Why Does Mozzarella Taste Bland? Unveiling the Secrets

  • Mass-produced mozzarella is often bland and primarily used for its melting qualities on pizzas, whereas fresh mozzarella made from buffalo milk has a rich, creamy, and savory flavor
  • The blandness of mozzarella, especially the mass-produced variety, is due to its production focus on texture over taste, allowing it to enhance the flavors of other ingredients on a pizza
  • Fresh mozzarella should ideally be made from buffalo milk and enjoyed in salads or drizzled with olive oil, not used for cooking due to its tendency to become tough
  • Mozzarella should be served chilled to prevent spoilage, despite some traditional practices of serving it at room temperature, especially high-quality mozzarella preserved in whey

Why is Mozzarella So Bland?

A low poly illustration of a slice of pizza being lifted with stringy mozzarella cheese stretching from the slice

When eaten alone, mozzarella seems to lack any distinctive flavor. It feels like something essential is missing.

What is the purpose of cheese that doesn’t have a pleasant taste?

And yet, if you look at many Italian restaurant menus, they often have a Caprese salad listed, which is simply mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. 

Most people are familiar only with the inexpensive pizza mozzarella, designed in the United States for its quick melting properties.

My technique; I put Italian mozzarella cheese with sashimi – Masaharu Morimoto

This is the cheese used on pizzas to give them their signature stringiness. It is always made from cow’s milk and has low moisture content.

Essentially, mozzarella adds texture, not flavor, allowing other ingredients on the pizza to stand out. On the other hand, fresh Italian mozzarella is a completely different experience.

This high-quality cheese, often made from buffalo milk, has a richer, creamier, almost savory taste. It can be enjoyed on its own or with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt, cracked black pepper, or balsamic vinegar.

While buffalo mozzarella can be used on pizza, it tends to become tough when cooked, so it’s best to add it in small pieces after the pizza is baked.

Should Mozzarella Be Served at Room Temperature?

A low poly illustration of a fresh Italian mozzarella salad with pieces of buffalo mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and cracked black pepper

Because mozzarella typically tastes of nothing, is it perhaps the coldness of the fridge that destroys any taste?

Should mozzarella be served at room temperature?

It’s not recommended to leave mozzarella out of the fridge.

As it is a fresh soft cheese with relatively high moisture content, it is more susceptible to mold.

Harder cheeses should be removed about an hour before serving, but mozzarella should be kept chilled right up until it is served.  

My friends would come over and my mom would make crepes with eggs, stuffed with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and spinach – Giada De Laurentiis

If the mozzarella is taken from the fridge too early, check for unusual odors or any change in color before consuming it.

However, if there is a slight orange tinge to the cheese, it is not an indication of mold.

It is the presence of bacteria, but it is harmless.

Having said all this, the Italians who created the original mozzarella from buffalo milk would disagree!

They are quite happy not to refrigerate mozzarella at all. 

If you were to visit a delicatessen in Italy, the mozzarella would not even be in the fridge in the shop.

However, we are talking about the highest quality cheese, which is preserved in whey.

Whey is a liquid that is left over in the cheesemaking process.

It is an effective preservative, especially if the mozzarella is kept in a sealed container.

Realistically, the typical mozzarella found in US supermarkets will be stored in water or maybe brine.

So, the advice still stands; unless it is a high quality, high moisture content mozzarella, don’t serve it at room temperature.

I Can’t Taste Anything

My Final Thoughts  

Mozzarella can be extremely bland and taste of nothing.

That is standard if using mass-produced pizza mozzarella.

However, fresh mozzarella made from buffalo milk has a distinct, rich, savory flavor.

The coldness of the cheese makes no difference, and it should be kept refrigerated.

Treat yourself to some fresh mozzarella and see how it should taste!

Mozzarella has to be perfect and impeccably sourced or it’s like eating a blind whale’s eyeball – Adrian Anthony (A.A.) Gill

Of course, you might have a different option and think that mozzarella has a salty taste!

Does my article’s insight on flavor profiles encourage you to explore different types of mozzarella?

Let me know in the comments below!


A low poly illustration of fresh Italian mozzarella salad

Q: Why does mozzarella taste so mild?
A: Mozzarella tastes mild because it is often mass-produced for melting on pizzas, with low flavor intensity. Fresh buffalo milk mozzarella, however, has a rich, creamy, and savory taste.

Q: What’s the difference between pizza mozzarella and fresh Italian mozzarella?
A: Pizza mozzarella, made from cow’s milk, is designed to melt and provide texture, not taste. Fresh Italian mozzarella, preferably made from buffalo milk, offers a richer, creamier taste and is ideal for salads.

Q: Should mozzarella be served at room temperature?
A: Mozzarella should be kept chilled until served. Although room temperature might enhance the flavor slightly, it increases the risk of mold due to its high moisture content. High-quality mozzarella preserved in whey can be an exception.

Q: Can the bland taste of mozzarella be improved?
A: Fresh mozzarella’s taste can be enhanced with olive oil, salt, cracked black pepper, or balsamic vinegar. Using fresh buffalo mozzarella instead of mass-produced varieties also improves flavor.

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