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HOW TO ENJOY Mozzarella di Bufala
FOR BEST FLAVOUR — Immerse the packaged product (cheese in brine) in warm 60°C water for 10 minutes before use.
Source: Italian Consortium for the Protection of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana
Apart from enjoying it simply fresh, Mozzarella di Bufala’s special characteristics make it the perfect ingredient for typical Mediterranean dishes like pizza, pasta, vegetables and tomatoes.
In the summer months, serve it with fresh tomatoes and basil, or if you prefer something less light, prepare a delicious “mozzarella in carozza” (mozzarella in a carriage) or “crostini” (toasted bread) with mozzarella and anchovies (both recipes below), so easy to make and so popular with family and friends. In other words, put it everywhere, not forgetting what Brillat Savarian used to say: “A meal without cheese is like a pretty woman without an eye.”
Mozzarella di Bufala, unique of its kind, has become an essential ingredient of a whole vast range of authentic Italian recipes, from pizza, now popular all over the world, to pasta and meat and vegetables dishes. Wherever it is put, it succeeds in adding that extra touch of freshness and novelty. When you have a reliable source of fresh Mozzarella di Bufala, the culinary possibilities are endless.
At its simplest, all it needs is a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a grinding of aromatic black pepper. Mozzarella di Bufala is ideal combined with tomatoes, basil, or oregano, and can be stirred into cold or hot pasta or vegetable dishes.
In the classic Insalata Caprese, it is paired with ripe tomatoes and sweet basil and dressed with extra-virgin olive oil (no balsamic vinegar or lemon, as many recipes suggest); a delicious dish combines the flavors of this salad with the satisfying texture and taste of pasta, making the mozzarella melt lusciously on contact with the hot pasta.
In Campania, Mozzarella di Bufala is served in carrozza (literally, in a carriage), sandwiched between two slices of bread, battered, and fried. It is also essential to melanzane alla parmigiana (eggplant parmigiana); deep-fried half-moon pastries called panzerotti that also feature salami; and calzone. And, of course, pizza wouldn’t be the same without Mozzarella di Bufala.
When using fresh Mozzarella di Bufala to top your pizza or fill your calzone, it is best to cut it into cubes and allow it to drain for several hours in a colander so that the crust doesn't become soggy (some pizzaioli swear by packaged “dry” Mozzarella di Bufala for pizza, saying it yields a crisper crust; in Italy, the problem doesn't present itself, since there is a special variety of fresh Mozzarella di Bufala with a lower moisture content meant especially for topping pizzas).
Mozzarella di Bufala is also ideal sliced and grilled; cubed, skewered with bread, and grilled, then topped with a warm anchovy sauce (this is a traditional Roman antipasto); or stuffed into focaccia. When it is stirred into tomato sauce, it gives rice, pasta, or gnocchi a meltingly rich and delicious consistency.