Why Mozzarella?


The following article provides us with a little history of that delicious cheese that everyone has been enjoying on the pizzas that are flying out of the oven at the Ag District!

"Cheese is what makes a pizza delicious and is one of the ingredients that complete your whole pizza eating experience. And one of the most famous cheeses to have ever been spread out on top of a pizza is mozzarella.That delicious gooey, stretchy, tangy, and chewy cheese that leaves a tantalizing feeling in your mouth. And let’s admit it, it’s probably one of the best cheeses in the world.

Legend tells us that mozzarella was first made when cheese curds accidentally fell into a pail of hot water in a cheese factory and sometime shortly after that, the first ever pizza was invented. So what’s the true story?

Mozzarella was first made in Southern Italy near Naples. Records show that the Romans were already making a similar kind of cheese from sheep’s milk during the middle of the first century A.D. And the cheese got its name because of the tradition during the third century in which the monks from San Lorenzo di Capua would give out bread and self-made cheese which they called “mozza” to the people in need. And the name mozzarella was developed from the mozza which came from the Italian word “mozzare” which means to separate or to cut off. But when water buffalo farming emerged during the 16th century, they quickly switch from making the cheese with sheep’s milk to buffalo milk.

Because mozzarella was not made from pasteurized milk and there was no refrigeration that was available during that time, the cheese had a very short shelf-life and it somehow never left the southern region of Italy where it was made. But as technology, transportation systems, and refrigeration improved the cheeses were able to reach other regions of Italy. And in the middle of 20th century, mozzarella was able to be transported all throughout Europe.

There is no doubt that the connection of Mozzarella cheese and our modern pizza is strongly related to the fact that they both have origins in Italy. Mozzarella is the perfect pizza cheese and science has an explanation for it. When scientists experimented with different types of cheese such as edam, cheddar, mozzarella, and provolone they found out that mozzarella’s unique elasticity and its water and oil content produces the perfect consistency that everyone looks for in pizza. It also cooks nicely and gives the pizza a mottled and tasty top. Mozzarella does not also collect pools of grease on top of your pizza.

Mozzarella is definitely one of the most popular types of cheese and a slice of pizza can never be complete without it ."

Here at the Little River Bakehouse we continue this tradition by producing aritsan pizzas topped with the best mozzarella. We are proud that we use our own Locksley Farmstead Cheese mozzarella - "The Monk"!