Mozzarella as a term is generally used to refer to different kinds of cheeses from Italy. These cheeses can encompass anything from buffalo milk mozzarella to that made from cow’s milk which is unpasteurized. Mozzarella chesses of many types are common in the marketplace and are currently available in almost any grocery shop in the world. What keeps mozzarella cheese in high demand is its emergence as an integral part of pizzas. In addition, mozzarella cheese is also in demand because it can be used as a substitute for various other cheeses. Buffalo mozzarella is especially indispensible when it comes to making Neapolitan pizza and has been become a popular feature in many a mozzarella recipe. A testament to this increasingly popularity of mozzarella cheese is the fact that various countries such as India have started producing this cheese.
Origin of Mozzarella
Mozzarella traces its origins to Italy and the first mention of a mozzarella recipe can be found in a cookbook written by Bartolomeo Scappi in the year 1570. This cheese came into existence sometime during the twelfth century and by the eighteenth century was used widely, especially in the southern regions of Italy.
Among the many mozzarella cheese varieties available, one that finds pride of place in many a mozzarella recipe and is frequently mentioned is the buffalo variety. Considered to the best among the various mozzarella cheese; this variety is made from water buffalo milk that have been domestically raised in Italy’s Lazio and Campania regions. What makes it famous is its irreplaceable flavor and high quality which is partly due to the fact that it is made from fresh buffalo milk and not semi-coagulated milk. This high quality mozzarella holds protected status in the European Union, and as per the EU’s laws it is stamped so that its origin can be verified. This tradition of making the best buffalo mozzarella cheese is carried on by families in Italy, and companies run by a couple of Italian families dominate production.
Culinary Uses of Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella provides the best results when it comes to making pizzas. Even though this cheese is often substituted with other cheese when making pizza, nothing can make a pizza look, feel and taste like a pizza like mozzarella can. Best when it is fresh, it is this cheese that creates that stringy look when a hot pizza is pulled apart or cut.
Needless to say, the use for this cheese does not stop here, as there is many a mozzarella recipe, in which this versatile cheese can be used. One such recipe is a stuffed chicken breast with mozzarella and basil. Mozzarella can also be eaten raw along with tomatoes as part of a Caprese Salad.
Cuisines that Feature a Mozzarella Recipe
Mozzarella when it is cooked or eaten raw has the best taste when it is fresh. A popular mozzarella recipe that uses lots of cheese is Lasagna. Used when assembling the Lasagna the cheese is thinly sliced and placed between the layers as it is arranged, and can even be placed on top.
Mozzarella since it originates from Italy has pride of place in Italian cooking, and often the freshest and softest batch of Mozzarella is sought out to add the best flavor to a dish or a mozzarella recipe. The influence of this cheese has spread along with Italian migrants who have introduced it to North America and Australia. In these countries mozzarella cheese has influenced either native dishes or helped spawn several new types of mozzarella recipe. Even Mexican food has not remained immune to the reach of mozzarella, where it is combined with spinach and used to add flavor to tortillas.
Nutrition Value of Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella especially that which is made from buffalo milk has a richer concentration of minerals, nutrients and proteins compared to any other type of cheese. These increased amounts are due to the fact that buffalo milk is inherently superior to cow’s milk.
Consumption Criteria for Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella cheese when fresh is generally white in color, and in form of a round soft ball. As it has high moisture content it is recommended that it be eaten on the day it is processed.
Tips for Storing and Buying Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella when placed in brine can keep for several more days, but when it is packed in vacuum sealed packages it stays the longest, and can even be kept in a refrigerator for a month. When buying such cheese it is suggested that the freshest cheese be bought as a good mozzarella recipe thrives on the freshness of this cheese.
Types of Mozzarella Cheese
Low Moisture Mozzarella – Popular in the food service industry as it keeps fresh longer
Buffalo Mozzarella – The best type of mozzarella available
Smoked Mozzarella – Famous for its rich smoky flavor