Mozzarella: A Brief History


If it weren’t for a clumsy cheese factory worker in Naples, Italy, we may have never discovered the wonders of Mozzarella cheese. According to legend, the first batch was produced when cheese curds mistakenly fell into a pail of hot water. This is no surprise, considering that most cheeses are discovered as a result of accidental combinations.

Early Mozzarella was originally produced from the rich milk of the water buffalo, during the time of the ancient Romans. Without refrigeration and pasteurization, Mozzarella had a short shelf life and wasn’t available outside of southern Italy for quite some time. As refrigeration, transportation and other technologies became available, the cheese spread to other regions, eventually making its way across the world.

Mozzarella is a soft, mild and fresh white cheese. It is produced using the “pasta filata” process of heating and stretching of cheese curd to create a desired consistency. Like other cheeses, most modern Mozzarella is made from cow milk. However, fresh buffalo mozzarella, or Mozzarella di bufala, is still produced in some small factories in southern Italy, using centuries old traditions. Mozzarella di bufala is a highly prized commodity, as it is rarely available elsewhere. That doesn’t mean, however, that you cannot find good, fresh Mozzarella, even if its not made from the milk of water buffalos.

Fresh Mozzarella is usually packaged in whey or water and labeled “Italian Style.” Other popular forms include Mozzarella boconccini, little balls marinated in olive oil and herbs, and Mozzarella affumicata, a smoked Mozzarella sometimes called smoked boconccini.

The best fresh Mozzarella can be determined by its taste. It should be fresh, reminiscent of milk, mild and delicate. Mozzarella tastes best when it served at room temperature, so take it out of the refrigerator at least an hour before serving.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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