The process of making fresh mozzarella is an art form! The ingredients, the preparation, the methodology of kneading the curd; it’s a meticulous process that is vastly underappreciated. One misstep could lead to unpleasant results. But in the right hands, the end result is a glorious bite of delicate, melt-in-your-mouth goodness! Get ready to dig in to this week’s Mercato Must-Have: Fresh Mozzarella.
Lucky for us, fresh mozzarella is hugely popular and found at most specialty Italian delis and butcher shops. Unlike basic mozzarella, fresh mozzarella has a creamier, softer texture; and is best eaten within a day of being made. It can last a couple of days longer when kept in a container of brine (salt water) – or if you decide to make it from scratch at home – the whey that is left over from the cheese-making process.
Once created, fresh mozzarella can also be prepared in different variations. For example, when twisted to form a braid-like shape, the mozzarella is called treccia. Mozzarella can also be smoked (affumicata) and rather than prepared in it’s traditional ball-like shape, it can also be made into bite-size balls, called bocconcini.
You may have also seen the term Buffalo Mozzarella or Mozzarella di bufala. The main difference being, the mozzarella is made from the milk of a domestic Italian buffalo raised in designated parts of Italy. The texture is creamier, and even more delicious. If you can get your hands on this, give it a try!
The most popular food preparations for fresh mozzarella are sliced up with tomatoes and basil in a caprese salad (get the recipe here!), a topping on pizza, sliced in your favorite sandwich, or mixed in with various pasta dishes. In it’s simplest preparation, it is just cut up and eaten with a sprinkle of salt and some olive oil and herbs – keep a loaf of Italian bread handy if you go with this approach!
B&A Pork Store in Brooklyn is known for it’s homemade fresh mozzarella, made daily on premise! We’re excited to offer B&A products at Mercato – now shipping nationally! Yes, even the fresh mozzarella 🙂
So try this week’s Mercato Must-Have! And however you enjoy this delicacy, know that you are eating more than just cheese…you’re experiencing a work of art!