What is Mozzarella Cheese?
Mozzarella Cheese is a fresh cheese that originates from Italy. Anyone can buy mozzarella cheese online. On that note, you may wonder why is it specifically called ‘fresh cheese’? Yes, not all cheeses are fresh and some of them go through the process of ageing to get the right kind of taste and texture desired. Categorically, mozzarella cheese is not aged and is also sold without any rind. As the cheese is not aged, they are very supple, soft, workable, and have a distinct mild taste. They are prepared and produced using the ‘pasta filate’ methodology.
In Italian, ‘pasta filata’ meaning – ‘spun paste’. It is called so, because of the stretching process that the cheese goes through to get the stringy and stretchy characteristics. The whole process uses a variety of steps to get fresh mozzarella texture and taste. Here are the few steps taken –
- Firstly, the milk used is curdled.
- Then, the curd is cut into pieces
- At the same time, the whey is drained away.
- Then comes the spinning step, which is also known as ‘filatura’ in Italian.
- After which, these curds are soaked in boiling water or whey.
- When the curd begins to float, then it’s the right time to drain off all the access liquid.
- Finally, the curd is mixed and kneaded till it gets a soft consistency and is still so stringy to the pull.
- The massive mass of curd is then cut and rolled into smaller cheese balls.
Most other cheeses go through further processing; however, this is where fresh mozzarella cheese is complete.
Types of Mozzarella
There are few different types of mozzarella cheese, they are:
- Buffalo Mozzarella – The original mozzarella was known as buffalo mozzarella. It is made from European water buffaloes. To be precise, these buffaloes hail from the Italian region known as Campania. It is by far the richest mozzarella among all else and has a gamey flavour to it. This type of mozzarella is considered a high-end one and is the best type of cheese used to make pizza. It also contains a high moisture level and is also best had fresh, uncooked, and accompanied by fresh juicy tomatoes, basil and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
Some Strange Facts about the Buffalo Mozzarella:
- Generally speaking, buffalo mozzarella is not made from cow’s milk. They are specially made using buffalo milk solely.
- More recently – the term ‘buffalo mazzarella’ is also applied to mozzarella cheese made using cow milk.
- Buffalo mozzarella wasn’t considered gourmet or expensive. Today, mozzarella is regarded as a delicacy worth spending a good chunk of one’s money on. It was considered a delicacy by weaker sections of society in Italy, and the rich did not care for it as much. It’s only now that it’s considered ‘gold’ standard, and more and more people are able to buy mozzarella cheese online.
- The brine in the mozzarella packaging has a relevant reason for its presence. It plays a crucial role in keeping the mozzarella moist. If you drain off the brine, then the mozzarella will easily spoil away and lose its soft spongy quality.
- Fresh Mozzarella – Fresh Mozzarella, on the other hand, is commonly found in the cheese or dairy products aisle of delis and supermarkets. It is usually shaped like a fist-sized ball and contains brine in its packaging. If you are an avid fan of the basic simple, classic margarita pizza (authentic Italian), then using this type of cheese is acceptable as well. However, if the aim is made any regular-sized American pie based meal, then fresh mozzarella cheese could prove too soggy. Ideally speaking, fresh mozzarella should be consumed right after purchase or within a couple of days of purchasing it.
- Low Moisture Mozzarella – The Low Moisture Mozzarella, as its name suggests, consists of less water content in comparison to the fresh mozzarella variety. And, it is neither packaged with brine. This type of mozzarella cheese melts away extremely beautifully while making pizzas. It also has a distinctly more robust flavour than the other two types and is also the best kind to be used in making pasta dishes.
These are the few pointers to keep in mind while going ahead with the process of buying mozzarella cheese online from authentic Italian websites sourcing their products from the heart of the motherland. Keeping these pointers in mind will certainly you pick the right mozzarella cheese for your specific needs.