Ricotta is a creamy, white cheese originating from Italy. Ricotta is a whey cheese, meaning it is made from whey, and not from milk. It is usually made from whey that comes from cow milk, but there are varieties of ricotta that are made from sheep, goat, and water buffalo milk.
Ricotta is a fresh cheese. This means that it isn't aged or ripened like most cheeses. It also means that it is highly perishable.
Ricotta is used in many Italian desserts and in pasta dishes such as lasagna.
American and Italian versions of ricotta are slightly different. The American version is sweeter, blander, and is more moist.
Ricotta Salata is an aged version of Ricotta cheese. Ricotta Salata is white, semi-hard, and can be used for grating. The cheese is pressed, salted and dried. It is usually aged a minimum of 3 months.
Where to buy
In the United States the American version of Ricotta is pretty easy to find in grocery stores. If you want to try an Italian version of the cheese and you don't live in Italy, you may want to check out online suppliers of Ricotta.
You can find several versions of Ricotta at amazon.com including sheep and buffalo milk versions.