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VIDEO: Understanding Mozzarella Varieties

VIDEO: Understanding Mozzarella Varieties

The differences between traditional, buffalo mozzarella, and burrata

Ali Rosen

The Daily Meal’s video producer, Ali Rosen, ventured to Eataly in New York City to discuss the differences between traditional mozzarella, buffalo mozzarella, and burrata with Gregory Blais, Eataly’s chief cheesemonger.

They kick things off with mozzarella di bufala, which is made from the milk of a water buffalo. The difference taste-wise is going to be in the richness of the cheese. "The buffalo is a pretty unique animal in that it’s able to take pretty low-grade vegetation and turn it into really rich milk, so it’s got a higher yield — there’s a large amount of kilograms of milk necessary to make mozzarella from a cow; it’s about a third less out of the milk of a buffalo," says Blais.

When it comes to burrata, undoubtedly the trendiest cheese of the mozzarella world, this variety is a specialty of Puglia in southern Italy and it’s made in a similar fashion to the buffalo mozzarella. The difference with burrata is that the curds are cut before the cheese is prepared — the curds are formed into a beggar’s purse shape and then filled with heavy cream and more shredded curds and tied off at the top. "It’s like a little bag of cream with a candy center inside filled with rich, milky goodness," says Blais.

Check out the video to find out much more about mozzarella, including the best types to use for certain dishes.

The Complete Guide to Italian Cheeses (and the 13 Kinds to Know)

With over 400 different kinds, it’s very easy to get lost in the world of Italian cheeses. Not only does each region have its own varieties and production methods, but many different milks can be used as well, from buffalo and cow’s milk, to goat- and sheep’s milk.

We’re all familiar with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, but it’s time to get to know some more classic Italian cheeses. Here’s our guide, sorted by texture (soft, semi-soft, or hard) and complete with ideas on how to cook up delicious, cheesy dishes. Buon appetito!

Before we begin, a few diet notes: Many cheeses mentioned here contain the cow-sourced enzyme rennet and are therefore not vegetarian, though different brands may offer vegetarian friendly versions. For more on this, check out our article on how to figure out which cheeses are vegetarian.

If you are lactose intolerant, as a general rule of thumb you can check the sugar content of the packet of cheese as an indication of the lactose level: Cheese with low levels of lactose will have 5 g or less per 100g and anything with less than 1 g is considered to have ‘trace’ levels. Generally, the longer the aging process, the less lactose is present.

Semi-Hard Cheese

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Semi-hard cheeses are very similar to hard cheeses, except they aren’t as hard (duh). Check out some of the tastiest semi-hard cheeses.


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Despite the firm and somewhat grainy texture of Provolone, it is still a deliciously smooth cheese. And its buttery, tangy flavor makes it the perfect addition to any sandwich. It became very well known in the United States thanks to its appearance on the Philly cheesesteaks. If you’re wanting some more Provolone, check out these bizarre Philly cheesesteak creations.


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This sweet yet nutty cheese offers a rich, unique flavor. There are a lot of different Gouda varieties, including smoked and goat’s milk. Fun fact: Gouda is pronounced “how-da” by its Dutch cheesemakers. Gouda, in particular smoked gouda, tastes great with apple chutney on crackers. Genius.

Want to try something different? Consider hard cheeses for pizza perfection.

by Ed Zimmerman and Tracy Morin

Melted mozzarella is the default topping for pizza. But have you thought about offering alternatives that are a bit more unusual for pizza applications? To make your pizzeria stand out from the crowd and meet consumer demand for innovative flavor offerings, look to hard cheeses for pizza perfection. Hard cheeses add unique and on-trend flavor, texture and appearance to pizzas.

What is Hard Cheese?

Semihard and hard cheeses contain less moisture than fresh or soft cheeses, and texture can range from semifirm to very firm. The firmer the cheese, the slower the ripening, the more selective the flora (flavor and aroma), and the longer the shelf life. While many production variations determine a cheese”s ultimate characteristics, most cheeses in this category are made with curds that are cut, molded and pressed. Once unmolded, the cheese is allowed to age.

