Italian Cheeses: Mozzarella
Okay. We’re calling mozzarella an “Italian” cheese but let’s be honest – mozzarella is an Italian cheese like feta is a Greek cheese: it may originate there, but we use it too often to think of it as a foreign object. We use mozzarella for EVERYTHING! Pizza. Pasta. Heck, we even have a salad that’s just wheels of mozzarella with some tomatoes mixed in there (so we’re not as guilty). The world can’t get enough of mozzarella cheese. So let’s talk about it!
Mozzarella comes from southern Italy. While it’s traditionally made with buffalo milk, most varieties we encounter in the US are made from cow’s milk. The buffalo milk mozzarella is one of those protected recipes (like champagne) which need to be made in specific regions from specific ingredients. The cheese’s color is almost always white, but can vary depending on the diet of the animal. Fresh mozzarella is usually consumed right after it’s made. The high moisture content means it can go bad very quickly. That’s why the cheese is often preserved in brine or a vacuum-pack for up to a month in the fridge.