Thursday, September 17, 2009

Alla Caprese

Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella & Basil

Cooking Group - June 2009

Foodie Talk : Official terms to impress your friends

Alla Caprese: In the style of Capri, meaning made with tomato, basil, olive oil and mozzarella cheese.

Mozzarella di Bufala: Cheese made from the milk of water buffalo. After curdling the product is drained and the whey discarded. The cheese is then stretched and kneaded to produce a delicate consistency -- this process is generally known as pasta filata. Mozzarella is also made from cow's milk (much more commonly found here in the States), in which case it is called Fiore di Latte.

Margherita: Napoletana Pizza whose red tomatoes, green basil, and white cheese represent the Italian flag, named after Queen Margherita of Savoy (1878-1900).

Foodie FAQ’s : A bit o’ history

According to Italian legend, the first batch of Mozzarella was produced when cheese curds mistakenly fell into a pail of hot water. Mozzarella was first made in Italy near Naples from the rich milk of water buffalos. Because it was not made from pasteurized milk and because there was little or no refrigeration the cheese had a very short shelf-life and seldom left the southern region of Italy near Naples where it was made. Today two types of mozzarella are produced in the USA. Low moisture mozzarella that has a moisture content of less than 50% and high moisture mozzarella that contains more than 52%. The former was developed in the USA to fit our transportation and distribution systems, and it has been available in grocery stores for years. Fresh mozzarella is different. It is soft and moist and more perishable.

Fresh mozzarella can be packaged dry in vacuum-sealed plastic packages or in a governing liquid sometimes called "latte". It is available salted and unsalted. It is most often made from cow's milk. Most buffalo milk mozzarella sold here is imported from Italy and South America. The cheese should taste fresh and reminiscent of milk. It should be mild and delicate. There should be a hint of sourness. If it tastes too tart or sour the cheese is past its prime. The color should be white. The fresher the cheese, the more elastic and springy the curd. As the cheese ages it becomes more and more soft.

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