Why Does Mozzarella Cheese Taste Salty? (Solved!)

  • Mozzarella cheese tastes salty mainly due to being stored in brine, which is a concentrated solution of salt and water. This process is intended to keep the cheese fresh
  • Despite being a fresh cheese that ideally contains low sodium, the brine storage can impart a salt flavor, which can be removed by washing or patting the cheese dry
  • Mozzarella is one of the lowest sodium cheeses, with only 40mg of sodium per one-ounce serving of whole-milk mozzarella, making it a healthier choice for those monitoring sodium intake
  • The saltiness may enhance the flavor of mozzarella in salads but could be less desirable on pizzas, where mozzarella’s blandness is preferred to allow other ingredients to stand out
  • The perception of saltiness in mozzarella varies, and while some may enjoy the hint of salt, others might choose to remove it, highlighting the importance of personal taste preferences

What Makes Mozzarella Taste of Salt?     

It has to be said that a lot of cheeses taste salty.

However, that is because salt is added during the cheesemaking process.

Salt is a preservative, and if cheese is going to be aged, then it requires the addition of sodium.

But mozzarella is a fresh cheese and ideally eaten as soon as possible, so salt isn’t necessary.

So, where does the saltiness in mozzarella come from? 

The simplest answer is that the salt flavor is transferred from having been stored in brine.

Brine is a concentrated solution of salt and water and keeps the mozzarella fresh.

The salt is unlikely to have penetrated the cheese and can be removed by washing or patting the mozzarella dry.

Of course, you may enjoy the hint of salt, particularly if you are going to use mozzarella in a salad.

It might not be quite appetizing on a pizza, though.

Having said that, most people use specific pizza mozzarella, and this is rarely stored in brine.

Pizza mozzarella does not have to be kept in the same way as it has a lower moisture content.

It would be unusual to find that pizza mozzarella tastes of salt, it is usually very bland in flavor.

Is Mozzarella a Low Sodium Cheese?

Even though mozzarella may have a lingering taste of salt, is it a low-sodium cheese?

The simple answer is yes – mozzarella, cottage cheese, and ricotta are the three kinds of cheese with the lowest sodium levels.

This is because they are fresh cheese; they are meant to be eaten as soon as possible, unlike other cheeses that are aged first.

Salt is added to most cheese as it inhibits bacteria from growing as it ages.

It also dries out the cheese, and mozzarella is meant to retain its high moisture content, not be dry.

However, this does mean that just a small piece of cheese can contain as much sodium as a bag of salted chips.

In contrast, one ounce of mozzarella typically only contains 40mg of sodium.

However, this does depend on whether it is made with whole milk, which has a lower level, or part-skimmed milk, which has more sodium.

Either way, mozzarella is certainly better for you if you need to restrict your sodium content. 

Please consult your healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your sodium intake. 

The Best Cheese for Pizza

My Final Thoughts

Mozzarella does not have any salt added during the cheesemaking process.

If there is a taste of salt, then it could have transferred to the cheese from the brine it is preserved in. 

Mozzarella is a low-sodium cheese as it is intended to be eaten fresh, not requiring the use of salt to preserve it when left to age.

If the salty taste is not palatable, then the mozzarella cheese can be washed to remove it.

Remember, it’s a personal choice; maybe you like the hint of salt. 

No matter what, you can enjoy your mozzarella without feeling guilty for over-indulging!

Maybe you have a different opinion and think that mozzarella has no taste!

Does understanding the source of the saltiness influence your choice between using fresh versus brined mozzarella?

Let us know in the comments below!


Q1: Why does mozzarella cheese taste salty?
A1: Mozzarella cheese tastes salty primarily because it is stored in brine, a saltwater solution, to maintain freshness. This saltiness can be reduced by washing or patting the cheese dry.

Q2: Is mozzarella a low-sodium cheese?
A2: Yes, mozzarella is considered a low-sodium cheese. It is one of the types of cheese with the lowest sodium levels, particularly when made with whole milk.

Q3: Can the salty taste of mozzarella cheese be removed?
A3: Yes, the salty taste can be reduced or removed by washing the cheese or patting it dry, as the saltiness comes from being stored in brine.

Q4: Does pizza mozzarella taste salty?
A4: No, pizza mozzarella, typically used for its bland flavor, is not stored in brine and usually tastes less salty.

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