Very hard cheeses are very dry and the firmest of all types. Because of their hardness, they are also called “grating cheeses” the more aged versions may acquire a crumbly or crystalline texture. Cheeses in this category are typically aged at least six to 12 months, and in some cases may be aged up to several years. Examples include dry Jack, aged cheddar and aged Gouda.

Wisconsin, meanwhile, is known primarily for its cheddar, but did you know it produces a wide variety of cheeses, including specialty hard cheeses? Courtesy of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, here are some possible hard cheeses for pizza recipes:

Semi-Hard Cheeses for Pizza:
Cheddar: Younger types are rich and nutty with a smooth, firm texture that becomes increasingly complex and crumbly with age. Cheddar’s natural color is creamy white, but it can also be golden-yellow with the addition of annatto, a tasteless, odorless vegetable coloring.

Alpine Style: This traditional style originates from the mountainous regions of France and Switzerland. Its flavor tends to be leaner, with nutty, woodsy and grassy undertones. This includes varieties such as Swiss and Gruyere.

Gouda/Edam: Made with whole milk, Gouda has a rich, buttery, slightly sweet flavor and a smooth, creamy texture. It is traditionally covered with red wax. Edam is made with part-skim milk, giving it a light, nutty flavor and smooth, firm texture.

Hard Cheeses for Pizza
Parmesan: Similar to Asiago, Parmesan has a buttery, sweet, nutty flavor and a granular texture that intensifies with age.

Romano: Romano is sharp, tangy and assertive, the most intense of the hard cheeses.

Pepato: Hearty and robust, this peppery cheese is similar to Romano, but it’s studded with whole peppercorns.

Additional varieties of hard cheeses for pizza include:

Dry Jack: This cheese has a mild, aged nutty flavor and is typically pale yellow in color. As with most hard cheeses, Dry Jack may be aged from seven months to several years. For a taste twist, shave curls of Mellow Jack cheese onto a hot-from-the-oven spicy sausage pizza.

Asiago: This Italian-style cheese boasts a sharp, rich flavor. Harder, more aged versions, such as Dry Jack or Parmesan, can be grated. Try it on a white pizza: Top a layer of Asiago cheese with sliced mushrooms or shaved artichokes and whole roasted garlic cloves.

Cotija: This is a Hispanic-style cheese typically shredded onto cooked foods. It’s also great in salads and with fruit. Cotija can take pizza in a whole new direction a topping of grated cotija, black olives, chorizo and pickled jalapeños turns ordinary pizza into a Latin taste sensation.

How to use Mozzarella at home

There is this great recipe on how to make puttanesca sauce, which is something that would work really well with some mozzarella on top for the perfect finishing touch.

Another meal suggestion if you’re looking to impress is hand-ground veal and pork meatballs served with pesto marinated tomatoes, arugula and mozzarella.

Cheese and tomato is a traditional pairing that works really well – you only have to think about the popularity of pizza to see that this is the case. The mozzarella in this meal ensures that this is not your typical meatball dish. The combination of strong meaty flavor with soft cheese and fresh tomato is something you can’t beat in my opinion.

Mozzarella is also available as one of the many topping options for bruschetta. Bruschetta is a versatile dish that can be made in a number of different ways. You can have a lot of fun experimenting with the different ways to combine mozzarella with other ingredients for your bruschetta toppings.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of this ingredient and why it is such a popular choice. We are sure you will have a lot of fun experimenting with the different dishes that can be made.

What Is the Difference Between Burrata and Mozzarella Cheese?

When it comes to burrata vs mozzarella, it can be hard to tell them apart from the outside (at least when you’re dealing with fresh mozzarella cheese), but slice them open and you’ll see the most important distinction: the heavy cream filling burrata boasts.

When it comes to summer cheeses, mozzarella and burrata rank among the best. Both are semi-soft, white, fresh cheese and they’re similar in origin, but in addition to being incredibly delicious examples of Italian cheese, they’re also really, really easy to mistake for one another. If you’re constantly confusing the two, it’s okay! We’re here to help sort through all the curds and whey—here’s what makes them unique in their own right.


