Recently, my kids and I were getting groceries at a local farm/grocery store when my son, 4, and my daughter, 2, caught site of the cheesemonger making fresh mozzarella. They both love the cheese and were transfixed watching the whole process unfold. As they watched, he pulled, folded and stretched the mozzarella into a perfect ball.
Heck, I find it fascinating too. It's amazing to see the curds go from rough blocks to a smooth, brined ball. (Check it out in this YouTube video
- so cool!).
This isn't the first time I have mentioned the joy that is fresh mozzarella. Last month, I told you all how I associate it with New York
, since that's where I first had it. But now that it's become an everywhere food, I also associate with summer and picnics on the beach and lunch on sunny days.
Fresh mozzarella is delicious. It pairs well with tomatoes and basil in a fabulous salad
(my fav is Caprese Salad - slices of fresh mozzarella and tomato with chopped fresh basil, a drizzle of great olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt). It also is great for melting in grilled cheese sandwiches or stuffing into grilled chicken sandwiches. I also like it on homemade pizzas, although admittedly it has a greater water content which it releases when cooked.
Another variation on this is smoked fresh mozzarella, which is (obviously) smoked and has a rich, nutty flavor that also pairs well with chicken. It's also good with roasted peppers in sandwiches.
How do you like your fresh mozzarella?
Here are some delish recipes for spring that use fresh mozzarella:
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger. Find her online at Sarah's Cucina Bella.