Cheese is one of the most delicious foods. It is eaten almost all over the world. It is perfect for both daily diet and holiday table. There are many cheese flavors — sweet, salty, tart, spicy. In each country, their preferences for the perfect cheese.
So, the Italians are very proud of their mozzarella. This cheese is extraordinary in taste, delicate, with a creamy aroma.
For the first time in Italy, monks became interested in this product in search of the most suitable product for wine. It was then that the buffalo milk was tested for the production of cheese. In the monastery of San Lorenzo, pilgrims were offered cheese and a slice of bread. Cheese monks called «mozza.»
After a couple of centuries, the Mozza was already sold in the rich markets of Naples. It was then that Bartolomeo Scappi mentioned cheese in his cooking book called mozzarella.
Buffaloes are actively divorced, mozzarella is produced more and more for sale. And in the 18th century, the first cheese factory was built in the province of Caserta.
There are several varieties of mozzarella — hard and smoked varieties.
Mozzarella cheese layered in its structure, has a delicate creamy taste, reminiscent of cottage cheese. Made from the classic recipe of buffalo milk, more salty and fatty than cooked from cow’s milk.
Due to its soft structure, it is given different forms, which is why it is called differently:
- Large balls are called bacconini;
- Smaller sized balls — ciligini;
- Small lumps the size of a pea — pearls;
- In the form of a spit — the track (it is often smoked).
Mozzarella cheese is good for the body because it has a low calorie content, it contains only 20% fat. It is often used in the diet. It is rich in calcium and other beneficial substances. Recommended for children, the elderly and pregnant women.
The effect of this product on the body is manifested in the following beneficial properties:
- Potassium contained in cheese improves the functioning of the heart muscle;
- Calcium and phosphorus strengthens nails, teeth and bones;
- Sodium stabilizes the water balance;
- Skin and eyesight are protected by vitamin A;
- The cholesterol level remains normal due to the presence of choline in the composition.
Equipment for making mozzarella at home
For home cooking you will need the following inventory:
- Utensils for heating milk (not aluminum);
- Special square or round shape for cheese with holes (for waste liquid);
- Thermometer, better electronic;
- Heavy item used as a press;
- Sterile gauze.
Before you start making cheese, you need to dissolve citric acid in ½ part of the volume of cold water. Rennet is also miscible with water.
Milk should be slightly warmed up to 17-18 degrees, add citric acid solution to it, stirring the liquid constantly. Then put on a small fire and bring the temperature of the composition to 36 degrees.
The turn of the rennet came, it is also mixed with heated milk, stirred for three minutes.
After that, the fire can be extinguished, cover the container and leave for forty minutes to form a clot that does not stick to hands.
You need to wear gloves, remove the resulting mass from the tank and put in a colander. And bring the liquid that remained in the pan to a boil, add salt.
Then the cheese is dipped in hot salted liquid for a few seconds, after which you can try to stretch the cheese mass in your hands. Good elasticity should be present, if the clot is not torn, then the process is true.
The mass needs some more time to hold in the liquid, while trying to stretch it better. This will give it uniformity and toughness.
That’s ready mozzarella cheese. The next step is to choose the form for the cheese. You can form balls of any size or strip, and serve to the table.
- 1.5 liters of cow’s milk;
- 250 ml of high quality purified water;
- Rennet — pepsin — 2 teaspoons;
- Half a teaspoon of citric acid;
- Table salt — 1 tsp.
We take half the volume of cold water for a solution with citric acid.
Pour the milk into the pan, do not heat it, but immediately add an acidic solution. Bring the liquid to a temperature of 30 degrees, pour out pepsin diluted in the remaining cold water. Mix well, remove from heat and leave for half an hour. After this time, look at the pan — there was formed a mass similar to cottage cheese.
This mass should be cut into several small pieces. Once again the capacity is heated, the temperature should not exceed 35 degrees. The mass is constantly stirring.
Remove from heat, strain into a colander and gently squeeze. We bring the water to a temperature of 90 degrees, put the curd into it, and in five minutes the homemade mozzarella is ready. We put on rubber gloves so as not to burn our hands, knead the cheese in a ball and place in cold water.
- Before cooking mozzarella at home, all containers should be thoroughly rinsed and rinsed with boiling water. This will help avoid the reproduction of extraneous microorganisms in milk and cheese;
- Prescription milk requires heating, it is better to do it in a water bath, so it warms up evenly;
- Milk fat should be average. Any suitable — whole, pasteurized and even dry. But the taste of cheese directly depends on the quality of the dairy product, therefore it is better not to save and use fresh whole cheese;
- The water in which rennet is dissolved and bacteria (or citric acid) must be clean, better distilled, not too cold, better than room temperature. The pickle in which the mozzarella is placed must, on the contrary, be very cold; the colder, the better;
- To increase the moisture content of mozzarella instead of citric acid, you should use a mixture of thermophilic bacteria. Then it will turn out very soft and wet;
- When cooking mozzarella, the stage is important where the cheese should be well drawn out. If you hurry and do not wait for this moment, the product will be hard and rubbery to the taste. If you overdo it, the mass will fall apart;
- After cooking mozzarella, it is placed in a pickle and refrigerated. The longer it is in the liquid, the saltier it will be;
- Before use, the cheese must be removed from the brine and dried with a towel.
Mozzarella cheese is not subject to long-term storage, is eaten immediately after preparation. But if you hold it in salty brine for a while, it will taste more piquant. In this brine it is permissible to keep it no more than three days. If cheese has acquired a sour or bitter taste, it means that it has deteriorated and is no longer suitable for food. If this type of cheese is left without brine, the product will become dry and lose its delicate flavor.
The pickle is quite simple:
- Liter serum;
- 4 tablespoons of salt;
- Stir until complete dissolution of salt.
Store mozzarella cheese is necessary, placing in a pickle and removing in the refrigerator.
Served as a separate dish as a snack or as part of other dishes. Mozzarella cheese perfectly combined with tomatoes and basil in the traditional Italian dish Caprese, also goes well with white wine. Mozzarella is often used as a dessert with fruit and sweet wines.
In Italy, cheese is used in most recipes. Mozzarella will be good at cooking pasta, lasagna and pizza. This delicate product will add to the dishes of refinement.
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You can surprise guests by offering them such a salad as a snack. It will require the following ingredients:
- 200 grams of mozzarella;
- Arugula — 60 grams;
- Fresh tomatoes in the amount of two pieces (you can use cherry tomatoes);
- Olive oil — 30 grams;
- Thyme, spices to taste;
- Balsamic vinegar;
- 2 cloves of garlic.
To prepare the sauce, mix the olive oil, basil, thyme, garlic and spices. Cut the cheese into thin slices, tomato rings, lay the arugula on top, pour the sauce. In addition, shrimps, olives, mushrooms are often used. Components can be alternated at their discretion.
Delicate and light salad ready. Enjoy your meal!
Cooking mozzarella at home is a simple process, and the pleasant delicate taste of this cheese will surely please and serve as a reward for your hard work.