Let’s start with mozzarella. Whether you’re topping a pizza or making a Caprese salad, this cheese always comes in handy. Unlike a lot of varieties of cheese, mozzarella is not aged and is best eaten right after being made. When made fresh, it has the most amazing texture. At it’s best, it’s moist and elastic, but not rubbery and has just enough stretch to pull apart with your fingers. Mozzarella is commonly made with cow’s milk, but it can also be made from water buffalo’s milk, which is a rarer and more expensive variety (mozzarella di bufala, which you can score at Costco if you’re lucky).

Of course, you can also find low-moisture shredded mozzarella, but fresh mozzarella cheese is a whole different animal.

It goes without saying that salads are an easy way to toss together fresh ingredients. Just grab some of your favorite greens, fruits, and even seafood. Then tie it all together with the best homemade sauces and dressings for a flavorful-packed, satisfying meal.

    : Pan-seared salmon is layered on top of spinach, avocado, tomatoes, and red onions for a salad that’s big on nutrients and flavor. : A simple combo of diced tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, onion, and fresh herbs goes a long way. : Ripe tomatoes and creamy mozzarella make such a simple, yet elegant salad that stands the test of time. : With the help of onion, dill, and vinegar, sliced cucumbers never tasted so good! : This veggie packed salad is a refreshing 6 ingredient combo, with the best greek salad dressing. : Instead of using bulgur, I’ve swapped in cauliflower rice for a gluten-free option (without sacrificing flavor). : Enjoy classic Greek flavors and juicy watermelon with a refreshing, sweet twist. : When asparagus is in season, whip up this creamy, filling salad dotted with shrimp. : This simple summertime salad is always a crowd-pleaser.

Here Are 7 Best Cheese Recipes For Kids To Prepare At Home:

1. Mac & Cheese

The classic comfort food, mac and cheese is what adults and kids both can bond over. It is the quintessential cheese recipe that you can prepare in jiffy using minimum of ingredients. This creamy delight has just four basic ingredients of cheddar cheese, macaroni, milk and water, all of it microwaved for about five minutes and voila! You are ready with a mouth-watering bowl of cheesy mac n cheese.

2. Four Cheese Pasta

You won't have pasta any other way after this! Four cheese pasta is undoubtedly the cheesiest pasta you'll ever have, a delectable dish that combines four different varieties of cheese - parmesan, cheddar, brie and emmental because there's no such thing as "too much cheese!" A hassle free easy pasta recipe with the richness and flavour of cheese to make a delicious casserole dish.

3. Cheese Onion Omelette

Perfect breakfast option, cheese onion omelette is an easy and quick cheese recipe for kids to prepare at home. Omelettes are a popular breakfast dish all through northern part of India, with street stalls offering a variety of flavourful options. From simple plain omelette and masala omelette to cheese omelettes, here is an easy cheese omelette recipe packed with onion and parsley along with cheese oozing over it. Serve it with toasted, buttered bread and the kids would simply love it.

Cheese Recipes For Kids: This omelette can be your go-to breakfast on busy mornings since this is super quick and easy to cook!

4. Cheese Chilli Dosa

Stuffed with a scrumptious filling of cheese and chilli flakes, this south Indian treat comes with a twist. Dosa batter made with ground rice, urad and chana dal cooked on a pan and stuffed with grated cheddar cheese and flavourful chilli flakes. Serve with traditional coconut chutney for a whole meal.

5. Oatmeal Cheese Straws

A finger snack that is perfect for your kids to binge on! These cheese straws are the perfect balance of healthy and tasty - sieved flour mixture blended with egg and oats, kneaded, rolled out and cut into strips to bake into perfectly crisp munchies. You can bake a batch and store in an airtight jar, serve with a flavourful sauce of your choice.

Cheese Recipes For Kids: Crisp with the right amount of snap, the added coating of oats takes these cheese straws to another level altogether.

6.Garlic Cheese Bread

Five ingredients and in just about thirty minutes, you'll have the most amazing garlic bread to relish with kids! A French loaf glazed with a mouth-watering mix of butter, garlic, cheese and black pepper. It is covered and baked to perfect crisp in the oven. Serve this cheesy delight hot with a black pepper garnishing.

