Many years ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time with a number of mozzarella makers at a conference in Sicily. Actually it was less a conference than a group of us sitting in a bar until the wee hours. Since few of them spoke English, I learned absolutely nothing, except that mozzarella makers have bad hands, and they are impervious to pain. Mozzarella is cheese that is melted using very hot water, then stretched by hand until it reaches the correct consistency and placed into brine. With tomato season fast approaching, we’re honoring this Italian classic with our July Mozzarella Month.
All month long in addition to our made fresh daily mozzarella, we’ll have mozzarella and myrtle, burrata, caprese, bocconcini in olive oil and mozzarella and salami rolls.
Mozzarella and myrtle – Ari first mentioned this to me about five years ago and for the past several years we’ve made this a feature during the holiday season. It is braided mozzarella surrounded by a bed of myrtle branches. Greek myrtle is related to the Bay leaf and has a fantastic aroma. The braid is then baked until gooey, the branches and leaves pulled away, leaving the scented mozzarella. Then you pour olive oil over the top, sprinkly with pepper and dip chunks of bread into the melted cheese and try not to get it all over yourself.
Burrata – This is a fresh mozzarella that is filled with heavy cream and frayed threads of mozzarella. The burrata is placed on a platter of greens and sliced tomatoes. You then cut into the burrata and the cream and shards of mozzarella leak into the lettuce and tomatoes. You then sop this up with chunks of bread and try not to get it all over yourself. I may be repeating myself, but you get the idea- these foods are messy, social, great summertime eating but not if you’re wearing a tuxedo.
Bocconcini – Tiny balls of fresh mozzarella marinated in olive oil that go great on salad.
Mozzarella and Salami Rolls – Fresh mozzarella rolled around salami that is then served in slices either as an appetizer or melted on foccacia, rustic italian bread or a baguette.
On July 12 we’re hosting an informal tasting of a number of different styles of mozzarella and a myriad of simple, great summer things you can do with this versatile cheese. We’ll sit around the table, share stories and taste our Caprese salad with fresh mozz, heirloom tomatoes, basil and olive oil; the messy richness of burrata, the equally messy “Italian Fondue” of mozzarella surrounded with myrtle leaves, quick and fantastic pizza with the bakehouse foccacia and much more. We’re very limited with spaces, so let us know if you’d like to join us. Cost is $25.
Then on July 28th you can try your hand at making mozzarella with us. This is a two hour class which will show you how to make mozzarella from milk and then, for the less involved, some of the many things you can do with mozzarella from finished curd. Which is available at the Creamery. Cost for this class is $35 which includes all the things we make during the class and a coupon for 1 lb. of mozzarella curd that you can use at your convenience.