When it comes to cheese, mozzarella is by far the most popular cheese to make for beginners and we think there are a two reasons for this:1) It’s fast! And 2) It’s relatable.
Let’s look at these two briefly.
What do we mean by fast?
Mozzarella (soft mozzarella) can be made in 1 hour, and when you get really good at it about 30 minutes. The instant gratification is like baking cookies. The instant gratification attracts people to mozza making. However let it be said here, with speed comes more action. Most types of cheese are made by heating milk, adding culture, waiting, adding rennet, waiting overnight, scooping the curd out and then more waiting. Slow and steady. A one-hour mozzarella is a hands-on cheese; there’s no letting up from start to finish. We rate it as a medium-high difficulty cheese. Heating, stirring, watching your temperature and finally the all important stretching part all happen within a short period of time-which for a beginner can be a shock. These are not words of warning, we have taught many beginner cheese makers to make mozza, it's just worth noting this one will take some practice.
What do we mean by a relatable cheese?
It’s a cheese we are familiar with; possibly pizza has something to do with this. It’s a cheese that has a certain, how shall we say, romance or ‘amore' "... when the moon hits our eyes." The hands-on fun hands-on fun it offers us is pure food pleasure. Invite friends, possibly a bottle of wine, stretch curd, make shiny cheese balls all in an evening. You pull, knead, stretch and possibly cry out in pain as you knead hot curd. Can life get much better then that?
So mozzarella continues to win over the hearts of beginner cheesemakers. Let’s call it the ‘gateway cheese’ that leads beginners to make other types of slower cheeses. It can build your confidence to make new cheese types or teach you a valuable lesson that sometimes slower can be better.