At a Glance:
- Mozzarella is a popular Italian cheese in restaurant dishes like burgers, pizza, and mac and cheese.
- There are several types of mozzarella cheese in the market; each type slightly differs in flavour, texture, and melt ability from another.
It’s the world of cheese; we are just living in it! Cheese is a very popular dairy product in Australia, and reports say one-third of Australians consume cheese. While we talk about cheese, there is one particular cheese type we would like to experience – mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella cheese is a popular Italian cheese famous for its excellent melt ability, stretching, and elastic consistency. It has a smooth, creamy texture and mild flavour.
As a cheese enthusiast, you may have often eaten this cheese as a garnish for your pizza, toppings for burgers, or mac and cheese. There are various ways to use this cheese; unlike other cheese types, mozzarella is best when it is fresh. While mozzarella cheese is commonly associated with the traditional fresh variety, there are several other types that differ in flavour, texture, and melting ability. Let’s break down the differences between different types of mozzarella cheese.
Fresh mozzarella is one of the main categories of mozzarella cheese. It is stored in water and can have a high concentration of water, making it very tender, soft cheese. Due to the high water concentration, it is easy to shred. Fresh mozzarella cheese is available in different shapes and sizes; a tennis ball-sized sphere is the most common shape of fresh mozzarella cheese available in supermarkets. It has a shorter shelf-life than other mozzarella cheese types. Fresh mozzarella has excellent melting ability and creates a stringy, elastic texture when melted.
Mozzarella di bufala is a commonly used fresh mozzarella made from the milk of water buffaloes. It has a delicate, milky flavour and a soft, moist texture. The cheese is usually formed into balls or logs and is commonly enjoyed in salads, caprese, or as a topping for pizza.
Aged mozzarella is a smoked version of fresh mozzarella. Unlike fresh mozzarella, aged mozzarella is not stored in water. It has a slightly drier texture and a more distinct smoky flavour due to the smoking process. Aged mozzarella is a popular ingredient in various Italian dishes, adding a unique depth of flavour. It is a good choice to use on salad, pizza, and pork meat. Aged mozzarella cheese has a slightly yellow colour. Mozzarella di bufala affumicata is a type of aged mozzarella cheese.
Buffalo mozzarella is made from the milk of water buffaloes. It has a rich, tangy flavour and a soft, creamy texture. Buffalo mozzarella is highly regarded for its superior melting ability, resulting in a rich, stringy consistency when melted. The cheese is typically formed into round balls and submerged in brine (water saturated with salt) to enhance its flavour. It is commonly used in dishes such as Margherita pizza and pasta. Bufala mozzarella is made from buffalo cheese and uses milk from very specific domesticated water buffalo. Bufala mozzarella has twice the fat of regular mozzarella cheese and has an unrivalled smooth, creamy texture.
Cow’s Milk Mozzarella
Cow’s milk mozzarella is made from cow’s milk instead of buffalo milk. Made from fresh cow’s milk, it has a delicate sweet flavour and mostly an elastic texture. The texture of cow’s milk mozzarella can range from soft and moist to slightly firm. It melts smoothly and evenly, making it an ideal choice for pizzas, lasagnas, and other baked dishes. Fior di Latte Mozzarella is made from cow’s milk.
Low-moisture mozzarella is not stored in water, resulting in a drier and firmer texture of the cheese. Low-moisture mozzarella has a saltier flavour. It has an excellent melting ability, melts evenly, and is often used in recipes that require an even melt consistency, such as baked pasta dishes and casseroles. Low-moisture mozzarella offers excellent cheese pull and is a great option for a variety of restaurant dishes. Shredded mozzarella is the most common low-moisture mozzarella cheese.
Burrata is another popular mozzarella cheese (fresh mozzarella cheese) known for its creamy texture and rich, indulgent flavour. Its name is derived from the Italian word burro, meaning butter which perfectly describes its rich buttery consistency. Burrata offers endless culinary applications. It is a versatile cheese for both savoury and sweet dishes. It can be used to elevate pasta dishes, salads, and pizzas. Toss it with freshly cooked spaghetti, cherry tomatoes, basil, and a hint of garlic for a quick and luxurious meal.
There are different types of mozzarella cheese that vary in flavour, texture, and melting ability. Fresh mozzarella is delicate and moist, aged mozzarella has a smoky flavour, cow’s milk mozzarella is mild and creamy, buffalo mozzarella is tangy and creamy, low-moisture mozzarella is drier and firmer, and Burrata is rich, creamy, and buttery. Each type of mozzarella offers unique characteristics that can be enjoyed in various culinary applications.