Mozzarella

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Mozzarella
Mozzarella cheese.jpg
Other names Mezzarella (Derived from the Majestic form Mezzatesta)
Country of origin Italy
Source of milk Water buffalo in Campania and Lazio, Cow's milk in other regions
Pasteurised Sometimes
Texture Semi-soft
Fat content 22%
Certification TSG 1998

Mozzarella (English /ˌmɒtsəˈrɛlə/; Italian: [mottsaˈrɛlla]) is a cheese, originally from southern Italy, traditionally made from Italian buffalo by the pasta filata method. If cow's milk is used the name is "Fior di latte" . The term is wrongly used 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" also "to cut off"). It is the only one to be called, rightly, "Mozzarella"; made from domesticated Italian buffalo's milk in Italy and from other types of buffalo's milk in many nations. In almost all cases Italian breeders or entrepreneurs are the ones who have initiated production in other countries.

Mozzarella received a Traditional Specialities Guaranteed certification from the European Union in 1998. This protection scheme requires that mozzarella sold in the European Union is produced according to a traditional recipe. The TSG certification does not specify the source of the milk, so any type of milk can be used.[1] In Italy mozzarella made with the milk of the Italian water buffalo is an important variety. The Italian buffalo mozzarella sold as Mozzarella di Bufala Campana is protected under the EU's Protected Designation of Origin scheme and may only be produced in select locations in the regions of Campania, Lazio, Apulia and Molise.[2][3]

Fresh mozzarella is generally white, but may vary seasonally to slightly yellow depending on the animal's diet.[4] It is a semi-soft cheese. Due to its high moisture content, it is traditionally served the day after it is made,[5] but can be kept in brine for up to a week [6] or longer when sold in vacuum-sealed packages. Low-moisture mozzarella can be kept refrigerated for up to a month,[7] though some shredded low-moisture mozzarella is sold with a shelf life of up to six months.[8] Mozzarella of several kinds is also used for most types of pizza and several pasta dishes, or served with sliced tomatoes and basil in insalata caprese.

Etymology[edit]

Mozzarella, 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.[9] The term is first mentioned in 1570, cited in a cookbook by Bartolomeo Scappi, reading "milk cream, fresh butter, ricotta cheese, fresh mozzarella and milk".[10]

Types[edit]

Mozzarella, recognised as a Specialità Tradizionale Garantita (STG) since 1996,[11] is available fresh, usually rolled into a ball of 80 to 100 grams (2.8 to 3.5 oz), or about 6 centimetres (2.4 in) in diameter, sometimes up to 1 kilogram (2.2 lb), or about 12 centimetres (4.7 in) diameter, and soaked in salt water (brine) or whey, and other times with citric acid added, and partly dried (desiccated) its structure being more compact, and in this form it is often used to prepare dishes cooked in the oven, such as lasagna and pizza.

When twisted to form a plait mozzarella is called treccia. Mozzarella is also available in smoked (affumicata) and reduced-moisture packaged varieties. "Stuffed mozzarella", a new trend as of 2006, may feature olives or cooked or raw ham, or small tomatoes (pomodorini).

Variants[edit]

Several variants have been specifically formulated and prepared for use on pizza, such as low-moisture Mozzarella cheese.[12][13] The International Dictionary of Food and Cooking defines this cheese as "a soft spun-curd cheese similar to Mozzarella made from cow's milk" that is "[u]sed particularly for pizzas and [that] contains somewhat less water than real Mozzarella".[14]

  1. Mozzarella di bufala campana is a type of mozzarella made from the milk of Italian buffalo raised in designated areas of Campania, Lazio, Apulia, Molise in Italy. Unlike other mozzarellas—50% of whose production derives from non-Italian and often semi-coagulated milk[15]—it holds the status of a protected designation of origin (PDO 1996) under the European Union.
  2. Fior di latte (written also as one word), is made from fresh pasteurized or unpasteurized cow's milk and not water buffalo milk, which greatly lowers its cost. Outside Italy "mozzarella" not clearly labeled as deriving from water buffalo can be presumed to derive from cow milk.
  3. Mozzarella affumicata means (smoked mozzarella).
  4. Ovolini refers to smaller-sized bocconcini, and sometimes to cherry bocconcini.[16]
  5. Low-moisture part-skim mozzarella, widely used in the food-service industry, has a low galactose content, per some consumers' preference for cheese on pizza to have low or moderate browning.[17][nb 1] Some pizza cheeses derived from skim mozzarella variants were designed not to require aging or the use of starter.[18] Others can be made through the direct acidification of milk.[18]

