Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Is Mozzarella Stretching Curd Good On Pizza?

When it comes to cheeses, there are a wide variety of options available and while people usually stick to the cheeses they know, there are other options. One cheese that is gaining in popularity is mozzarella stretching curd. This curd is traditionally used to make mozzarella cheese, but people are finding more and more creative uses for it including in their everyday cooking. While most people would use the mozzarella stretching curd to make mozzarella and then use that on pizza, others are skipping the step of curing it and simply using the stretching curd itself and they tend to get great results.

Making The Curd

To better understand why mozzarella stretching curd is generally considered good on pizza, it is important to know how it is made so you can better understand what exactly it is. Put simply, the process involves taking small pieces of the curd and heating them up in hot water so that they become elastic. You can then knead the cheese by stretching it out and letting it fold back into itself. Overtime, the mozzarella stretching curd will become smooth on the surface. At this point you can cool it down by putting it into some ice water for between five and ten minutes and it is ready.


After you have the mozzarella stretching curd cooled, then it will become mozzarella and this is one of the most popular choices for cheese on a pizza. That is because mozzarella was not only the first type of stretched curd cheese, but it became truly famous when the Italians started using it on both pizza and pasta dishes. Some people are surprised to learn that mozzarella most likely originated in the Middle East, not Italy although that is the country that gave it its fame.

Properties Of The Curd

Both mozzarella and the mozzarella stretching curd share several properties that make them ideal for use on pizza. Due to the stretching process, the cheeses are fairly elastic which makes them easy to spread on pizza (or on other foods). In addition, they have a nice smooth texture that allows the finished pizza itself to have a good texture as well. The most important thing about mozzarella stretching curd, however, is how it melts. Mozzarella and its stretching curd become nice and elastic when melting and will produce an even melt, which is exactly what is desired on a pizza.

Final Verdict

Although mozzarella stretching curd can be good on pizza, most people who use it to create a pizza will go through the simply, thirty minute process to turn it into mozzarella first, even if it is not aged mozzarella. This puts the cheese in a form that is familiar to work with and is incredibly easy to do. With just the curd and a few extra supplies (sometimes sold together in a kit) you can easily make your own fresh mozzarella in minutes. In fact, you could even be doing this while you wait for your pizza dough to rise so the time is not lost.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

How Long Can You Age Cheddar?

When it comes to cheese lovers, many want to try new things and an easy option is to look for older types of cheddar as these tend to be rarer. While the average cheddar you find in your supermarket will be aged for somewhere between two months and eighteen months, it is possible to find older cheddars from specialty retailers. While there is no real answer to the question of how long you can age cheddar for, there are some guidelines to consider while making it, such as whether or not anyone will care to eat the finished product.

Standard Cheddar

As mentioned, most of the cheddar you find in your local supermarket or similar store will not be older than 18 months in age. Age is frequently displayed in terms of sharpness as the flavors in cheddar intensify (becoming sharper) as it is aged longer. Because of this the average mild cheddar you find in stores will have been aged for two or three months. Sharper cheddars are usually aged for closer to a year and extra sharp cheddar is usually aged for about eighteen months. Of course, there will always be some variation in terms of the aging process, but these are the approximate standards.

Older Cheddars

Despite extra sharp cheddar being the longest aged you will usually find in a grocery store, it is not the oldest one available by far. Most retailers that specialize in cheese will have a variety of older options for people to try and use for special occasions. It is not uncommon to find specialty vendors selling premium cheese that is somewhere between two years old and five or six years old. Some vendors will even have older cheeses at seven years or even ten, but these tend to be less popular due to their strong taste.

The Taste Issue

The reason that most people prefer cheddar that was not aged for as long is that its flavor will be less intense. Most people will describe the flavor as much sharper and stronger, meaning that they do not have the flavor most people are looking for. That being said, most people who love cheese would still like to try cheddar that has been aged for longer at least once in their lives simply for the experience.

Your Aging Limit

Although there is truly no limit to how long you can age cheddar for, after a certain amount of time it becomes an issue of practicality. Cheddars that are aged longer require storage space for more time and therefore tend to be more expensive and many people don’t love the end result. Therefore it comes down to personal preference. The oldest cheddar sold in recent history was 40 years old and the result of an accident in which it was forgotten for decades. Some people enjoyed the flavor finding it creamy and intense while others found it barely edible due to the intense flavor. This variation truly shows that cheddar’s age depends on preference.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Can You Use Mozzarella Stretching Curd In Cooking?

When it comes to cooking, people are always looking for new and innovative ways to change up some of their favorite recipes. One of the best ways is to buy mozzarella stretching curd instead of mozzarella. Although you probably won’t directly use this cheese curd in your cooking, the process of turning it into mozzarella takes only minutes and guarantees that it will be fresh. Because of this, many people who want their food to be fresh and delicious or simply want to try new things in the kitchen are looking towards mozzarella stretching curd as a great option.


One of the main reasons that many chefs and even people cooking in their own homes are choosing to use mozzarella stretching curd is that it allows you to have fresh mozzarella whenever you want. You can freeze the curd and thaw it out when you are ready to make the mozzarella. The process of making it is incredibly easy, taking around a half hour in total (as a potential maximum) and it doesn’t require any special equipment. Even better, you can freeze your stretched mozzarella made from the curds for up to six months and it will still taste fresh, meaning that you can do this twice a year and then use it in all of your favorite dishes throughout the year so you always have fresh mozzarella on hand.

Making The Mozzarella

Some people are hesitant about using mozzarella stretching curd in cooking because they feel that making their own mozzarella is an unnecessary hassle when it is easy to find the cheese in your local store. The reality, however, is that fresh, homemade cheese will taste much better and it is very easy to make.
Start by making sure that mozzarella stretching curd is in smaller pieces and then pour hot water (around 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit) over it. Just let the separated curd soak for a few minutes while gently putting it back together with a spoon or knife. After the water cools down enough to touch, start to slowly stretch the cheese. This involves stretching out a bit and then letting it slowly fall back together to reform the clump. Eventually the cheese will have a smooth surface. Then you can put it in some ice water for between five and ten minutes and your cheese is ready to be used or stored.


Once you have used your mozzarella stretching curd to make your own fresh mozzarella, you can use it in a wide range of recipes. You can use it to make the classic dishes of pizza or lasagna or try adding some to your favorite pasta. You can also try making some spring rolls, pan fried cheese or get creative with an Italian dish. Stracciatella is a good option and can be used instead of mozzarella, as a dip or however else you choose. To make it, just stop the preparation process described above before you put the cheese in ice water. Take the cheese when it is in thin strands from being stretched and put them in some heavy cream and enjoy.

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