Did you know that mozzarella is the second most popular cheese in Britain with only cheddar pipping it to the post? Long a firm favourite in Italian kitchens, mozzarella is now not only made in the UK but devoured in recipes both sweet and savoury. In fact, one buffalo mozzarella from Ireland won a prize in the prestigious World Cheese Awards last year, firmly putting our passion for mozzarella cheese into the spotlight.
Most people first come across mozzarella on pizzas where it traditionally sits on every flavour combination including the traditional Margherita with its tricolour topping. Mozzarella melts easily and tends to hold its shape (particularly when raw) making it a great choice for food recipes topping everything from lamb chops to griddled aubergine slices.
Typically, fresh mozzarella is sold in a round ball swimming in water so beware of spills when you open the packet! Slicing the mozzarella ball in advance of when you actually want to use it helps to drain the moisture out of the cheese. Place on some kitchen towel or in a sieve and you’ll help make it less likely to have an overly soggy base beneath your creamy cheese.
Mozzarella is one of those ingredients which can hold its own in the taste stakes when eaten simply with slices of beef tomatoes, pungent basil leaves and crescents of avocado. It also adds a creamy note to tomato-based dishes and stands up to whichever herbs, oils and spices are drizzled over it.
Kids love mozzarella too, with mozzarella sticks and mini-balls being handy snacks to eat on their own or incorporated into plates of family food (decorated to look like faces or not as the mood takes you!).
For inspiration on recipe ideas and the stories behind the foods we love, the internet is a great place to start with sites such as http://food-tales.com/ being full of culinary nuggets. For recipe ideas outside of the classics, today’s leading chefs are a great source of inspiration as found in this article.
Did you know that mozzarella tastes just as delicious in a dessert recipe as it does in a starter or main course? Just imagine biting into a crispy doughnut and discovering sugared mozzarella oozing out of the middle. Or creating a berry cheesecake with mozzarella to wow friends and family.