Turn Milk into Cheese

You may remember hearing about curds and whey from the old nursery rhyme about Little Miss Muffet. Well, this kitchen science experiment will teach you what curds and whey are, and you’ll even make some yourself! Curds and whey are a product of cheesemaking! Milk is made up of proteins, sugars, fat, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. When you add an acid like lemon juice to warm milk, it causes molecules of one of the proteins in milk to bond to one another. That forms a solid lump of protein which is also known as a cheese curd (the leftover liquid is called whey.) You can eat cheese curds on their own (they taste like ricotta cheese) or top with honey or fruit for an awesome treat.

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    Assemble the ingredients.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    Put the milk in the saucepan and cook over medium heat until it’s steamy and foamy, stirring all the time. Don’t let the milk boil.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Remove the milk from the heat and stir in the ⅛ cup lemon juice.The milk should curdle, separating into little lumps (curds) and a thin liquid (whey).

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    Set the strainer over a bowl or measuring cup. Spoon the curds into the strainer, letting the liquid (whey) collect in the container.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Done!

    Pour the strained cheese into the other small bowl. Serve with honey or fruit and enjoy!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

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