Mozzarella, Our Warm Welcome Fresh

While mozzarella originally hails from Italy, it's the #1 cheese in America today thanks to our national obsession with – you guessed it – pizza. This young, never-aged, snow-white soft cheese is a relative newbie on the American cheese scene – its popularity exploded after U.S. soldiers returned home from World War II craving the pizza they had discovered in Italy. While we still love to pile it thick on nearly every kind of ‘za, we're equally happy to eat mozzarella in salads, sandwiches, lasagna, or calzones. Today, Wisconsin makes more of this melting, pillowy cheese each year than anyone – nearly 1 billion pounds. So molte grazie for the inspiration, Italy! We'll take it from here.

What can you make with mozzarella?

News alert: mozzarella isn't just for pizza anymore. Fresh mozzarella is perfect with sliced tomatoes in a classic caprese salad or mixed with greens and fruits in a fresh summer salad. Baked mozzarella is the star of pasta dishes like eggplant parmesan, stuffed pasta shells, and baked ziti. It doesn't get much better than mozzarella melted on a chicken sandwich or a grilled panini. Burrata, a special kind of mozzarella, is great with a simple drizzle of olive oil and a little bread.

When it comes to pairing, mozzarella isn't picky – its mild delicate flavors go well with lots of libations.

  • Beer: light pilsners, weiss beers, or medium bodied ales – take your pick.
  • Wine: everything from chianti, zinfandel and merlot, to chardonnay, pinot gris, or a rosé.

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FAQs: What is mozzarella?

What is mozzarella?

Mozzarella is an Italian-style cheese traditionally made from the milk of water buffalo, though today it is most often made with cow's milk (you don't find a lot of Italian Mediterranean Buffalo roaming the Wisconsin dairy land.) Creamy white, delicate and smooth, mozzarella is a fresh cheese best eaten soon after it is made.

How is mozzarella made?

Mozzarella is made by taking the curds that form after rennet is added to milk and heating them in water until they form strings and develop an elastic texture. The cheese is stretched and kneaded until it's smooth, and then formed into round balls.

Why is mozzarella stringy?

So, why is mozzarella stringy and stretchy? In a word (okay, six words): low acidity and long protein chains. Low-acidity cheeses stretch and melt well, while high acidity produces cheeses that crumble. The low acidity levels in mozzarella allow the milk proteins to bind together into chains. When put in hot, salty water, these proteins uncoil and group into long strands. Kneading and stretching the curd helps to increase the stretchiness and stringiness.

Why does mozzarella come in water?

As a high moisture cheese, mozzarella should be stored in water, whey, or brine to help keep its texture soft and moist.

What's so great about Wisconsin mozzarella?

We get it: when you think mozzarella, you think Italy. But when you buy mozzarella, you really want to think Wisconsin. Making great cheese is an art, and our artisan cheesemakers are the Monets of mozzarella. We've won more cheese awards (yes, it's a real thing) than any other state or country, and we're the only place in the world outside of Switzerland with a Master Cheesemaker program, which is why every cheese master in America has called Wisconsin home. So next time you're looking for the tastiest, highest-quality mozzarella you can find, make sure it comes from Wisconsin. Because in the great potluck of American life, Wisconsin always brings the cheese.

Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?

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