How many times have you looked in your refrigerator and wondered why does mozzarella cheese mold faster?
If you compare it to other cheeses, it certainly seems to go off very quickly.
Is it anything to do with how it’s preserved in liquid?
What about the pizza mozzarella stored in blocks, is that particularly prone to mold as well?
Is it even moldy, anyway?
Maybe it’s meant to go that orange color after a certain period of time!
Let’s find out the cause of moldy mozzarella!
Mozzarella cheese molds faster due to the absence of preservatives. It should be stored in brine, in a sealed container, and refrigerated until use. Its high moisture content increases mold susceptibility. There’s no need to replace the brine unless it smells bad. If it does, prepare a fresh solution using one tablespoon of salt dissolved in several cups of water.
What Makes Mozzarella Cheese Go Moldy So Quickly?
You may have noticed that mozzarella goes moldy a lot quicker than other cheeses.
Even if you haven’t even opened it, the mozzarella goes a strange orange color which doesn’t look very appealing!
It’s a similar story with other fresh cheeses, such as chèvre and ricotta.
Unlike harder cheeses, mozzarella doesn’t contain any preservatives.
The best way to store it is to keep it in the liquid it is sold in.
This could be water, but is usually brine or occasionally whey.
Ideally, the mozzarella should also be stored in an airtight container.
It’s not actually necessary to change the mozzarella liquid unless you notice that it has a strong, unpleasant smell.
If that’s the case, make up a new solution of brine, using one tablespoon of salt to several cups of water.
Do be aware that the taste of salt will transfer to the mozzarella, so don’t add too much.
Another reason that mozzarella molds faster is because it is a fresh cheese, not aged in any way, and has a high moisture content.
Mold thrives in damp or wet environments.
Pizza mozzarella is somewhat different as it has a lower moisture content and is not necessarily kept in liquid.
It can be securely wrapped in plastic and should stay fresh for a few days.
Is the Mozzarella Actually Moldy?
Of course, you are going to assume that if your mozzarella is a strange color, then it must be moldy.
And therefore, you can’t eat it.
However, that’s not necessarily the case.
When you think of mold on food, it’s usually a blue or green color with a furry texture.
But with soft cheeses and mozzarella, in particular, they usually turn orange.
But actually, although it’s a form of mold, it is more accurately described as a bacteria and is actually harmless.
Yes, it might taste a bit odd and look pretty weird on your pizza, but you can definitely eat it!
The bacteria is called Brevibacterium linens and is found naturally in raw milk, which is how it gets into the mozzarella.
And then, the high moisture content of the cheese helps it spread.
In fact, some cheesemakers deliberately add bacteria to give the cheese a distinct color and flavor.
However, if your mozzarella has turned blue or green, then it should be discarded.
Another sign that the mozzarella may be off is if the edges of it have gone hard.
Obviously, mozzarella should be soft and squidgy, so any hardness is not a good sign.
Is Mozzarella Cheese Moldy?
Mozzarella cheese molds faster because it is a soft cheese and has no preservatives.
The high moisture content makes mozzarella more susceptible to mold.
The brine in which it’s stored should keep it fresh, but the liquid may need to be replaced.
Despite its appearance, the mozzarella might not actually be moldy.
An orange color indicates the presence of bacteria which is harmless.
At the end of the day, always use your own judgment when deciding whether to eat the cheese or not!
But look out for another clue that the cheese might be off, if the mozzarella has a fishy smell.