Mozzarella is a fresh cheese originally from southern Italy. Traditionally it is made from the milk of water buffalo, but most Mozzarella made outside of Italy (and a large percentage made inside Italy) comes from cow's milk. Mozzarella is a stretched curd cheese. (See video below of stretching Mozzarella curd.)
The name Mozzarella may be derived from the Italian verb mozzare, which means to cut.
Mozzarella is a fresh cheese, best eaten the day it is made. It can be stored for a week in brine, longer if stored in vacuum sealed packages.
There are four main types of Mozzarella:
- Mozzarella di Bufala (buffalo mozzarella), made from domesticated water buffalo milk
- Mozzarella Fior di Latte, made from fresh pasteurized or unpasteurized cow's milk
- Low-moisture Mozzarella, which is made from whole or part skim milk, and widely used in the foodservice industry
- Smoked Mozzarella
Low-moisture Mozzarella is the type we are most familiar with in the United States (and much of the rest of the world). It is the type grated and used on pizza. Most high quality grocery stores sell the higher moisture content variety Mozzarella stored in brine.
The name Mozzarella is not protected, and Mozzarella cheese is made in many places throughout the world. However, the name Mozzarella di Bufala Campana is protected in Europe, and can only be made from water buffalo milk in certain areas in Italy. There are about 200 producers of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana.
Mozzerella is used in many dishes, including pasta, pizza, and caprese salad. We even found a a Mozzarella cookbook, full of Mozzarella recipes.
Because Mozzarella can be made in small batches without too much specialty equipment, there are many websites describing how to make homemade Mozzarella. A video of Mozzarella being made is shown below:
Where to Buy
Mozzarella is fairly common, and you can probably find various types at your local grocery store or online.