What is the best Italian making cheese? This is a question that many people ask themselves when they are browsing the Italian grocery store. The answer may seem simple, but there is more than one way to produce this delicious food! In this article, we will discuss some of the most popular types of cheese made in Italy: mozzarella di bufala campana (mozzarella), ricotta salata (ricotta), and caciocavallo podolico (cacio).
Mozzarella di bufala is the most known and arguably the most popular Italian cheese. It is a soft white fresh cheese made from buffalo milk that originated in Campania. This type of cheese can be found throughout Italy, but it has been historically produced exclusively in the southern region near Naples for centuries!
In Italy, there are different and historical companies that produce mozzarella. The biggest cheese producer in Italy is Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, established by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on October 29th, 1995.
This company produces about 70% of all Italian production of this type of milk!
The process to make mozzarella takes around 24 hours, and it starts by heating the milk. After that, rennet is added, and it is allowed to be set for 15 minutes. The curd is then cut into small pieces in a process called scalding with hot water or whey until they are soft enough to be kneaded together without tearing them apart!
The final step before packaging the cheese is to drain the water, salt it and then shape them into a ball.
Bufala is the most consumed form of cheese in Italy.
Ricotta salata differs from mozzarella because there are no rennet or enzymes added to create this delicious food; instead, ricotta is created by straining high-quality whole milk, producing something more akin to a dryer cheese parmesan.
Ricotta salata should also typically only have salt as an ingredient, whereas other types of ricotta may include additional spices such as ground black pepper and chili flakes.
Caciocavallo podolico is the last cheese we will discuss in this article. It is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese that originated on the Italian island of Sardinia and is named after its production area, Podolia! Caciocavallo podolico has many similarities to mozzarella di bufala campana. It also starts as fresh curds pressed into round shapes with an imprinted pattern on top.
How do you eat these kinds of Italian cheese?
These products could be eaten as a snack, appetizer, side dish, or even main course! Caciocavallo podolico is often eaten with grapes and bread, while ricotta salata can be spread onto toast and topped with honey.
Mozzarella di bufala campana is one of the most versatile cheeses because it has such a great melting point that it could be used in place of almost any other cheese to create some simple yet delicious dishes.
We suggest trying them on pizza, on a sandwich, or in your favorite pasta dish.
There are so many different types of cheeses produced in Italy; however, these three represent some of the most popular ones found throughout the country! The next time you make your way down the grocery store aisle, be sure to grab one or two forms for yourself and see what makes them taste so good!