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Smoked Scamorza (scamorza affumicata)
Country of originItaly
RegionApulia, Basilicata, Campania, Calabria
Source of milkCows’ milk
TextureElastic, stringy
CertificationProdotto agroalimentare tradizionale (PAT) – 1996
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

Scamorza (Italian pronunciation: [skaˈmɔrtsa]) is an South Italian cow's milk cheese. It can also be made from other milks, but that is less common.


The term may come from the Italian phrases capa mozza or testa mozzata, both meaning "severed head". This would also explain the use of "scamorza" in Italian to mean "fool" or "idiot".[1][2]


Scamorza is a stretched-curd cheese, in which the fresh curd matures in its own whey for several hours to allow acidity to develop by the process of lactose being converted to lactic acid. Artisanal cheese makers generally form the cheese into a round shape, and then tie a string around the mass one third of the distance from the top, and hang to dry. The resulting shape is pear-like. This is sometimes referred to as "strangling" the cheese. The cheese is usually white in color unless smoked. When smoked, the color is almond with a lighter interior.

Scamorza can be substituted for mozzarella in most dishes,[3] but the resulting taste will be much stronger and more dominant. It is reputed to melt better in baking. Using the smoked variety (scamorza affumicata) adds a nice background flavor in replacement of mozzarella.

Production areas[edit]

In Italy, scamorza is more commonly made in the south rather than the north. Strictly speaking, scamorza is a product of Apulia and Calabria.[4] However, it is available across the country, both in the unsmoked and smoked forms. Mario Batali cites grilled scamorza as a traditional dish in Neapolitan cooking.[5] Scamorza in Bari is made from sheep's milk. This is not necessarily true of cheeses called scamorza outside the EU.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "SCAMORZA di vacca e di bufala". (in Italian). Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Scamorza: formaggio vaccino a pasta filata, tipico della Campania". (in Italian). Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  3. ^ Fletcher, Janet (24 August 2006). "Italy's scamorza is smoky stand-in for mozzarella". The SF Gate. Hearst Communications Inc. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  4. ^ (Slow Food Editore. 2005. Italian cheese, p. 372.)
  5. ^ (Batali, M. 2008. Italian grill, p.33.)