Last Updated on November 28, 2022 by Aaron
Mozzarella cheese is renowned for its mild, milky flavor. Some say it’s bland and overrated. But why does it taste like “nothing” compared to other cheeses?
Mozzarella is a fresh cheese, which means it is not aged and has a short shelf life. Some varieties are aged for a couple of weeks and are slightly acidic. This lack of aging allows the cheese to retain its subtle, delicate creamy flavor rather than developing more powerful notes like sharp or pungent cheeses. The high moisture also dulls the intensity of flavors in comparison to aged cheeses.
To enhance its taste and texture, salt is added during production, but not enough to overpower the mildness of mozzarella. As a result, it has a subtle yet distinctive flavor that can easily be missed among stronger-tasting cheeses.
You’ve probably heard of mozzarella is one of the healthiest cheeses. The mildness of mozzarella also comes from its low-fat content – usually only around 20%. As fat carries flavor in cheese, the lack of it reduces the boldness of its taste. The fat content depends on the milk used to make the cheese; fatter milk, such as buffalo or goat milk will give a much richer flavor than cow milk mozzarella.
In addition, most of the mass-produced mozzarella cheese tastes like nothing because of the milk pasteurization process. During this process, milk is treated at a high temperature to kill off any bacteria. This ensures it will last longer on grocery store shelves but unfortunately, also destroy the natural flavor. Best artisanal mozzarella is usually using raw or thermized milk, so it has a robust, richer and more intensely floral note and sweet aftertaste.
On the other hand, mozzarella is best enjoyed freshly made. If you left your mozzarella in the fridge for quite a while, the quality changes and you’ll miss out on the best flavor. For low-moisture mozzarella, the texture can turn dry and harden. For brined mozzarella, the water will start to become cloudy and the cheese is softer and loses shape.
That said, if the mozzarella cheese has gone bad, the taste can change too. Read my previous article to learn how to know if mozzarella is bad here.
The combination of these factors means that mozzarella cheese is the perfect accompaniment to other strong-tasting ingredients in dishes such as lasagne and pizza – it allows the flavor of whatever you’re eating to really stand out. So the next time you savor a mozzarella-topped meal, remember that its mild taste has been crafted specifically for this purpose!