What’s the Difference Between Mozzarella and Pizza Mozzarella? (Revealed!)

As you are enjoying your tasty treat, have you ever wondered what’s the difference between mozzarella and pizza mozzarella?

Or are they just the same?

You would think not because mozzarella can be quite expensive, so perhaps pizzas wouldn’t be so affordable if they used the good stuff!

Maybe the pizza manufacturers or restaurants don’t use mozzarella at all, and we just assume they do.

After all, surely it can only be called mozzarella if it is made from buffalo milk?

I can’t imagine my local takeaway has a herd of buffalo out the back!

Let’s get to the truth about mozzarella on pizzas.

Mozzarella and pizza mozzarella differ primarily in their moisture content and texture. Traditional mozzarella, typically made from buffalo or cow’s milk, has a higher moisture content and a soft, delicate texture. Pizza mozzarella, also known as low-moisture mozzarella, has a lower moisture content and a firmer texture, making it more suitable for baking on pizzas.

What’s the Best Mozzarella for Pizza?

Mozzarella is a key ingredient for a pizza, and everybody loves that gooey stringiness!

But should you use just any mozzarella, or is it better to use specific pizza mozzarella?

And what’s the difference anyway?

You’ve probably noticed that pizza mozzarella is a lot cheaper and is more solid in texture.

It will be easier to cut into discs or slices or to shred, and it has a lower moisture content than ordinary fresh mozzarella.

That is the key reason to use pizza mozzarella.

The moisture content, which can be as low as 45%, ensures that it melts when cooked at high heat.

Ordinary mozzarella has a much higher moisture content, at least 52%, and this will inhibit how it melts.

Nobody wants a big blob of unmelted cheese on their pizza!

The extra moisture may also seep into the pizza crust, making it soggy.

For the best results, always wrap the mozzarella in paper towels to remove any excess liquid.

Pizza mozzarella will also develop those attractive brown blisters, whereas ordinary mozzarella will just stay its creamy white color. 

Another advantage is that pizza mozzarella lasts longer; it doesn’t deteriorate as quickly.

So, all in all, it’s not worth using the more expensive mozzarella, as it won’t melt to the required gooeyness!

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Is Pizza Mozzarella Made from Buffalo Milk?

You may have heard that the best mozzarella is made from buffalo milk.

However, that does make it more expensive.

So, is pizza mozzarella made from cow or buffalo milk?

As you might expect, pizza mozzarella is made from cow’s milk.

Not only is it cheaper, but once again, the moisture content comes into play.

Buffalo milk mozzarella has a very high moisture content, up to almost twice the level of cow’s milk mozzarella.   

It is kept in liquid and must be thoroughly drained before using it.

The buffalo milk mozzarella won’t melt to produce that stringy texture we expect on a pizza.

And of course, you may not be able to find it other than in a specialist Italian shop.

You may be surprised to learn that pizza mozzarella is actually an American invention and would not typically be found in Italy. 

The lower moisture content is due to the process of using chemicals to dry it out.

The same result can also be achieved with vinegar, but obviously, this is going to affect the taste.

And the drying process also accounts for why it has a longer shelf life than ordinary, fresh mozzarella.

Can I Use Pre-Shredded Mozzarella for Pizza?

You have no doubt seen bags of pre-shredded mozzarella, they are typically found in all grocery stores.

It’s the cheapest option and will be made from low-moisture mozzarella.

This makes it ideal for pizzas, and you can simply pour it on and reseal the bag if you have any leftovers.

However, there is a drawback, and that’s because starch will have been added to the mozzarella to stop it from sticking together.

Other anti-caking agents may also be used, and this going to affect the flavor. 

The mozzarella will definitely have a drier texture as the starch soaks up some of the moisture.

And who wants dry cheese on their pizza?

The starch could also burn, rather than just allowing the mozzarella to blister.

The Best Cheese for Pizza

Final Thoughts

Pizza mozzarella has a lower moisture content which helps it melt and go all gooey!

It is also cheaper and has a longer shelf-life due to its drying process.

Pre-shredded mozzarella is also available but will give a drier texture and could burn.

I don’t know about you, but I’m craving pizza now!

I have also written another useful article on why mozzarella doesn’t always melt.

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