While I was still living in Singapore, I used to believe that mozzarella is solid. And yellow. You know, something like this :
As you can see, Cart is very amused the first time he saw it in our trip to a supermarket in Singapore.
Reason being, you’d be hard pressed trying to find anything like that in a regular supermarket in Rome (and probably the rest of Italy) because mozzarella is soft and white and is always kept hydrated in a pool of brine to keep it fresh.
This particular brand comes swimming in their own paper sachets, but you could also find them without, or in individual plastic sachets filled with brine.
And when you press it, it is soft and malleable.
And when you cut it, you’d sometimes see liquidy goodness oozing out.
Sidenote : If you were wondering what the green veggie is on the side, it’s actually Broccoletti and it reminds me a lot of an Asian veggie called Cai Xin.
Anyway, as this is fresh cheese, it’s best to consume it within a week. You’d normally find them in two varieties – the ones made of cow milk or the more expensive water buffalo milk. They each taste slightly different, but both delicate and fresh.
And it’s great in Caprese, Pizza Margherita, Lasagna and the likes. By the way, have you seen my video on how to make veggie lasagna yet? Here you can see the mozzarella in action (around the 6:55 mark) and also hear how to pronounce it.
But to play the devil’s advocate, I think it’s not all that bad to have those solid blocks masquerading as Mozzarella. The real thing is quite pricey outside of Italy. I found a 100g one for 10SGD! One!
Even with the currency converted, for the same price you could get 4 of them in Rome. Thus, I’m kind of undecided if it is a good or bad thing. I wouldn’t really call it Mozzarella though. It’s not a snob thing. It’s just that when you’ve been around, you become more discerning. For example, I’ve been to some restaurants in Rome where they serve curry…but I wouldn’t call it curry.
(Fun fact! Did you know that Japan tried to patent Curry in 1999?)
Nevertheless, if you’re interested about this topic, there is an organization called Coldiretti and they represent Italian Agriculture. About once a year, they would put up a page revealing food which claims to be Italian, but is not. Here is the link – it is in Italian, but it’s mostly pictorial.