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Home Glossary Animal Products Cheese Mozzrella

Cheese Mozzrella

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mozzarellaMozzarella is a generic term for several kinds of Italian cheeses that are made using spinning and then cutting (hence the name, as the Italian verb mozzare means "to cut"):

Fresh mozzarella is generally white, but may vary seasonally to slightly yellow depending on the animal's diet. It is a semi-soft cheese. Due to its high moisture content, it is traditionally served the day it is made, but can be kept in brine for up to a week, or longer when sold in vacuum-sealed packages. Low-moisture mozzarella can keep refrigerated for up to a month though some pre-shredded low-moisture mozzarella is sold with a shelf life of up to 6 months. Mozzarella of several kinds are also used for most types of pizza, lasagna, or served with sliced tomatoes and basil in Insalata caprese.

 

Types

Mozzarella di bufala campana (PDO 1996) is a particular type of mozzarella, made from the milk of water buffalo raised in designated areas of Lazio and Campania; some consider it the best for flavour or quality. Unlike other mozzarellas, 50% of whose production derives from imported, and often semi-coagulated milk, it holds the official status of a protected designation of origin (PDO) under the European Union. It, not mozzarella made with pasteurized cow's milk, is an ingredient in Neapolitan pizza.

Mozzarella is available fresh; it is usually rolled in the shape of a ball of 80 to 100 grams (6 cm diameter), sometimes up to 1 kilogram (about 12 cm diameter), and soaked in salt water (brine) or whey, sometimes with added citric acid, until sold.

Fior di latte (written also as fiordilatte) is used to distinguish the mozzarella made from cow's milk from that made from buffalo's milk.

When slightly desiccated (partially dried), the structure becomes more compact; then it is better used to prepare dishes cooked in the oven, such as lasagne.

When twisted to form a plait it is called treccia.

It is also available in smoked (called affumicata) and reduced-moisture packaged varieties.

There are now offered a number of variations, such as "stuffed mozzarella", filled with olives and cooked or raw ham, as well as small tomatoes (pomodorini).

Production

Mozzarella is traditionally produced solely from the milk of the domestic water buffalo. A whey starter is added from the previous batch that contains thermophilic bacteria, and the milk is left to ripen so the bacteria can multiply. Then, rennet is added to coagulate the milk. After coagulation, the curd is cut to large, 1"-2" pieces, and left to sit so the curds firm up in a process known as healing. After the curd heals, it is further cut to 3/8" -1/2" large pieces. The curds are stirred and heated to separate the curds from the whey. The whey is then drained from the curds and the curds are placed in a hoop to form a solid mass. The curd mass is left until the pH is at around 5.2-5.5, which is the point when the cheese can be stretched. The cheese is then stretched and kneaded to produce a delicate consistency -- this process is generally known as pasta filata. According to the Mozzarella di Bufala trade association, "The cheese-maker kneads it with his hands, like a baker making bread, until he obtains a smooth, shiny paste, a strand of which he pulls out and lops off, forming the individual mozzarella." It is then typically formed into ball shapes or in plait. In Italy, a "rubbery" consistency is generally considered not satisfactory; the cheese is expected to be softer.

Mozzarella - which is derived from the Neapolitan dialect spoken in Campania - is the diminutive form of mozza (cut), or mozzare (to cut off) derived from the method of working

 

 

From Wikipedia

 

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