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The name mozzarella is derived from the word ‘mozzare’ which means ‘to cut off’ – this being the typical action performed by hand by the master cheesemaker creating the mozzarella. This term is used because mozzarella used to only be produced by cutting a 3-4 kg piece into smaller pieces by hand.

Mozzarella production is the fruit of a longstanding artisanal tradition that has remained almost unchanged by time, and is still based on traditional methods of cheese production.

Milk, from one or two daily yields, is pasteurized and acidified with a type of natural bacterial culture, commonly known as ‘cizza’, which is the whey from the previous day’s production that has been left to acidify naturally at room temperature. Curdling takes place by adding liquid calf rennet to the milk. This produces curd, which is then drained and left to mature.

This is followed by ‘spinning’, the most delicate and complex step of the process. The mature curd is cut into thin slices and placed in a wooden container, where it is softened by adding boiling water. The melted curd is then lifted out and stretched until shiny and smooth, with a thread-like consistency (the spinning test).

The next stage is to shape it either by hand or by machine. The mozzarella is dropped into cold water for a few minutes and then immersed in salt.

Before being packed, it is immersed in brine, which is either made from the spinning water, salt and the diluted original whey, or from salt water with citric or lactic acid added to it.










 

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