Traditionally, there are two camps of mozzarella used for a cheese pizza. There is fresh or low-moisture mozzarella. Do you know what one you currently use? You might be surprised to learn that you probably use a low-moisture mozzarella that is aged slightly longer than fresh mozzarella in order to have a longer shelf life. But is this the best choice, what are your options, and what do the pros suggest? Depending on the style of pizza you are going after, your choice of mozzarella will make all the difference.
The more traditional and iconic style of mozzarella that we imagine when we think of this cheese, is a white ball of wet mozzarella. Typically served cold with most dishes, this cheese has a high moisture content making it more susceptible to bacteria and therefore shortens its shelf life. Yet, there can be benefits to this moisture if a pool of cheese is what you are after. For example, the classic Neapolitan pizza uses slices of fresh mozzarella to obtain a layer of gooey cheesy goodness. When baked, the moisture in the fresh mozzarella evaporates causing the cheese melt into a thick pool of deliciousness.
More commonly found on American style pizzas the low moisture mozzarella comes in cubes or my be pre-shredded. This slightly more starch heavy cheese is often preferred for pizza because of its ability to adhere to the crust of the pizza. Unlike fresh mozzarella, this variation is stickier when melted because of the lower moisture content. This creates a harder cheese that will brown easier, sometimes becoming burnt on the crust.
Here at Pizzacraft, we love both and suggest you try each kind for yourself. It’s quite possible you will find that your perfect combination of cheese is a little fresher and pooled than sticky and goo-ed. The differences in mozzarella range from each cheese to the next, so when chasing the perfect cheese pizza we suggest you try variations of fresh and low-moisture, block and pre-shredded to achieve your desired cheese topping. Try out a few and let us know your favorite!