I’d like to take this moment to educate you all on the intricacies of Mozzarella.
I have to admit that it was only recently that someone told me that Bufala Mozzarella is made from a buffalo and not a dairy cow… a water buffalo to be exact. In Campania, the Italians take their Mozzarella di Bufala very seriously. In fact, if it’s authentic, it bears a certification (issues by the EU) of “Mozzarella di Bufala Campana”. Now, the reason that Bufala mozzarella is considered to be the very best, is because the water buffalo makes an extremely rich milk, even with a sparse diet of low nutrient vegetation, which may be why the water buffalo is a prized possession for poor families in India.
Now, there are other types of Mozzarella cheese that are made from dairy cows, and this is called mozzarella fior di latte, and it tends to be drier and more dense than Bufala, so it is generally used for baking. I would guess that in the US, this is the variety that is most typically used. We are also big on low fat mozzarella, which is made with skim milk. This is also the case with string cheese.
In Italy, the classic pizza is the Neapolitan, which is simply a delicious, soft, yet thin crust topped with homemade tomato sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes, and Mozzarella di Bufala Campana. If you can believe it, there are official rules on how to make a proper pizza napoletana! The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana states exactly how the dough must be made, and what the three varieties are: marinara, margarita, and margarita extra all of which are made with Bufala mozzarella.
I have had pizza made with Bufala mozzarella, and it is seriously delicious! I can see why the Italians take their pizza making so seriously.
So there you have it folks! All mozzarellas are not created equally. Consider this the next time you buy ingredients for an Italian meal at home, the cheese that you select will make the difference.