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Mozzarella: Soft cheese with a unique flavor

The task of cooking can be very boring if we always use the same ingredients. Therefore, each time increasingly fashionable food trends become the next big thing of cuisine. In modern cuisine, one of the latest ingredients with an original taste is mozzarella. Originally it was used to make pizzas or salads, nowadays more and more people join for traditional recipes and enjoy a new flavor.

This cheese, made from whole buffalo milk, has a white and a soft-touch texture and taste which makes it suitable to combine with any other flavor. Furthermore, it has no crust and its tender consistency allows a smooth cut. It is, therefore, a simple ingredient to cook with in your kitchen, which facilitates the task of surprising your loved ones.

Mozzarella

Mozzarella

The term Mozzare comes from the same Latin verb meaning “to cut off”. Restorers and historians agree that this food source is in the formula created in 1570 by Scappi, a Vatican cook. And this was its birth, in the words of the great popes of history, later to become one of the main ingredients in the Italian cuisine.

In Italy there are seven regions specializing in the development of this product: Caserta, Salerno, Naples, Frosione, Benevento, Lazio and Rome. In addition, since 1981 in this country there exists the Regulatory Consortium of Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese, made by 95 manufacturers, which ensures the correct traditional processing and marketing of the product. All this work paid off on June 1, 1996 when the buffalo mozzarella became а DOP cheese (PDO).

Traditional production

Traditional mozzarella

Traditional mozzarella

Before mozzarella comes into our hands a thorough job needs to be done, that’s why craftsmen consider the process of making the curd as an art. First, we must know that buffalo milk is scarce compared to cow’s, while the latter can provide up to 30 liters a day, a buffalo can give only 9.

Once the animals are milked, the product is filtered to remove any impurities it may contain. Then it’s allowed to clot, or naturally acidified at room temperature, then a small amount of cream veal rennet is added. This mixture is heated for half an hour to about 40°C.

With a wooden paddle it is stirred to acquire a soft and ductile look. In addition to the mozzarella, other cheeses produced by the technique of “pasta filata” are Cacciocavallo and Provolone. Once ready, the most traditional of the processes starts as the product obtained is cut without using industrial machinery. It is done by hand, usually without gloves, with a wise hand and thumb movements. Now it is also time to add salt, a task that must be just right as only the great masters of mozzarella can do it.

Ready to cook

Delicious mozzarella

Delicious mozzarella

The more traditional and pure mozzarella required to be preserved in a cool place, preferably out of a refrigerator, between 15 and 20°C. It does not contain preservatives or other additives; we must remember that their consumption must be made within a maximum of four days. Nevertheless, the cheese that comes into our hands is more durable because it is not of the Italian original, and is not made using traditional methods.

Italian cuisine uses mozzarella in the production of pizza and caprese salad. It is consumed even alone, without other ingredients. The great value of buffalo milk has been caused to emerge imitations made from cow’s milk, which are primarily intended for the production of local pizza in average price, leaving the traditional reserved for the most exclusive.

In our markets we can find different packages of mozzarella. The traditional way is the rounded ones, about 100 or 150 g. It is used in the preparation of a variety of dishes. Other typical forms are the braid and the balls of small size, also known as bocconcini. Increased use of this ingredient has caused the birth of new varieties and now it may be grated or cream.

When you decide to cook with mozzarella do not have to look for in your recipe book. Just remember any of dishes you cook daily and add a touch of this ingredient. It combines well with vegetables, meats, fish and pasta. Also, you can present it as an accompaniment to a main course, seasoned with olive oil and oregano.

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