Production[edit]

Cheese, mozzarella, whole milk
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 300 kcal (1,300 kJ)
2.2 g
Sugars 1 g
22.4 g
Saturated 13.2 g
Monounsaturated 6.6 g
22.2 g
Trace metals
Calcium
(51%)
505 mg
Phosphorus
(51%)
354 mg
Sodium
(42%)
627 mg
Other constituents
Water 50 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Mozzarella di bufala is traditionally produced solely from the milk of the domestic 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 into 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 into 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 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."[19] It is then typically formed into cylinder shapes or in plait. In Italy, a "rubbery" consistency is generally considered not satisfactory; the cheese is expected to be softer.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Galactose is a type of sugar found in dairy products and other foods that is less sweet than glucose. Sugar in foods can lead to caramelization when they are cooked, which increases their browning.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Commission Regulation (EC) No 2527/98". Official Journal of the European Communities (European Commission) 41: L 317/14–18. 26 November 1998. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Amendment Application Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006". Official Journal of the European Communities (European Commission) 50: C 90/5–9. 25 March 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Commission Regulation (EC) No 103/2008". Official Journal of the European Communities (European Commission) 51: L 31/31. 5 February 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Lambert, Paula. "Mozzarella Cheese". Sally's Place. Media Holdings. Retrieved 1 April 2008. 
  5. ^ Kotkin, Carole (October–November 2006). "Burrata mozzarella's creamy cousin makes a fresh impression". The Wine News Magazine. Retrieved 1 April 2008. 
  6. ^ Staff. "Mozzarella". Healthnotes. PCC Natural Markets. Retrieved 1 April 2008. 
  7. ^ Correll, John. "Chapter 8 – Cheese". The Original Encyclopizza: Pizza Ingredient Purchasing and Preparation. Fulfillment Press. ISBN 978-0-9820920-7-1. Retrieved 1 April 2008. 
  8. ^ Staff. "Shreds: Mozzarella, Low Moisture, Part Skim, Shredded, 6 oz.". Organic Valley. Retrieved 1 April 2008. 
  9. ^ Staff. "Mozzarella". Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Charter, David (29 March 2008). "Buffalo mozzarella in crisis after pollution fears at Italian farms". The Times (London). Retrieved 1 April 2008. (subscription required)
  11. ^ Regolamento (CE) N. 2527/98 della commissione del 25 novembre 1998 registrando una denominazione - Mozzarella - nell'albo delle attestazioni di specificità. Gazzetta ufficiale delle Comunità europee L 317/14 del 26/11/1998.
  12. ^ Aikenhead, Charles (June 1, 2003). "Permanently pizza: continuous production of pizza cheese is now a realistic proposition". Dairy Industries International. Retrieved September 30, 2012.  (subscription required)
  13. ^ Fox, Patrick F. (1999). "Cheese: Chemistry, Physics and Microbiology (Major Cheese Groups)". Volume 2. Aspen Publishers, Inc. Retrieved September 27, 2012.  ISBN 0412535106
  14. ^ Sinclair, Charles G. (1998). International Dictionary of Food and Cooking. Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. p. 417. ISBN 1579580572. Retrieved September 28, 2012. 
  15. ^ Fiore, Roberto (4 June 2009). "Fermiamo il formaggio Frankenstein". La Stampa (in Italian). Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  16. ^ The Essential Fingerfood Cookbook, p. 40.
  17. ^ Baskaran, D.; Sivakumar, S. (November 2003). "Galactose concentration in pizza cheese prepared by three different culture techniques". Volume 56, Issue 4. International Journal of Dairy Technology. pp. 229–232. doi:10.1046/j.1471-0307.2003.00109.x (inactive 2014-06-07). 
  18. ^ a b McMahon; (et al.) (September 5, 2000). "Manufacture of Lower-fat and Fat-free Pizza Cheese". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved September 28, 2012. 
  19. ^ Staff. "Campana Buffalo's Mozzarella Cheese". Mozzarella di Bufala Campana Trade Organization. Retrieved 8 May 2007. 

External links[edit]