Mozzarella cheese is one of Italy’s most famous exports. It originates from the south of Italy but it is made all over the country. Most mozzarella is made from cows milk, it has a mild flavour and a slightly off white colour. Mozzarella made from cows milk is also sometimes called mozzarella fior di latte.
Mozzarella is so integral to the Italian cuisine, it used to top pizza, in pasta, salads and in meatballs!
A classic recipe that uses mozzarella is ‘insalata Caprese’. It’s simply sliced mozzarella and tomatoes with a generous splash of extra virgin olive oil and topped with torn basil leaves.
We can talk about mozzarella without mentioning the famed margarita pizza! According to popular legend, a chef in named Raffaele Esposito and his wife created a pizza featuring the colours of the Italian flag, red from the tomato sauce, green from the basil leaves and white from the mozzarella! It was to celebrate the unification of Italy and it was named after Queen Margherita of Savoy. This was the birth of the worlds most popular pizza topping.
Buffalo mozzarella is another kind of mozzarella made from the milk of Italian water buffaloes. It had a stronger flavour and a creamier texture. It has a much higher water content than cow’s milk mozzarella which is an important factor to consider when using it in cooking!
Fresh mozzarella comes in balls, it is soft and has a springy texture. When cooked its texture becomes stringy. You can also find grated mozzarella, it is made by drying fresh mozzarella, it is then grated and sold in packets.
Mozzarella nutritional information
Most mozzarella is vegetarian but it’s always best to check the label before purchasing. As it is made from animal products it is not suitable for vegans, thankfully there are lots of vegan-friendly alternatives available.
According to the NHS, most cheeses are safe to consume while pregnant. The cheeses you should avoid while pregnant are mould-ripened cheeses such as Brie and Camembert and soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk.
Mozzarella is high in vitamin B12 and contains a good amount of protein.
Mozzarella contains lactose which is the name for sugar in dairy products. Fresher mozzarella tends to contain more lactose as it is water soluble.