salata can't improve. We like to toss it with kale, pine nuts, and currants for a fresh summer salad, or dollop it on pizza with fontina and roasted eggplant.
If you're buying a round of drinks for ricotta salata, start with tart whites and bright rosés for your wine pairing. If beer is your pleasure, just order it a pint of pilsner.
Ricotta salata is made from fresh ricotta cheese that is pressed, salted, dried, and aged for 30 days or more. With a milky white color, a firm texture and a salty taste, ricotta salata can be sliced, crumbled, or grated for use in a wide variety of dishes. When compared to different types of cheese, ricotta salata is perhaps most like feta or queso fresco.
Ricotta salata starts as fresh ricotta which is made from the whey that's left over at the end of the cheesemaking process. The milk liquid is left to ferment for a few days before it's heated almost to boiling, helping any remaining milk proteins in the whey to solidify into curd. The curd is strained with a cheesecloth, then salted and pressed into a basket and aged for a month or more.
Ricotta salata is simply fresh ricotta that has been salted, pressed, and aged. It has a harder, less creamy texture and a saltier flavor than fresh ricotta.
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Our very own Wisconsin cheesemakers make a beautiful ricotta salata that's always turning heads. While this Midwestern Dairyland might seem like an unexpected place to get a world-class, Sicilian-born cheese, well, you might want to start expecting the unexpected.
That's because Wisconsin truly is – drumroll – the State of Cheese. We make more of varieties, styles, and flavors than any other place on earth. And we've won more awards for it than any other state or country. (Insert mic drop here.) (Okay, picking up the mic again.)
It's all part of our great cheese plan – to make the tastiest, most award-winning, highest-quality cheese in the universe. And so far, judging by the 5,552 award ribbons on our lapel, our plan is working just fine.
So, when you want some ricotta salata, you really want to look for the Proudly Wisconsin Cheese™ badge on the label. That's how you know your ricotta salata will exceed your flavor expectations.
Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?
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In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.