Fresh mozzarella is an Italian delicacy made of creamy, soft, milky cheese that simply melts in your mouth. It is one of the most crucial ingredients in many Italian dishes like margherita pizzas, pasta, and caprese salads as it pairs great with tomatoes and sauces.
Mozzarella cheese originates from the region of Naples in Italy. It was first made from the rich milk of native water buffalos. This is where its common name comes from; the buffalo mozzarella.
This type of cheese has a thick, milky texture; almost rubbery with lots of juice oozing out of the sides. As it has such a high water content, it can be difficult to store mozzarella and therefore it often comes in sealed bags with water to maintain its shelf life.
With the modern desire for Italian cuisine, fresh mozzarella is a staple of the cheese industry, and is readily available in many stores and markets.
It is the perfect addition to your hearty Italian dish, with a soft, smooth and creamy texture that blends so well with other ingredients that your taste buds will be tingling.
You can eat it cold with deli meats or olives as part of a charcuterie board, or you can warm it up to enjoy in salads and spaghetti dishes. You can even melt it over your bagels or sandwiches. The opportunities to enjoy this delicious cheesy ball of delight are endless.
You can even freeze fresh mozzarella to enjoy time and time again, however it is not highly recommended.
Can you freeze fresh mozzarella?
You have heard how wonderfully this cheese pairs with other Italian delicacies so much, that you are dying to try it out for yourself.
Before you do, you should be aware of the best way to store and freeze your fresh mozzarella so that you can get the most flavor out of our favorite kind of cheese.
Fresh mozzarella is best served at room temperature. When purchasing at a store or market, try to find the freshest products available, this will ensure that your fresh mozzarella cheese is as flavorful as can be.
Typically, fresh mozzarella comes in its own sealed or vacuum-packed container filled with a milky liquid called whey. This is actually from the cheesemaking process and is used to maintain the freshness and moistness of the mozzarella ball.
When storing you fresh mozzarella at home, you should always try to keep it contained with the liquid, so that your cheese sustains its creamy, soft, melty texture ready for serving.
If not immediately consuming, you should store fresh mozzarella in the refrigerator, and eat within 2 to 3 days afterwards.
When you are ready to consume the buffalo mozzarella, make sure that you remove it from the refrigerator around an hour before serving so that it can remain soft and spongy ready for slicing. This will give you the ultimate flavor and taste in your dish!
Now, if you choose not to eat it straight after purchasing, you can on some circumstances freeze mozzarella, but it will greatly impact upon its texture, taste and overall composition.
We recommend that you do not freeze fresh mozzarella as it may destroy its creamy smooth texture and not give you the flavorful results that you desire, but it can be done if you need to save your mozzarella. Anything can be frozen!
How to freeze fresh mozzarella
If you do wish to freeze your fresh mozzarella ball, then there are a few things you need to consider first.
To freeze fresh mozzarella that was bought in a ball shape, you should remove it from its bag and drain the milky liquid.
The next step is to wrap the ball within some saran wrap as tightly as possible, but be careful not to squish the ball. This will ensure that no air can get into your mozzarella once in the freezer.
Next, place the ball into a ziplock bag or freezer safe bag and seal nearly all of the way. Then you should push all remaining air out of the bag before sealing, so that no air can get inside.
Once you are sure that you have sealed the bag completely, you may place it within the freezer.
How to thaw fresh mozzarella
Many dishes do not taste the same the second time around. Freezing food will most likely always alter the texture or taste of your dish as the composition has been modified.
Fresh mozzarella naturally has a watery consistency that will in most cases form ice crystals when frozen.
Fresh mozzarella is incredibly creamy and soft, and although we have removed the liquid before freezing, it still has a high water content within.
When thawing, you should know that excess water and moisture can ruin the dish, so first think what you are going to use it for.
The best way to thaw frozen mozzarella is to remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator for defrosting. This way it will thaw fully and remain chilled and safe for consumption.
If you are using the cheese simply to melt over a sandwich or bagel, you will have to consider the moisture content. Mozzarella is incredibly moist, and if you try to melt the cheese onto a meal straight away it will release a lot of excess water.
Once the mozzarella ball has thawed entirely, try using paper towels to remove any moisture or water. This way, when you reheat it it should not ruin your meal or give you a soggy bagel.
You must consume thawed mozzarella cheese as soon as possible, do not store leftover defrosted mozzarella in the fridge as it may not be safe for later consumption.
Our top tips
If you are choosing to freeze your fresh mozzarella, then always do so before the original use by date intended for refrigeration. This will maintain its freshness for longer!
Properly stored mozzarella can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months, but it is best enjoyed sooner.
Unlike other cheeses, fresh mozzarella goes bad quickly. Sometimes you can still eat some cheeses if there is a little mold on it by just cutting it off, this is not the case with fresh mozzarella.
If you notice any signs of spoilage with fresh mozzarella, then you should discard it immediately.