Cheese 101

An A to Z guide to choosing, storing, preparing, and cooking fresh produce and recipe ingredients.

  • How to Choose Mozzarella
    Produced by covering milk curds in boiling water and then stretching them like taffy, mozzarella has a distinctive stringy texture. Ball-shaped fresh mozzarella, found at Italian grocers and some markets, is ready to eat the same day it’s made. Unaged, made from whole milk, and highly perishable, it should be soft and springy and appear moist, with a delicate, earthy—but not sour—taste. The majority of what’s available in the United States is aged, made with low-fat milk to give it a longer shelf life; it is drier and saltier than fresh and can be somewhat rubbery when used unmelted.

  • How to Store Mozzarella
    Submerge fresh mozzarella in cold water and refrigerate for up to 4 days; add a tablespoon of salt and it can keep for up to 7 days. Aged versions can be stored like firm cheeses: wrapped in wax paper and loosely covered with plastic.

    How to Prepare Mozzarella
    If shredding fresh mozzarella, make the task easier by freezing the cheese for 20 minutes beforehand. Aged mozzarella is often sold preshredded, but, like all cheeses, it is the most flavorful and moist when shredded just before use.

  • How to Use Mozzarella
    Aged mozzarella is ideal on pizzas and baked pastas. Fresh mozzarella is classically paired with tomatoes, fresh basil, and olive oil for an easy salad; or it can be used alone, spread on bread, with or without a little salt, pepper, and olive oil.

    —Melinda Page

    Real Simple Mozzarella Recipes:

    See all Mozzarella recipes »

What's your favorite Mozzarellarecipe?

View Earlier Comments

what's in season

Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.

  • Parsnips
  • Leeks
  • Watercress
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Radishes
  • Lemon
  • Horseradish
  • Orange
  • Turnips
  • Rutabaga
What's Fresh Near You

Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.

Computer desk
The events in Gone Girl aren’t exactly how you’d want your fifth wed...
from The Nest Blog » house & home
When illness or injury strikes, the road to recovery is often paved with medica...
Easter is finally here, but it's not the only thing to celebrate! From new ...
from POPSUGAR Home
This year, Easter lands on 4/20 -- the international day for celebrating all thi...
from Tastepartner on The Huffington Post
About 10 years ago, Dee Williams was living in a 1,500-square-foot, three-bed...
from Houzz