Everyone knows mozzarella. After all, this cheese is one of the most iconic Italian products. However, not everyone knows whether mozzarella is made from cow’s or goat’s milk. In today’s post, we answer this question and share other interesting facts about mozzarella.
Is Mozzarella Made From Cow’s or Goat’s Milk?
The most prized mozzarella is made from the milk of Italian buffalos, known in Italy as bufale campane. With that being said, even in Italy it’s not uncommon to find mozzarella made from cow’s or goat’s milk.
Italians tend to prefer mozzarella DOP (Denominazione d’Origine Protetta), a denomination used in Italy to denote that a product meets certain quality and origin standards.
Some of the requirements that mozzarella must meet in order to earn the DOP denomination include:
- Use only fresh, whole milk from Italian buffalos farmed using traditional techniques
- The buffalo milk can come only from certain regions (Campania, Lazio, Puglia and Molise)
- Only a limited number of traditional shapes are allowed: bocconcini (morsels), trecce (braids), perline (tiny pearls), ciliegine (cherries), and nodini (knots)
- The package must read “Mozzarella di Bufala Campana”
As you can see, Italians take their mozzarella very seriously. But even they are happy to consume mozzarella made from cow’s or goat’s milk, so that shouldn’t be a problem for the rest of us, either!
Who Invented Mozzarella?
Experts believe that mozzarella was invented sometime around the year 1300. According to a document from the 12th century, Benedictine monks in the monastery of San Lorenzo de Capua used to give poor people a “mozza,” or piece of cheese, and a tiny piece of bread.
The term “mozzarella” is the diminutive form of “mozza,” which in turn comes from the verb “mozzare,” which means to cut, a reference to how the paste of curdled milk is cut into the different shapes of mozzarella.
Mozzarella was originally found only in Naples because it has to be sold fresh. Things changed around the 18th century, when the production technique was refined and a big cheese market opened in Aversa, about 15 miles north of Naples.
Then, mozarella went on to conquer not only Italy, but the whole world, fueled by the global success of pizza.
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