I’ve eaten mozzarella my whole life. I have it on pizza, quesadillas and inside my Chicken Florentine. So imagine my shock when I tried to buy the stuff in Italy, the birthplace of this white cheese.
Here’s what I have learned: Mozzarella that is sold for transport must have a longer shelf life. To do that, they must reduce the moisture content. Every bag of mozzarella I had bought in America always said “low-moisture content”. I always found that odd, since none my other cheeses wasted their packaging real estate going on about moisture.
But now I know why. It’s a subtle way of letting you know that you are not getting the original. The original, by the way, is made from water buffalo milk. It is wet and sold in a watery bath.
I balked when I saw that.
But trust me, you’re going to want to pick up a ball and take a bite. All on its own this cheese is like a delicious appetizer. It has a firm outer crust with a gooey, yet stringy center. The balls are less salty than the mozzarella I grew up with, and have a strong milky flavour. This cheese is also much lighter and softer than the dense low moisture version.
Aside from flavor and a very short shelf life, the differences between mozzarella balls and low-moisture mozzarella are textual. Low-moisture mozzarella has more stretch. It also doesn’t leave wet pools of moisture on your dough when heated. Both reasons why low moisture is great for pizza and burgers.
As much as I love my pizza and burgers, I’ve never cared for eating low-moisture mozzarella on its own. It’s too dense, and flavourless. These buffalo milk high-moisture mozzarella balls are absolutely delicious straight out the bag.
But I’ve recently discovered my favorite way to eat them is salt and peppered alongside sliced tomatoes on a small baguette. Soooo good!
Because this cheese has recently become more popular internationally, you can find this delicious gem even in America. I know Galbani in buffalo NY makes it…but I can’t promise they use water buffalo milk to recreate the original.