Cheddar cheese in Hohhot (and information about buying non-UHT milk)

If you don’t know this yet, I’m American. And, generally speaking, Americans like cheese. Especially cheddar cheese, which is seemingly lacking in Hohhot. I did find some at the second store mentioned in this post if you are willing to pay for it and buy in large quantities.

If not, here’s an article NPR posted today about how to make a “cheater” cheddar in an hour! I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m ready for it to rock our cheese-consuming world.

I’m not sure which of the spices needed are available locally because we generally bring those with us. You’ll also need rennet. I have no idea if that’s available locally either, but here’s a link for how to make it yourself.  (the home made version also requires stinging nettles. I don’t even know what that is!)

The recipe calls for non-UHT milk.

Here is what I know about buying milk that is not UHT:

It is available at most of the small milk bars/shops throughout the city. One brand/chain is called niu ma ma and has a green and white sign with a cow. (There name is on the bag in the picture below). It is boiled briefly to pasteurize and is sold in bottles by the jin or kg. A bottle is about 6-8 RMB, depending on if you already have a bottle you’ve paid a deposit for, how much you’re buying, etc. We’ve taken our own containers and they seemed happy to put the milk in our containers.


Another option is to make friends with someone who is a herdsman or who has family who is. They can help you acquire farm fresh milk.

The next option is to learn when the milk guy sells in your neighborhood. It’s normally a set day (or days) early in the morning at a certain location. You’ll need to have your own container. They generally have a van, or a cart with a big stainless steel tank. I know it may seem crazy to buy milk from the back of a van or a cart. But here’s our theory: If it was “bad” or contaminated, there is a much shorter chain from cow to your consumption. In this scenario, it’s generally cow to family member who sells the milk to you. If there’s a problem you can confront the seller directly and there’s not really anyone else he/she can blame. There may be less government oversight, but realistically, does that seem to help any situation? In the grocery store scenario there are many other vendors, suppliers, etc that they can shift blame to.

However you decide to get your non-UHT milk, you’ll need a gallon for this recipe.

And apple cider vinegar is readily available at larger supermarkets.

If you try this, leave a comment and let us know how it turned out! Happy cheese eating!

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