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Mozzarella Cheese Types - Fresh Mozzarella Varieties

Mozzarella is not aged and is best when eaten within hours of its making

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mozzarella, cheese, recipes, tips, substitutions, receipts

Mozzarella Cheese

© 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone
Most are familiar with mozzarella cheese. It is the cheese traditionally used on pizzas and to make fried cheese sticks. There is quite a difference in flavor and texture between fresh mozzarella and processed sliced or shredded mozzarella, and well worth your time to find out more. It is easy to make homemade mozzarella cheese, and it can be used in a variety of recipes, including salads, meats, poultry, seafood, and vegetables.

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Fresh mozzarella cheese balls are sold in a brine, whey or water solution which helps them retain hydration and shape. It is smooth, mild, and slightly sweet/sour with a distinct milk flavor. The texture is creamy and much softer than mass-processed mozzarella. True buffalo mozzarella is much superior to any made with cow's milk and is highly prized around the world.

Small balls (about one inch in diameter) of fresh mozzarella marinated in plain or herbed olive oil are called boconccini. Smoked mozzarella is known as mozzarella affumicata. Manteca is fresh mozzarella molded around a piece of butter.

Mozzarella rolls can be found with fillings of olives, prosciutto, Parma ham, sun-dried tomatoes, and any variety of herbs. The simplest and most enjoyable way to eat fresh mozzarella is with sliced fresh tomatoes, basil leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Due to expanding demand for fresh mozzarella, it can easily be found in most commercial grocery stores and Italian markets. Keep fresh mozzarella in its liquid bath until ready to eat, and eat it within 2 to 3 days. Check the product dating and buy the freshest you can find, preferably same day. It becomes bitter and sour with age. Freezing is not recommended.

Processed Mozzarella Cheese

Mass-produced mozzarella cheese is dryer, less flavorful, and has a rubbery texture, bearing little resemblance to its fresh counterpart. It is a firm cheese that melts easily which makes it best used as a binder for sauces, for melted toppings, and in baked dishes. You will find it readily available in part skim, low-fat, and non-fat versions, most commonly pre-sliced or shredded. Keep it tightly wrapped and use within 2 to 4 weeks.

More about Mozzarella Cheese and Mozzarella Recipes:

Mozzarella Storage Tips, Measures, and Substitutions
What is mozzarella? FAQ
Mozzarella Cheese Types - Fresh Mozzarella Varieties
Homemade Mozzarella Cheese Recipe
Mozzarella Cheese Recipes
Mozzarella Cheese Photo © 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Cookbooks

The New American Cheese
The Cheese Bible
Home Cheese-Making: Recipes for 75 Delicious Cheeses
The Murray's Cheese Handbook: A Guide to More Than 300 of the World's Best Cheeses
More Cookbooks
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