is a snowy-white, delicate fresh cheese with a slightly fibrous consistency resulting from the multitudinous layers from which it is comprised. Made entirely of whole buffalo milk, it is inoculated with a starter culture of the previous day's whey. After about 30 minutes the milk begins to coagulate and the cheesemaker breaks the curd into small pieces to ripen for 5 hours, after which time the curd is transferred to a boiling vat for stretching. It is sold either in baseball-sized balls, or in smaller balls called bocconcini.
Some caseficie, or dairies, offer scamorza, a smoked version of buffalo mozzarella. No matter what form it takes, mozzarella di bufala has a slightly sour tang that is offset by a creamy, milky bite. The cheese is produced almost exclusively in Campania and Sicily, and has been protected under DOP status since June 1996. It is an essential part of Naples' wood-fired pizze, and is often served on its own, accompanied by a slice of grilled bread and perhaps a simple salad.
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