You must have already tasted mozzarella, this Italian cheese that is so famous around the world? Mostly used to cook pizzas or to make good tomato salads, it delights the taste buds of many gourmets and food lovers. If you want to know everything about mozzarella, stay tuned and read this article from Paroles de Fromagers, cheese experts based in Paris!
What is the origin of mozzarella cheese?
Mozzarella originates from Europe and more precisely from the Campania region in Italy. However, we have to say it is hard to make sure when exactly this cheese was first made in Italy. In fact, there are various competing theories on the matter. On the one hand, some sources suggest that this cheese was produced as early as the 7th century. . Buffalo milk would have been used to produce a spun cheese called provatura or scamorza, which would then have been used to invent mozzarella. It might result in a mistake in the first place. On the other hand, some say that mozzarella was born in the 12th century, when monks from the monastery of San Lorenzo in Campania began producing cheese from buffalo milk.
Who tells the truth? Still a mystery, even for us.
Over the centuries, mozzarella production has become a major culinary tradition in Italy. The production methods of some experts have been passed down from generation to generation and sometimes shut as a secret to be kept. Nowadays, this popular cheese is produced in many countries around the world, but the Italian original, especially mozzarella di bufala, is still considered the best.
What is the mozzarella di bufala?
Mozzarella as we know it today can be produced from cow milk or buffalo milk. Many Italians would say that the true mozzarella is the one produced from buffalo milk, which is called mozzarella di bufala. At first, buffalo milk was chosen for its unique properties, which give the cheese a stringy texture and characteristic flavor.
How is mozzarella produced?
Traditionally, this Italian string cheese is made through the acid curdling process. This involves adding lemon juice or vinegar to the milk in order to make proteins coagulate. The curdled milk is then heated and stretched until it takes the stringy texture we all know. This stringy texture allows it to be molded into ball shapes, as it is most often presented, or in other shapes.
What condiments does mozzarella go best with?
Of course, there are the traditional tomato salad or the famous pizzas with mozzarella. However, at Paroles de Fromagers, we like to surprise you! That is why we’re going to allow you to pair this cheese in a more original way in order to discover every facet of it.
Green tomato jam
This slightly sweet and tangy jam goes wonderfully well with mozzarella to create a very interesting flavor contrast.
Perhaps you’ve already tried pasta with pesto and cheese? In this case, you already know that this sauce made with basil, pine nuts, olive oil and Parmesan cheese compliments mozzarella very well. For a fresh and herbaceous flavor! Enjoy it!
Oh là là, such a sweet and sour treat we have here! Perfect for creating an original and very interesting balance of different flavors in your dish. You can cook a sauce or a mozzarella and goat cheese pizza, for example.
Are you surprised? Figs, peaches or strawberries go very well with mozzarella cheese. It’s great to serve side by side on a nice cheese platter!
Thyme, rosemary or parsley can be used in order to flavor mozzarella in your recipes and add a touch of aroma.
Can I eat mozzarella if I’m pregnant?
In general, there is no problem for a woman to consume mozzarella during pregnancy. However, it depends on a key factor. Indeed, most soft cheeses are made from pasteurized milk, which is heated to a high enough temperature to eliminate harmful bacteria, but sometimes, it is not actually how it is. Some varieties of mozzarella are produced from raw milk, which has not been pasteurized. If so, pregnant women should not eat it.
Please, always check that your mozzarella has been made from pasteurized milk if you want to eat it during your pregnancy.
The best mozzarella recipes
A good mozzarella di bufala can be eaten fresh with fruit or a green tomato jam with a yummy olive bread, for example. This is one of the most original ways of serving it and will surprise your guests for sure. You can also add it to your pasta dishes, such as lasagna or cannelloni. Moreover, mozzarella in caprese salad is a real hit! Don’t forget to cook it for your fritters, your mozzarella sticks, your au gratin dishes and even in your burgers! Bon appétit !