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Parenica pasta filata cheese recipe

Making parenica cheese at home in just a few hours

With Yobiotik pasta filata cheese culture, the curd quickly sours, and within a few hours the curd sours to stretchability. The souring of cheese dough for several days is shortened to several hours. The powerful ability of bacteria to break down proteins is a source of wonderful flavors, soft and juicy texture that can be broken into fibers. Its preparation is simple, fast, does not require expensive tools and equipment. The perfect choice for beginner cheesemakers. :) It provides a special experience when eaten fresh, without smoking, or used for salads. When smoked, you can enjoy the flavours of the "original" parenica.  Before rolling it up, you can season it with spices, even ham.

Recipe for making parenica:


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For stretching the curd you will need:

  • water
  • iodine-free salt

For smoking:


I pour the fresh milk into a large pot, stirring it up sometimes and heating it up to 38 °C. Meanwhile, I take the culture out of the fridge, pull the capsule apart and pour it into a small glass. I dissolve it with a little lukewarm milk or water, mixing thoroughly.


When the temperature of the milk reaches 38 °C, I turn off the stove, add the dissolved culture and mix it thoroughly. I ripen the cultured milk for 1 hour and let the bacteria multiply abundantly, preparing for the acidification of the curd. It is important that the milk does not cool down during this time, because bacteria will only start well in the heat. For this purpose, I use a thermobox, which protects it very well from cooling. It can also be suitable for keeping the temperature electric oven, or if you heat water in a larger pot and put the smaller pot in this water bath. Or simply wrap it around with a blanket, pillow or polyfoam.

Inoculation of milk

For 10 litres of milk, I measure out 3-3.1 ml of rennet. I pour it into the milk and mix it thoroughly.
I cover the pot to protect the milk from cooling back. It is important that the temperature can remain between 36-38 °C throughout the processing! The milk clots in this pleasant heat in 20-25 minutes.

Cutting the curd

When I'm sure my curd is firm enough, I start cutting the curd. This can also be done with a cheese harp, cheese knife or a knife with a long blade. I cut the curd into 1-2 cm, hazelnut-sized clot size in 8-10 minutes. I put the lid back on to keep the heat as much as possible. Then I rest it for 10 minutes and then mix the curd to better release the whey.

Sedimentation, whey draining

10 minutes of sedimentation follow. The curd settles on the bottom of the pot and the whey collects above it. I put a filter in it and remove as much whey as I can. Only a little whey should remain on the curd collected at the bottom of the dish. For smaller quantities I use a ladle and for larger quantities I use silicone tubes.

Acidification ripening

I still keep the curd at 36-37 °C. the curd sours and ripen for 2-2,5 hours
The curd does not need to be shaped or pressed! In a warm pot, it will come together neatly on its own. If the curd cools more, it will take more time to acidify! Pinch in it and taste it! If you can definitely feel the sour taste and smell, then cheese dough can be stretched. You can also do a stretching test with a small piece. If the dough is not yet sour enough, it will not stretch nicely. It becomes not homogeneous, but gnarled, difficult to stretch. In this case, it should be allowed to sour even longer.

Stretching Parenica

In a smaller pot I heat about 1.5 litres of water to 80-85 °C. I mix 3 tablespoons of salt in it. I put the soured cheese in a larger drainer or cheese mould and drip for 5-10 minutes. Then I cut it into cubes of 1×1 cm. 
I put a loose handful of the cutted cheese into the drainer and then gently dip it into the hot water. When the cheese starts to melt visibly (this takes about 1-2 minutes), I knead and fold it with a spatula until I get a homogeneous, lump-free cheese dough. If it doesn't want to come together, I dip it in the hot water again so that it can melt. I lay out the stretchable dough on a clean stretching board and pull out a strip about 50 cm long by 3-4 cm wide. After cooling for a couple of minutes, I lightly salt it, and then roll it into a pretty little snail.


Before smoking, it is worth mature the cheese for a day. I put the parenica on a dense grill and smoke them with hardwood chips in cold smoke until they turn a nice golden yellow. Depending on the intensity of the smoke and the desired intensity, it can last from 2 to 8 hours.
Dymbox smoke generator

Liquid smoke instead of smoking

If you don't have the opportunity to smoke, you can make your cheese smoked with a smoky marinade.I mix 4 ml of liquid smoke into 2 dl of water, with this the marinade is ready. I smear the stretched cheese strip with the diluted liquid smoke, then salt it thinly and roll it up tightly. Then I soak our rolled parenica in the same smoky marinade for 3-4 hours.After 1-2 hours I turn it over. When I see that it already has an appealing color, I take it out and let it dry.


It keeps for a long time in the refrigerator, it doesn't really goes wrong, rather it dries out just because of its tiny size.


There are two problems.

1. It is not possible to stretch the cheese dough, it is torn, has a curd consistency.

At this time, the cheese is not sour enough. Let it sour longer! It's okay if you've already cut it! Put it in a warm place and wait with it for another 1/4 hour, half or even a whole hour. 
Meanwhile, try when it will be sufficiently sour, it can stretch well.

2. Overacidified, cheese flows through the filter when heated.

The acidification time was too long! We learn from this so that next time we pay more attention. But don't despair, because cheese doesn't have to be thrown away! Grind it, salt it and stuff it into jars.  It turns into a very tasty curd, which is a very tasty type of cottage cheese both fresh and matured.