The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat Mozzarella. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.

Mozzarella in a caprese salad

What Mozzarella etiquette is

Mozzarella etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat Mozzarella. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow Mozzarella etiquette to serve it to your guests appropriately.

If you are a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy it.

What you should know about Mozzarella

Mozzarella is a soft cheese made from cow’s milk. It is a typical product of southern Italy.

Mozzarella is usually white. Its color can tend to light yellow depending on the cow’s diet. 

The most common shape in commerce is a ball. Usually between 100 grams and 250 grams. Other popular shapes are Treccia (“braid”) and Bocconcini (“bite-sized”).

How To Serve And Eat Mozzarella. The Top Etiquette Tips.

How to store mozzarella. 
How to cook it. Best way to serve it. 
Wine and food pairings.

Etiquette tips to serve and eat Mozzarella

Etiquette tip: Italians do not consider Mozzarella a cheese. If you are in Italy, call it simply “Mozzarella”. 

1) How to store Mozzarella

It is best to eat Mozzarella as fresh as possible. Eat it 1 or 2 days after purchase. After 4 or 5 days Mozzarella starts to lose its flavor and texture.  

Store Mozzarella in the fridge. Fresh-made Mozzarella can last up to 4 or 5 days. Industrial or semi-industrial Mozzarella can last longer. Usually up to a few weeks.

Avoid storing Mozzarella in the freezer. Freezing makes the texture and taste of Mozzarella noticeably worse. However, you can freeze Mozzarella if you intend to cook it. In the freezer, it can last up to 1 or 2 months.

After opening it, you should eat Mozzarella within 1 or 2 days. 

Do not wrap Mozzarella in plastic. Instead, place it in a bowl or a container with its serum (whey). If you did not keep the serum, store Mozzarella in a solution of cow milk and water. If you store it without liquid, it will dry up.

You can store cooked Mozzarella in the fridge or in the freezer. If you store it in the fridge, it can last up to 3 to 5 days. 

2) How to clean Mozzarella

You do not need to wash Mozzarella. Serve it and eat it as it is. Its liquid, known as serum or whey, is edible.

3) How to cook Mozzarella

You can cook Mozzarella in many ways. Baked. Fried or grilled, after breading it. There is no recommended minimum temperature to cook it.

Alternatively, add it fresh to a cooked dish, such as pasta. It is also a perfect ingredient for salads and sandwiches. 

4) How to serve & present Mozzarella

Mozzarella is best served at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge between 30 minutes and 1 hour before serving. Leave it in its serum. The longer you keep it at room temperature, the softer the texture gets. 

Serve it whole or sliced. Remove it from the serum before serving it. 

Mozzarella is usually served as an appetizer. It is perfect also as a side dish or as a main, accompanied by a salad.

You can season Mozzarella with salt, olive oil, oregano, and ground black pepper. You can add a few drops of Aceto Balsamico.

Accompany Mozzarella with bread or focaccia. 

Mozzarella is not very common on cheese platters. If you include it, arrange cheeses according to their flavor, from mildest to strongest. Present Mozzarella as the mildest cheese. 

5) Food and wine to pair Mozzarella with

Mozzarella goes well with charcuterie from Italy. Prosciutto Crudo. Bresaola. Coppa.

You can use it as an ingredient for salads and it pairs well with tomatoes. It is a common ingredient for pizza and pasta

It is unusual to pair Mozzarella with fruit, honey, or jams. 

Mozzarella does not go well with meat or fish. 

You can pair Mozzarella with sparkling wine. Such as Champagne, Prosecco, or Cava. White wine such as Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, or Greco di Tufo. Light-bodied red wine, such as Pinot Noir. Avoid pairings with a full-bodied or oaked wine.

6) How to eat Mozzarella

Eat Mozzarella with a fork and knife. It is also acceptable to eat it only with a fork. 

It is not appropriate to eat it with your hands. 

mozzarella etiquette mistakes

Mozzarella etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst Mozzarella etiquette mistakes. 

  • 9/10. Serving spoiled Mozzarella.
  • 6/10. Pairing it with a full-bodied or oaked wine.
  • 5/10. Eating it with your fingers.
  • 3/10. Serving Mozzarella with a cheese course at the end of a meal.

Additional information for properly serving Mozzarella

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.

Mozzarella contains around 280 calories per 100 grams. One small individual Mozzarella is usually around 125 grams and contains 330 calories.

How to buy the best Mozzarella

A crucial factor in Mozzarella etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.

Season and availability 

Mozzarella is available all year round.

Choose the best

The best Mozzarella comes from Italy. The southern regions have a particularly strong reputation.

Good Mozzarella looks fresh, moist, and firm. It should not have soft spots or a foul smell.

Alternatives to Mozzarella

The best substitutes for Mozzarella are regular Mozzarella di Bufala, Scamorza, or Burrata.