Recipes and Ramblings in Italy

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Cooking Tip of the Week (1/10/2011)

Posted by Bill Abruzzo on January 11, 2011 at 11:15 PM

Know your Mozzarella!

Mozzarella is a traditional cheese from Campania. There are several different varieties.  In the Salerno province south of Naples, the highly prized “Mozzarella Buffala” is made with milk from domesticated water buffalo that graze on the coastal plain of Sele. It is considered to have the best taste and creamiest texture. It is expensive and difficult to find in the United States.  It is best eaten with a slice of fresh tomato and a drizzle of fine extra virgin olive oil.

Elsewhere in Italy and in the US, mozzarella is made with cow’s milk. In Italy, it is called “Fior di Latte.” This is the mozzarella one typically finds on pizza.  When fresh, cow's milk mozzarella or “Fior di Latte” has a high moisture content and is creamy.  It is typically stored in water. Freshly made "Fior di Latte" can be shaped into large balls, twisted into braids or cut into bite-sized nuggets called bocconcini. When commercially produced "Fior di Latte" has a low moisture content and is quite firm, making it the best mozzarella for melting on pizza and baking in casseroles. This is the mozzarella I like to use when making Mozzarella in Carozza. Commercially processed mozzarella is what one typically finds in supermarkets in the US.  Some better known brands are Polly-O, Sargento and Sorrento.  

Categories: Cooking Tips

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Reply Sandro
12:12 AM on January 31, 2011 
Try the smoked Mozzarella too. It has a light brown colored skin and is always salted. Very deliciouso! You can find it at any Italian deli and some supermarkets in NY.
Reply mariabella
7:03 PM on January 18, 2011 
There is no comparison between the "fresh" mozzarella you buy in an Italian grocery store and the commercial ones. You can purchase the fresh mozzarella either in salted water or unsalted water, whichever you prefer. I personally prefer the unsalted.