7. Margherita Pizza

Get me one kid who doesn't like a cheesy pizza and I'll give up on cheese. Okay, just kidding! But who doesn't like a pizza bursting with cheese, topped with flavourful sauces, oregano, crunchy veggies and what not?! Think of cheese and an image of hot and piping pizza comes to our mind, right? Here's the classic margherita pizza that you can easily prepare at home, packed with the goodness of basil, mozzarella, pepper and pasta sauce, so the next time the kids crave for a cheese pizza you can quickly whip up one right inside your kitchen.

Cheese Recipes For Kids: It just takes a few simple ingredients and you get insanely delicious results! You just can't go wrong with that tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella combo.

About Aanchal Mathur Aanchal doesn't share food. A cake in her vicinity is sure to disappear in a record time of 10 seconds. Besides loading up on sugar, she loves bingeing on FRIENDS with a plate of momos. Most likely to find her soulmate on a food app.

7. Gorgonzola

  • Country of Origin: Italy
  • Strength: Sharp, strong
  • Texture: Creamy to crumbly
  • Appearance: Pale yellow, white skin
  • Calories: 353 kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 2.3 g
  • Fat: 28.7 g
  • Protein: 21.4 g

Gorgonzola is a strong and powerful cheese from Italy that packs a big flavor.

There are two main varieties of this cheese Dolce and Piccante.

Typically aged for less than three months, Dolce Gorgonzola is a very soft, creamy, and almost spreadable cheese.

For blue cheese, it is also quite mild and has a slightly sweet flavor. However, the key words there are “for a blue cheese” – it is still sharp and pungent compared to other cheeses.

On the other hand, Piccante Gorgonzola ages for between six and twelve months, and the extra aging time is apparent when you first taste it.

The texture is semi-hard and crumbly, and the flavor is intensely pungent. For this reason, it is better paired with food rather than eaten alone.

Substitute for mozzarella cheese in chicken parmesan

Chicken parmesan requires a rather specific flavor palette. While it’s highly plausible to use any of the already listed types of cheese in your dish instead of mozzarella , there are a few types of cheese that would be better suited to the flavor profile of the dish.

Swiss cheese. The nutty and semi-sweet flavor of this cheese goes well within the chicken parmesan recipe and compliments the neighboring ingredients within the dish. It has more flavor than mozzarella and melts into a creamy consistency.

Pepperjack. While this cheese has a slightly spicy flavor, it pairs well with the recipe. This cheese melts well and becomes stretchy. But, it has a much higher oil and moisture content as opposed to mozzarella, often making pizzas and lasagnas greasy.

So, Pepperjack would be ideal for a chicken parmesan recipe. Some extra moisture always goes well with chicken, which tends to dry out easily.

Jarlsberg. Although this is often mistaken for Swiss cheese due to similar appearance, Jarlsberg is quite special. This buttery, mild and sweet cheese melts well into a thick and creamy consistency. It’s soft and rich in texture and resembles the same color as Swiss cheese.

Ricotta. While this cheese does not melt well to form a gorgeous cheesy crust, it does become extremely soft and turns into a creamy consistency that closely resembles a white sauce. This creamy texture goes well in chicken parmesan, and it has a mild and semi-sweet taste.

Generally speaking, any mild cheese would work, as long as the cheese melts well or incorporates into your recipe as it’s supposed to. It should be noted that despite the fact that all of the cheese discussed can be used as alternatives to mozzarella, they are still unique.

You should research and check the storage requirements, handling, and lifespan of the cheese you are interested in trying out before purchasing them. Don’t forget that you can create your own cheesy mix up with these too.

There are plenty of mozzarella alternatives to try out. Realizing that you don’t have the correct cheese for your planned recipe could initially be seen as being in quite a pickle.

But, it’s more of an opportunity to try out new ideas and flavor combinations. While this list is a guide as to which cheeses work best as an alternative to mozzarella, this is simply the beginning of all your cheesy endeavors.

If you’ve got any other food curiosities be sure to check the related articles below, we’re always adding more food facts to make your life that much easier.

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