In place of the Italian mozzarella came the Russian and Belarusian, from cow’s milk — and often very good.
What is mozzarella, what is it like, how to choose, serve and store it?
Mozzarella (mozzarella) — fresh pasty-drawn cheese, a typical representative of Italian fiber cheese category «pasta filata» (pasta filata) hailing from the South of Italy; its name comes from Italian mozzare — “cut, cut”, which is associated with the technology of its preparation.
Today, mozzarella from cow’s milk is produced throughout Italy, but only cheese made from the highest category DOP can be considered a real mozzarella, which is assigned the highest category of DOP. buffalo milk Mozzarella di bufala campana, which is produced exclusively in the vicinity of Rome and Naples.
Mozzarella is also made outside of Italy (for example, in Germany), and in 2014, thanks to the food embargo, the production of decent mozzarella was instantly adjusted in Russia and Belarus.
Almost all non-Italian mozzarella is made from cow’s milk.
Mozzarella is produced as follows.
First, pasteurized or raw milk is fermented with a thermophilic lactic acid culture and rolled with rennet (this is, of course, ideal; in particular cases, calcium chloride, lipase, citric acid solution can be used).
The resulting “curd” is heated together with whey and kneaded for a long time (if it is handmade cheese, then with hands or wide wooden sticks) until a uniform, relatively dense and elastic cheese clot forms.
From this clot, pieces are cut off and molded cheese of various shapes — these can be balls, knots, pigtails, or even figs of pigs — and placed in a cold pickle.
The correct mozzarella is white, slightly flattened balls 75-100 mm and weighing from 100 to 200 g, packed together with the brine in vacuum bags or cans.
This classic mozzarella, which is assigned the highest category of DOP, can only be considered buffalo mozzarella from Campania (mozzarella di bufala campana), which is produced exclusively in the vicinity of Rome and Naples (a number of provinces in the areas of Campania and Lazio).
Most mozzarella, which is made in other areas of Italy, is from cow’s milk (mozzarella vaccina, she is mozzarella fior di latte, i.e. «Milk flower»). Very rare sheep milk mozzarella (mozzarella pecorina), which is done in Sardinia, Abruzzo and Lazio, and goat mozzarella (mozzarella caprina).
Residents of Naples and the whole region of Campania are mozzarella, made not from buffalo milk, with obvious disregard.
The most famous and sought after mozzarella — fresh mozzarella. Actually, this mozzarella is labeled as mozzarella fior di latte, if it’s from cow’s milk, and mozzarella di bufala — if from buffalo.
The freshest mozzarella — one day (giornata), but this is not industrial cheese, it can only be bought in small stores: in the Campania region, many homemade mozzarella productions have been preserved, which have been boiling one-day mozzarella for local residents from early morning.
Its shelf life is minimal: bought — and ate.
It also happens smoked mozzarella (mozzarella affumicata) — with a more solid dark crust.
Mozzarella is different and in shape.
It can be big balls — bokkonchini (bocconcini), balls a little smaller, the size of a large sweet cherry — ciligini (ciliegine), very small — pearls (perlini).
Maybe mozzarella in the form of pigtails (trecce) or twisted nodules (nodini).
Mozzarella, which is produced outside Italy — from Germany to Argentina, from Israel to Mexico, from Egypt to Belarus — is Fresh cow milk mozzarella, overwhelmingly industrial production.
Mozzarella, made outside of Italy, Italians do not consider for mozzarella.
In fairness, we note that some samples of non-Italian mozzarella are quite good.
Essentially close to mozzarella cheeses dummy (manteca) and burrata (burrata), in which a mozzarella-type casing hides the tender creamy flesh-spreading inside; stratidella (stracciatella) — delicate cheese threads in brackish cream, which practically do not hold the form; scamor (scamorza), resembling smoked mozzarella.
From the whey remaining after cooking mozzarella, make ricotta (ricotta).
Fresh mozzarella is most often used in salads, and it gives the dish more likely not a taste, but only a special texture.
Especially known caprese salad (caprese), in which mozzarella is combined with green basil and submidors, thus creating the Italian tricolor (green — white — red).
Mozzarella is put into pizza and pasta.
You can use it in sandwiches, casseroles, snacks for the buffet table.
On cheese plate Mozzarella looks good in the company of hard and mold cheese, nuts and fruits.
Due to the rather mild flavor and perfect soft texture, the cheese goes well with almost any drink.
The price of mozzarella depends primarily on its type (see above): buffalo mozzarella from Campania is several times more expensive than domestic mozzarella from cow’s milk.
Mozzarella comes in different forms; In Russian supermarkets, mozzarella is most often of round shape, with different sizes — from one and a half to ten centimeters in diameter.
A good fresh mozzarella should be snow-white, soft, elastic, slightly layered inside and smooth on the outside, with a slightly visible tubercle in the place where the head was torn off from the total mass.
When you cut a good mozzarella ball, a little white liquid should flow out of it.
Take a look at the composition of the product indicated on the packaging.
If citric acid is indicated, then the cheese was fermented by a simplified, non-Italian technology.
The presence of brine in the bag or box is required.
If not, the mozzarella dries out very quickly and deteriorates.
Whatever mozzarella you choose, see if its shelf life has expired. This cheese is stored very long.
Maximum shelf life farm mozzarella is only four days, industrial — up to three weeks.
Store mozzarella only in the refrigerator (but in its warm department). Having opened the package, do not pour out the serum, but pour it together with the uneaten balls into the jar and try to use them in the next couple of days.
The mozzarella does not tolerate the freezer: after defrosting you get slurred curd mass.
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