Mozzarella is a traditionally southern Italian cheese made from Italian buffalo's milk by the pasta filata method. Fresh mozzarella is generally white but may vary seasonally to slightly yellow depending on the animal's diet.Due to its high moisture content, it is traditionally served the day after 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 be kept refrigerated for up to a month,though some shredded low-moisture mozzarella is sold with a shelf life of up to six months. Mozzarella of several kinds is used for most types of pizza and several pasta dishes or served with sliced tomatoes and basil in Caprese salad.
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. 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". An earlier reference is also often cited as describing mozzarella. Historian Monsignor Alicandri, in "Chiesa Metropolitana di Capua," states that in the 12th century the Monastery of Saint Lorenzo, in Capua, Campania offered pilgrims a piece of bread with mozza or provatura. These are locations rather than products and mozza is taken by some to be mozzarella.
Mozzarella, recognised as a Specialità Tradizionale Garantita (STG) since 1996, is available fresh, usually rolled into a ball of 80 to 100 grams (2.8 to 3.5 oz) or about 6 cm (2.4 in) in diameter, and sometimes up to 1 kg (2.2 lb) or about 12 cm (4.7 in) diameter. It is soaked in salt water (brine) or whey, and other times citric acid is added and it is partly dried (desiccated), its structure being more compact. In this last 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.
Ovolini refers to smaller-sized bocconcini, and sometimes to cherry bocconcini.
Several variants have been specifically formulated and prepared for use on pizza, such as low-moisture Mozzarella cheese. 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".
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. Some pizza cheeses derived from skim mozzarella variants were designed not to require aging or the use of starter. Others can be made through the direct acidification of milk.
In Italy, the cheese is produced nationwide using Italian buffalo's milk under the government's official name Mozzarella di latte di bufala because Italian buffalo is in all Italian regions. Only selected Mozzarella di bufala campana PDO is a type, made from the milk of Italian buffalo, raised in designated areas of Campania, Lazio, Apulia, and Molise. Unlike other mozzarellas - 50% of whose production derives from non-Italian and often semi - coagulated milk — it holds the status of a protected designation of origin (PDO 1996) under the European Union.
Fior di latte is made from fresh pasteurized or unpasteurized cow's milk and not water buffalo milk, which greatly lowers its cost. Outside the EU, "mozzarella" not clearly labeled as deriving from water buffalo can be presumed to derive from cow milk. Mozzarella affumicata means smoked mozzarella.
Mozzarella of sheep milk, sometimes called "mozzarella pecorella", is typical of Sardinia, Abruzzo and Lazio, where it is also called 'mozzapecora'. It is worked with the addition of the rennet of lamb.
Mozzarella of goat's milk is of recent origin and the producers are still few; among the reasons for this new production is the need to offer a kind of mozzarella to those who do not digest cow's milk, because goat's milk is more digestible.
Mozzarella di bufala is traditionally produced solely from the milk of the Italian Mediterranean 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, 2.5 – 5 cm 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 1 – 1.5 cm 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."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.
Recognitions and regulations
Mozzarella received a Traditional Specialities Guaranteed (TSG) 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, but it is speculated that it is normally made from whole milk.
Different variants of this dairy product are included in the list of traditional Italian agri-food products (P.A.T) of the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (MIPAAF), with the following denominations:
- Mozzarella (Basilicata)
- Silana mozzarella (Calabria)
- Mozzarella della mortella (Campania)
- Mozzarella di Brugnato (Liguria)
- Cow's mozzarella (Molise)
- Mozzarella or fior di latte (Apulia)
- Mozzarella (Sicilia).
Edam Cheese (Dutch: Edammer, [ˈeːdɑmər]) is a semi-hard cheese that originated in the Netherlands, and is named after the town of Edam in the province of North Holland. Edam is traditionally sold in flat ended spheres with a pale yellow interior and a coat, or rind, of red paraffin wax. Edam ages and travels well, and does not spoil; it only hardens. These qualities (among others) made it the world's most popular cheese between the 14th and 18th centuries, both at sea and in remote colonies.
Most "young" Edam cheese sold in stores has a very mild flavour, slightly salty or nutty, and almost no smell when compared to other cheeses. As the cheese ages, its flavour sharpens, and it becomes firmer. Edam may have as little as 28% fat in dry matter. Modern Edam is softer than other cheeses, such as Cheddar, due to its low fat content.
Mild Edam goes well with fruit such as peaches, melons, apricots, and cherries. Aged Edam is often eaten with traditional "cheese fruits" like pears and apples. Like most cheeses, it is commonly eaten on crackers and bread, and may be eaten with crackers following the main course of a meal as a dessert of "cheese and biscuits". Pinot gris, dry Riesling, semi dry Riesling, Sparkling wine, Chardonnay, and Shiraz/Syrah are some recommended wines to accompany this cheese.
In the Mexican state of Yucatán, queso de bola is prepared as queso relleno ("stuffed cheese"). A ball of cheese is cut in half and carved out; it is then stuffed with a mixture of seasoned ground meat, raisins, capers, and olives. Finally, it is braised in chicken stock, and served sliced with the chicken stock that has been thickened with cornstarch and spiced tomato sauce.
It is the most common cheese used in Czech Republic (usually sold under name eidam) and also very often used as base of the snack smažený sýr, which is popular in the country and in neighbouring Slovakia (Slovak: vyprážaný syr) where it may be served with a slice of ham (Slovak: so šunkou), and always with tartar sauce (tatárska omáčka) or mayonnaise.
In Belize, where it was once one of the few commercially available cheeses, it may also be known as queso de calavera or queso de colorado, and usually eaten when well-aged and sharp, commonly with bread and coffee.
In Indonesia, Edam cheese is quite popular—due to historical ties with the Netherlands—and is known as keju edam. Generally it is Edam cheese that is used for cooking kaasstengels that is served during Eid ul-Fitr, Christmas, and Chinese New Year. Other Indonesian dishes such as roti bakar, kue cubit and pannenkoek can be served with Edam cheese as topping.
In the Philippines, queso de bola is popular during Christmas in the Philippines, when Filipinos feast with family and friends. It is customarily served with jamón and pandesal during the Noche Buena, the traditional feast taken around midnight of Christmas Eve and lasting until the early hours of Christmas Day.
The cheese is also associated with Christmas in Sweden and Norway due to its red color, and is often found on the Christmas Julbord buffet.
Edam has been treated dramatically and humorously in a variety of cultural art forms. In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, the main character believes its red outer covering is a sign of impending death. It is a wine aroma nuance in Sideways and an object of desire in the animated film Shopper 13. Edam is a seriocomic pivot in the Australian film Three Dollars. Actor Jason Flemyng advertised Edam in the UK. Edam was tested by MythBusters in episode 128 for its putative suitability as cannon ammunition against a ship's sail, but it bounced off the sail without damaging it.