Modern Design Blog

Italian mozzarella

The secrets of real Italian mozzarella

Mozzarella is one of the culinary symbols of Italy. Even with all the imitations out there today, the real Italian mozzarella still reigns supreme in taste.

What’s in a name

The name “mozzarella” comes straight from its production process. Mozzarella is essentially spun paste obtained from the curd. The paste is then cut off (in Italian, “mozzata”) and modeled in different shapes – rounded, braided or in bite-sized “bocconcini.”

A very old tradition

The real Italian mozzarella has been made the same way for over 500 years and originated in certain provinces of Southern Italy, like Naples, Caserta, Salerno, Benevento and Latina.

Water buffalo vs cow’s milk

The original mozzarella is made with water buffalo’s milk. Today, mozzarella is also made with cow’s milk or a mixture of both. Cow’s milk mozzarella is technically called “fior di latte” to distinguish it from its counterpart. The milk from water buffalos has almost double the solid content of cow’s milk. In fact, a ton of water buffalo milk produces over 24 kg of mozzarella, versus only 13 kg obtained from a ton of cow's milk. The buffalo milk also has a higher percentage of protein and fat, including "good" unsaturated fats such as oleic acid.

A protected food specialty

Area of origin of Mozzarella di Bufala


Mozzarella is protected under the Traditional Specialties Guaranteed (TSG) mark established by the European Union. The mark certifies that mozzarella is a particular agricultural product with very specific characteristics and a unique production method that have stayed the same for at least 30 years. This means that only producers who conform to the registered product specifications can actually use the name “mozzarella.” The Mozzarella di Bufala from the region of Campania also holds PDO status (D.O.P. in Italian), which means it can only be manufactured within that geographic area using its traditional local ingredients.

Fattening or not?

Mozzarella cannot be considered a low-fat cheese because it’s produced with whole milk (so, if you find a low-fat mozzarella cheese, you already know you are in the presence of a fake!) However, being a fresh cheese, mozzarella is more watery and therefore has fewer calories than a denser cheese with the same weight.

Rules of preservation

  • Don’t freeze it: The transition from below zero to room temperature can have a negative impact on the characteristic flavor of mozzarella. It’s called fresh for a reason and you should consume it as such!
  • Preserve it in its serum:
 Mozzarella should be stored in a small amount of salted whey and sealed in the upper part of the refrigerator. Pizza makers may leave it for a while completely drained in the fridge before putting it on pizza because the liquid would otherwise make the dough too soggy during baking.
  • Don’t leave it immersed in milk: It’s another sure-fire way to make it lose its flavor.

The origins of Burrata

Italian Burrata


Burrata is a “bag” of spun curd blown up like a balloon and filled with Stracciatella (strips of mozzarella chopped by hand and mixed with whey cream.) Burrata was invented in a dairy in Andria (near Bari) at the beginning of the last century as a way to use up all the residues from the processing of mozzarella.

A few mozzarella recipes to enjoy

Here are a few recipes to try…just make sure you use real, fresh Italian mozzarella for them!

Mozzarella and bread skewers with a buttery anchovy sauce

Mozzarella and bread skewers with buttery anchovy sauce

Source: Accademia Barilla 

Mozzarella in Carrozza 

Mozzarella in Carrozza

Source: Accademia Barilla 

Mozzarella and Ham Panzerotti 

Mozzarella and Ham Panzerotti

Source: Accademia Barilla   

Ischia-style Mozzarella with Basil  

Ischia Style Mozzarella with Basil

Source: Accademia Barilla