Cheese Feast: The Ultimate Guide to Mozzarella on Your Pizza

Cheesy Choices: Unlocking the Mozzarella Mystique for Perfect Pizzas

Mozzarella and pizza mozzarella differ in moisture content and texture. Traditional mozzarella is softer with higher moisture, while pizza mozzarella, or low-moisture mozzarella, is firmer, making it better for baking on pizzas due to its lower moisture level. Pizza mozzarella melts well, prevents soggy crusts, and has a longer shelf life.

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 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.

An illustration of a girl holding mozzarella and a chef cutting pizza

Fresh vs Shredded Mozzarella on Pizza

The type of cheese used on pizza can significantly influence the final product.

Many pizza makers deliberate between fresh mozzarella straight from the brine or pre-shredded mozzarella.

Fresh mozzarella brings a rich, creamy flavor and texture that contrasts nicely with the crispy crust.

However, its high moisture content risks a soggy pizza if not handled properly.

Shredded mozzarella provides even coverage and melts into the classic stretchy consistency we want on pizza.

The low-moisture pre-shredded variety avoids a soggy crust.

Plus, it’s ready to use right from the bag, saving time and mess.

The choice ultimately depends on whether you prefer an authentic Italian-style pizza with fresh mozzarella or the convenience and reliability of shredded mozzarella for a satisfying cheesy pizza.

Either way, the cheese debate adds fun to perfecting the art of pizza!

The Best Cheese for Pizza

My Final Thoughts

  • There are two main types of mozzarella cheese: regular mozzarella and pizza mozzarella. Regular mozzarella has a higher moisture content, which can make pizza crusts soggy. Pizza mozzarella, on the other hand, has a lower moisture content, making it a better choice for pizzas.
  • Regular mozzarella is typically sold in balls or logs and is great for salads or sandwiches. Pizza mozzarella is sold in shreds or pre-sliced logs/balls specifically designed for pizzas.
  • Shredded mozzarella is convenient, but it contains anti-caking agents that can affect the flavor and texture of the cheese. For the best flavor, it’s recommended to buy a block of low-moisture mozzarella and shred it yourself.
  • Fresh mozzarella has the best flavor, but it has a shorter shelf life and is more expensive than other types of mozzarella.
  • In conclusion, the best type of cheese for pizza depends on your priorities: taste or convenience. If you prefer a more flavorful pizza, you may be willing to put in the extra effort to shred your own low-moisture mozzarella. If convenience is more important to you, then pre-shredded pizza mozzarella is a perfectly acceptable option.

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.

How do you think the differences between traditional mozzarella and pizza mozzarella reflect broader trends in food production?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

An infographic style image with depictions of the stages of making mozzarella


Is Pizza Mozzarella Made from Buffalo Milk?

No, pizza mozzarella is typically made from cow’s milk. Traditional mozzarella is made from the milk of water buffaloes.

Can I Use Traditional Mozzarella for Pizza?

You can, but it may make the crust soggy. Drain it thoroughly first to remove excess moisture.

Does Pizza Mozzarella Taste Different from Traditional Mozzarella?

Yes, pizza mozzarella has a milder flavor compared to the richer, creamier taste of traditional mozzarella.

Can I Use Pre-Shredded Mozzarella for My Pizza?

Yes, you can use pre-shredded mozzarella for pizza. However, it often contains anti-caking agents that can affect texture and flavor. Pre-shredded mozzarella is usually a low-moisture mozzarella.

How Should I Store Leftover Mozzarella?

Wrap leftover mozzarella tightly or store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Use it within a few days for the best quality.

What Other Cheeses Work on Pizza?

Provolone, cheddar, gouda, and parmesan are other popular pizza cheeses. Each adds its own unique flavor and textures.

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