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Ingredient

Mozzarella

Fresh mozzarella

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What is it?

A mild-tasting Italian cheese made from cow’s (or often in Italy, water buffalo’s) milk. Mozzarella comes in two distinct types.

Fresh mozzarella is ball-shaped, and packed in a whey-water mixture. The balls range in size from 8 oz. softballs to tiny bocconcini The texture is soft and springy and the flavor is sweet and milky. Smoked mozzarella is made from the fresh version, and has a toasty appearance and smoky flavor.

Low-moisture mozzarella is sold as plastic-wrapped bricks, and is a popular cheese for topping pizza in the U.S. because of its shreddable texture and meltability. Low-moisture mozzarella is available in both whole-milk and part-skim versions; in our test kitchen, we’ve found that whole-milk mozzarella tends to melt more smoothly.

How to choose:

Most supermarkets sell fresh mozzarella in their deli section, though for a real treat, seek out the artisanal fresh mozzarella made by local Italian cheese shops.

Low-moisture mozzarella is sold in the dairy section of the supermarket with other plastic-wrapped block cheeses.

How to store:

Keep fresh mozzarella submerged in the liquid it’s sold in, and use it within two days of buying.

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