It may still be the summer holidays – but you don’t need to jet off to the Amalfi coast to enjoy that classic Italian dish, the caprese salad. And there’s never been a better time to eat it, as it’s buffalo mozzarella season until the end of August.
We think it’s about time this delicious cheese got some credit for being both tasty and, yes, healthier than you might think. After all, a cheese that was mentioned as early as 1570 must be doing something right…
Mozzarella is traditionally made from the milk of Italian buffalo raised in specific regions of Italy, including Campania around Naples. However, authenticity comes at a price: the costs of producing this type of milk are high.
The cheese has such a good reputation to maintain, it’s even included in the European Union's Protected Designation of Origin scheme. Unfortunately, this cannot be said for mozzarella that is produced with cow’s milk instead of buffalo milk.
Regardless of the type of milk used, however, mozzarella is produced with the help of a foolproof method. The milk is heated, poured into a cream separator, curled with the help of whey and matured.
Afterwards, it is softened with hot water, shaped into the familiar little balls, immersed in cold water and pickled. All in all, it’s an intricate process that results in a tender delicacy.
Why mozzarella is a super-cheese
A soft slice of mozzarella may not be highest on the list of superfoods every health junkie should try – but the cheese definitely has more nutritional value than it’s given credit for:
1. It’s packed full of calcium, a mineral that’s essential for the body. Apparently, an ounce of mozzarella contains 18% of your daily intake of calcium - which aids the health of your bone structure and even manages to strengthen your pearly whites!
2. This velvety smooth cheese also contains phosphorus, a mineral that allows the body to use the aforementioned calcium. As if that’s not enough, potassium, chloride, iron and sodium are also found in mozzarella.
3. If lifting heavy weights is more your thing than weighing the amount of chia seeds you add to your quinoa bars, then mozzarella should be your pick. There is plenty of protein to be found in this cheese, bulking up the muscle food you need.