Mild, refreshing and supple, this Mozzarella gets its flavours from either cow or buffalo milk. It has a springy and dense consistency with a light and barely discernible aroma of wholesome cream, making it a favourite among audiences with delicate palates. Softly spoken when fresh, the profile changes once melted, becoming stringy and mellow in flavour.
The white gold of Italy, Mozzarella hails from Campania near the Gulf of Naples. Beneath hillsides and the resting Mount Vesuvius, milk from the Mediterranean buffalo produced a rich cheese that soon became a favourite among those who tried it. Enjoyed in a wide range of uses since then, it pairs beautifully with freshly picked basil and tomatoes. For warm dishes, torn Mozzarella spreads evenly and melts the best.
Modern techniques can only get you so far. Thoroughly measuring the consistency by feel and experience, artisans still rely purely on intuition and knowledge when deciding if the Mozzarella is at the right stage of development.
As per tradition, production of Buffalo Mozzarella begins with either pasteurised or raw milk with nothing but rennet added. This coagulates the milk and produces a firm paste. Once the milk has curdled, it is cut and the remaining whey is left to strain off. Resting the curds also promotes a rich flavour and texture. After final separation and grating, the broken curd is dropped in hot water and heated to form a stringy paste. Workers carefully stretch and knead the cheese to prevent holes and irregularities in the body. As the consistency gradually strengthens, the surface of the cheese smooths until it reaches a shiny gloss, at which point the artisan forms the Mozzarella much like a baker would a bun.
Traditional Mozzarella contains no preservatives that could dilute the taste in favour of a longer shelf life. Most versions are gluten free, some are vegetarian, while others are not. Be sure to check the label in any case.
When replacing Mozzarella, looking to other fresh cheeses gives the best results.
Softer than its counterpart, Burrata has a striking resemblance to Mozzarella in appearance. Wrapped in a soft shell, its centre is creamy and decadent, slowly seeping through its exterior as it is cut. Revealing mild flavours of cream, the taste is salty with a slight tang.
For dishes demanding smaller quantities, Bocconcini is Mozzarella on a smaller scale. Similar in taste and consistency, this fresh cheese is made using the same ingredients as its larger alternative. Bocconcini is best enjoyed fresh or on pizzas.
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