Once you’ve tasted fresh mozzarella, nothing else compares. Forget the pre-shredded packaged stuff and ditch the block of low-moisture mozz — soft, fresh mozzarella is everything.
Here are the most important varieties so can build your next pizza or appetizers with confidence.
Outside of Italy, this is what is known as regular fresh mozzarella. This semi-soft cheese is made from whole cow’s milk and can either be salted or unsalted. You typically find this Mozzarella in large balls sold in brine, or water, and wrapped tightly in plastic. Slice it in rounds for a caprese salad or use it for a traditional margherita pizza.
In Italy, buffalo milk mozzarella is much more prominent. Thus, this type of mozzarella is made with water buffalo milk instead of cow’s milk. It’s best when eaten within hours of production, but imported options make a worthy compromise. Enjoy it with a few wedges of tomato, a drizzle of good olive oil, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
Ovolini mozzarella is just one size down from your standard large ball, perfect for when you’re making a caprese for just one or two people. It can be made with buffalo milk, cow’s milk, or a combination, but inside the states, it will be made with 100 percent cow’s milk.
The name stems from the Italian word for mouth, meaning they are bite-sized. They’re perfect for marinating or tossed in a cherry tomato salad.
These mozzarella balls are about the size of a cherry. Bocconcini and ciliegine can be used interchangeably — try either thread on skewers with cherry tomatoes for a twist on Caprese.
The small, pearl-like balls of mozzarella are a great addition to a Panzanella salad, or simple pasta. Their small size will melt extra fast and won’t water down your dish.
Meaning “buttery” in Italian. The richest and most decadent of the mozz family is burrata, a fresh cheese made from a mix of mozzarella and cream. It can be made with buffalo milk, cow’s milk, or a combination. The outside looks like a regular mozzarella ball, but inside, it’s filled with a mixture of soft cheese curds and cream. The ball oozes out the buttery creamy filling when you slice into it. Swap it in for your usual fresh mozzarella for a treat.