Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

mozzarella a soft, fresh Italian cheese traditionally made with buffalo milk and dating back at least as far as the beginning of the 15th century, when it was called simply mozza (‘cut’). It is now prepared almost exclusively from cow’s milk, in which version it is sometimes distinguished from the true mozzarella by the name fiordilatte. It is made by the pasta filata method, where the curd is separated, heated, then stretched and kneaded to the correct consistency.

Mozzarella melts well and is used in cookery, especially on pizza and baked pasta dishes, besides being eaten at table. Its latterday career has been influenced by one aspect of globalization and the great diaspora of Italian cooking. It is now, for example, the most important cheese (in terms of weight) produced in the USA, with a larger production even than Cheddar. Simulacra are also produced industrially, they may be called ‘pizza cheese’.