One of my favorite gastronomic products from the Amalfi Coast – and one of the area's most quintessential products – is mozzarella cheese. This cheese can be found all over Italy, of course, but it originates in the south.
Mozzarella di Bufala (made from the milk of the Italian water buffalo) is the most known type and has a designation under the EU's "Protected Designation of Origin." It is best consumed within a day or two of being made, although it is frequently kept in a water brine for up to 1-2 weeks to make it last longer (and in the US, alas, frequently longer than that). You will usually find it in formed into balls of varying sizes, although it can be braided (and is then called a "treccia," or braid).
The first time I met my husband was in an Italian class (I the teacher, he the adult student). We were talking about food (of course!) when I mentioned how much I loved fresh mozzarella cheese, he commented that he found it boring and bland. If you are thinking only of the packaged, often shredded mozzarella cheese you buy at the supermarket, he is correct! But if you can find really good, fresh mozzarella it is out of this world. Each bite is a bit of cream bursting in your mouth, its flavors so subtle and delicate you can only keep chasing it bite after bite.
You can taste mozzarella in its birthplace and even learn to make it yourself during one of our cooking vacations on the Amalfi Coast. In fact, if you travel in April you can do it at incredible savings (30% off our best selling itinerary!). Contact us for details.By Peg Kern