Monday, April 20, 2009
Crazy for Mozzarella Cheese!
copyright 2009, Maria Liberati
There is an array of different types of mozzarella cheeses, ranging from mozzarella di bufala (buffalo mozzarella) to mozzarella fior di latte (made from cow’s milk). While these cheeses are all different, they all are spun and then cut in order to be produced properly. This comes from the Italian verb “mozzare” which means, “to cut”. Mozzarella cheese ranges from white to slightly yellow and has high moisture content, which means it usually is consumed in the day it is made and if not, no more than a week after.
Pasta filata is the process that is used to make the cheese. The curds are heated in water to form strings and then these elastic-like curds are stretched, kneaded, and formed into round balls, which typically range from about 80 to 100 grams in size. Sometimes the mozzarella is molded into rolls and filled with items such as sun-dried tomatoes or olives. Pre-shredded mozzarella cheese, which has much lower moisture content, can last for up to six months if stored properly.
Mozzarella is a prized cheese, and because it comes from buffalo, it usually costs a bit more because water buffalo milk is more expensive than cow’s milk. Because of this, nowadays you will also find mozzarella made from cow’s milk. Mozzarella first originates in Naples and even today it is said that the best mozzarella cheese comes from just south of Naples. Mozzarella contains about 40 to 45 percent fat although lower fat versions are available.
Mozzarella cheese may contain a lot of fat, but if made in the authentic artisan way, and eaten in moderation, it is healthier to eat than processed cheeses. But one thing is for sure, it is delicious and goes with a variety of Italian foods. Some love a good pizza with mozzarella while others prefer it with lasagna or even in a nice caprese salad. Sometimes it is best served most simply with some sliced tomatoes and some spices sprinkled on top!
**May 6th 7-9 PM...Join me for a Wine Pairing Dinner on May 6th at Country Creek Winery in Telford, Pa. Included will be the cooking demo for the 4 course authentic Italian sampler dinner from the best selling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking and I will be pairing the dinner with samples of 4 of wines made at Country Creek. Reservations are limited. $39,95 includes wine sampler dinner ,4 wines, cooking demo, recipes. Call the winery at 215-723-6516 for reservations or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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