Caserta mozzarella is a treasure in the cheese world. It’s richer and creamier than fresh mozzarella but still melts when cooked like on pizza. Caserta can be found in select markets worldwide, but it’s also easy to make at home with milk, rennet (or vinegar), salt and citric acid.
Caserta is traditionally made from cow’s milk, though you can find versions that are buffalo or sheep milk-based as well. The fermentation process takes around 10 hours to complete—longer than for other types of cheese—and requires careful attention to temperature so that the curds don’t coagulate too quickly or overflow out of their container.
The result is a sturdier cheese that can be used in all recipes or just eaten on its own.
It has won the following awards:
- 2004 World Championship Cheese Contest – Silver Medal
- 2010 World Championship Cheese Contest – Gold Medal
- 2011 US Championship Cheese Contest – Grand Prize Winner
Caserta mozzarella makes for an excellent pizza topping, especially when baked in the oven with your favorite sauce and toppings. But don’t stop there! Try it on sandwiches, casseroles, pasta dishes, lasagna, or else you might use regular fresh mozzarella. Boil it to make some tasty homemade bagna cauda (Italian dip) or serve it fried with some veggies and a marinara sauce. The options are endless!
CUTTING THE CURDS FOR MAKING CASERTA MOZZARELLA
Caserta is a rich and creamy cheese that melts beautifully, making it a delicious addition to your recipes.
RECIPE: Homemade Caserta Mozzarella Recipe adapted from Cheese Forum Ingredients 1 gallon whole milk 5 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon citric acid (icing sugar) Method Pour the milk into a large pot and place over medium heat.
While stirring, slowly bring the temperature up to 95 (35). This should take about 30 minutes. Don’t let it go any higher, or the whey will separate from the curds, and you’ll have ricotta instead of mozzarella. When the milk reaches 95, remove from heat and add vinegar while stirring gently for one minute. Let stand for five minutes to let curds form. Line a colander with cheesecloth or muslin (not terry cloth) and place over another large pot deep enough so that there are at least five inches between the bottom of the colander and the bottom of the pot below. Gently pour in your curds; they should be in one solid mass. If you get ricotta, don’t panic!
Just put it back on medium heat for three more minutes, then try again. Tie up the corners of your cheesecloth into a knot and hang it above your pot for 30 minutes. This will allow excess water to drain off. Untie the knot and cut the curds into one-inch cubes using a knife or similar utensil (not your hands). Place back onto medium heat and stir until temperature reaches 105 (40). If any whey remains, return to heat for another five minutes. When you reach 105, use your slotted spoon to scoop up about one cupful of curds at a time and transfer them over to your mold lined with fresh cheesecloth.
Press down firmly with both hands—your objective is to force out any remaining whey without breaking the curds apart. Once you’ve transferred all of them, gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and use your hands to press down firmly on top of your mold. Then place a weight (such as several cans of beans) on top and let it sit for 15 minutes. Remove from mold and unwrap the cheesecloth carefully so as not to break up the curds. Now slice into one-inch cubes again, being careful not to smoosh them too much. Toss with salt and citric acid while gently turning with your hands or two wooden spoons until evenly distributed throughout. Ready to eat now! Store in a sealed container in a cold place for up to a couple of weeks or freeze for several months without losing too much flavor.
Now you can eat this amazing product!