Description

Called mozzarella fresca in Italy where it originated, fresh mozzarella was first made with milk from the water buffalo. This is a pasta filata cheese, meaning that the curds are kneaded, and then stretched before forming the cheese into balls or logs. This cheese is not cured in brine or aged as is the low-moisture mozzarella we are most familiar with. Instead, it is eaten fresh, only a few days old. Fresh mozzarella has a delicate, milky flavor and is slightly elastic in texture. To keep this cheese fresh, the balls are submerged in water.

Appearance

Creamy white

Texture

Soft, slightly elastic

Flavor

Mild, delicate, milky

Serving Suggestions

Fresh mozzarella is great served in the traditional manner with sliced Roma tomatoes and chopped fresh basil, drizzled with a good quality extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with freshly ground pepper. Toss and serve on a bed of mixed greens. Roasted or grilled eggplant slices, sliced fresh mozzarella, roasted red bell peppers and fresh basil are a perfect topping for sliced baguettes; drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Thinly slice baguettes, brush with roasted garlic oil and toast until very lightly browned; top with a slice of fresh mozzarella and chopped sundried tomatoes in oil. Bake briefly, about 3 minutes, in a hot oven. Sprinkle with finely shredded fresh basil and serve for an easy appetizer.

Goes Well With

Fresh or sundried tomatoes, cured meats, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, black cured olives, basil, oregano, olive oil, anchovies, sweet red peppers, melon Light red wines such as Beaujolais Nouveau or Bartolinos; white wines such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Semillon or Sauvignon Blanc

Styles/Varieties

Wisconsin cheesemakers produce fresh mozzarella in various styles such as 10-ounce balls, 1/3-ounce Ciliegine, 1 3/4-ounce Bocconcini, 4-ounce Ovolini and 1-pound logs. This water-packed cheese comes in retail cups and 3- to 4-pound tubs.

Performance Note

The toasted baguette, sliced fresh mozzarella and sundried tomato serving suggestion is great when prepared in a toaster oven.

  Cold Surface Broil Oven (in recipe) Oven (surface) Direct Heat (in suspension)
Sliced
Cubed
Shaved
Shredded
Grated
Crumbled
Spooned/Spread