- Mozzarella is milder; cheddar is stronger.
- Mozzarella has lower calories than cheddar.
Mozzarella and cheddar are two popular cheeses in the US.
Even if you don’t do the kitchen, i think most of us can almost instantly distinguish which is which. Mozzarella is pale white, ivory or pale yellowish. Cheddar is orange.
But, is that it? well, the taste of mozz is mild but cheddar is much tangier.
Mozzarella is an Italian cheese, Cheddar is British.
Mozzarella is a soft Italian cheese with a stretchy, smooth texture and creamy taste. It’s made from buffalo or cow’s milk. Cheddar is from England, it is an aged semi-hard cheese with a stronger taste.
Mozzarella is typically aged for 1-4 weeks or sometimes eaten fresh. Cheddar is much older and goes anywhere from 2 to 18 months or more. That’s why you will see the grainy texture or even cheese crystals as a result in the vintage or sharp cheddar.
Because they’re made differently (we’ll discuss below), mozzarella is a much better choice when it comes to melting and stretching ability, making it great as pizzas cheese for that pleasing cheese pull. Cheddar is firmer and sharper, which makes it better for grilled cheese burger or sandwiches.
Additionally, cheddar cheese is saltier and has nearly 50% more calories than mozzarella.
Cheddar has ‘cheddaring’, Mozzarella is a stretched-curd cheese.
The making of cheddar and mozzarella are different. Cheddar is more related to hard-style aged cheese such as parmesan, which involves several time-consuming steps.
In particular, ‘cheddaring’ is one of the most important steps in the making of cheddar cheese, where the curd blocks are stacked and turned several times to expel whey. It helps to acidify the curd so that it ages better, and tastes sharper. Watch see this video for the cheddaring process.
The cool part making of mozzarella is the adding of hot water to melt/soften the curd. The curd will then reach a desired consistency where it will be stretched and kneaded repeatedly until the elastic, stringy texture is obtained. Watch this video to see how it’s done.
Traditionally, no aging is required for fresh Italian mozzarella. Therefore it tastes milder — basically a milky ball of stretchy curds. Other varieties may be lightly aged for a few days or weeks.
Is Mozzarella or Cheddar better for you?
It depends on how you want to use your cheese. Cheddar is having more intense flavor, while mozzarella is mild and creamy. If you’re looking for something with a bit of punch, cheddar is the way to go.
Texture-wise, cheddar is often shredded to put on top of pasta dishes, go with toast or sandwich, sauce, soup and more. So it’s slightly more versatile. While for mozzarella, what we looking for is the mild, soft and creamy side of this cheese. It’ll pair well with pizza, salad, and even deep-fried mozzarella sticks. But if your concern is with health, I have an article discussing whether mozzarella stick is junk food, or not? answered.
True be told however, mozzarella is the clear winner as it’s lower in calories and fat content than cheddar, plus it is also less salty and is definitely a better fit to your healthy diet.
Which one is cheaper in the US?
You can find a pack of regular shredded cheddar and mozzarella at around $5 or less in Walmart. They are not particularly expensive. But if you would like to go for the slightly high-end side, it can typically go $10-50 per lb or higher such as the imported English cheddar or grass-fed cheddar. You can look around the web, or go to Amazon or Murray’s to look for those.
For mozzarella, fresh Italian buffalo mozzarella is the best but it will cost you around $100 per lb on Amazon in the US — here is the link to the Amazon page. At Murray’s, you can find a quarter of the price at $26 per lb crafted in the United States.
A note before you go…
You can replace mozzarella cheese with cheddar, and vice versa. But only in some recipes. Also, mozzarella’s high moisture will make the pizza soggy, therefore it’s better to use low-moisture mozzarella. If you want your food to have a little more zing, try Colby. Colby is very similar to mild cheddar but mellower, here you can read my comparison article of Cheddar vs Colby.