Mozzarella cheese is a mild soft white cheese, originating in the area of Naples, Italy. Mozzarella cheese is often used:
- as a topping for pizza
- in hot sandwiches
- deep-fried to make mozzarella sticks
- in melanzane alla parmigiana and baked pasta dishes
- raw, in tomato salads.
With the advent of refrigeration and pre-shredded soft cheeses, it has become practical to use mozzarella cheese at the table in place of the strong-smelling Parmesan cheese.
The most authentic mozzarella is made fresh in Italy from raw Water Buffalo milk, formed into balls, and does not last more than about a day: this type of mozzarella cannot be used in cooking as it turns into string instead of melting. World-wide mozzarella is mostly made from pasteurized cow milk, in a form with a longer shelf life: this form of mozzarella is often known to Italians as fiordilatte, and is used in baked dishes. It is sometimes sold processed as String cheese.