Soft, juicy and delicate: mozzarella is the most famous fresh soft cheese in the world. Ideal on pizza, but also perfect enjoyed on its own or in any number of traditional Italian dishes, mozzarella is a true icon of Italian cuisine.
What is mozzarella?
Technically, mozzarella is a fresh stretched curd cheese, originally from southern Italy. Excellent mozzarella has also been produced in central Italy for some time, and thanks to its enormous success, it has also been produced abroad. From fior di latte to buffalo mozzarella, the types of mozzarella are numerous and vary not only in their preparation but also in format. Here are the main types of mozzarella to know.
Here are the main types of fresh mozzarella
- mozzarella di bufala
- bocconcini di mozzarella
- mozzarella affumicata
- zizzona di Battipaglia
- figliata di bufala
- mozzarella di bufala nera
Discover all the characteristics of the various types of mozzarella in this infographic.
Mozzarella fior di latte
The queen of mozzarella is also the most classic. It's made from cow's milk and its flavour is tangy and acidic. It's excellent on pizza, enjoyed as it is in a classic caprese, or in salads and baked goods, such as savory pies and pasta.
Mozzarella di bufala
Made from buffalo milk, this mozzarella has an acidic and savoury flavour with pleasant milky notes. The outside is harder than the soft inside. Try it with pasta, in oven bakes and in salads, or simply on its own with a dressing of oil and oregano.
Made from cow's milk, the outside is solid cheese while the inside is soft and creamy. Its flavour manages to be somewhere between savoury, sweet and acidic. Burrata is excellent in salads, on its own, in pasta dishes including fish, and in fresh pasta fillings. It's typical of the Puglia region.
It's the creamy interior of burrata and so called because it comes in 'straccetti' or 'rags'. It is creamy and soft, its taste is slightly savory tending towards sweet. It's excellent for flavoring pasta dishes, also with raw fish, on its own and in salads.
Treccia can be from cow's milk or buffalo milk. It is made of spun paste and its consistency is particularly fibrous. This format is necessarily hand-woven and there are different sizes. Ideal for eating on its own and to be served as a table centre piece to appreciate its attractive form.
These are small bites of stretched curd mozzarella with a more resistant consistency. Best for eating on its own or with vegetables and salads.
Bocconcini di mozzarella
Also called mozzarella cherries, these are small balls of mozzarella with a fibrous consistency typical of the Puglia region. Perfect for eating on their own or enriching salads. Also excellent coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried.
Mozzarella affumicata, or smoked mozzarella, is prepared with cow's milk or buffalo milk. It is smoked with burnt hay which gives it a rustic and intense flavor. It's used to enrich baked goods such as pies, omelettes or baked pasta. Excellent fried, in salads, as part of a cheese platter and alongside cured meats or in pasta.
Zizzona di Battipaglia
Many call it the queen of mozzarella. It's prepared with buffalo milk from the Battipaglia area in Campania only. The zizzona takes its name from the shape that resembles a large female bust. The outside is fibrous and the inside is soft and sinuous, it can weigh from 1 to 5 kg. It is best enjoyed without cooking.
Figliata di bufala
It was invented in 2016 and it is a large spun dough pocket filled with small morsels of buffalo mozzarella and cream. It is very impressive to look at and is recommended for eating on its own.
Mozzarella di bufala nera
It is prepared with buffalo milk and powdered vegetable charcoal. This additive makes the mozzarella more digestible and very eyecatching. It is suitable for eating on its own, without cooking.