Anonymous asked: Why does mozzarella not = cheese?
Before we get into this, you have to leave your scientific, even fascist definitions of “cheese” at the door. People will toss out terms like milk, and enzymes and culturing, that sort of thing. The bottom line, though is that mozzarella is not a cheese. To understand why, you have to look at what a cheese is.
Cheese’s pungent odors slither through the air, creep up into your nostrils and kick you in the brain when you let your guard down. The quote-unquote “best” cheeses just happen, coincidentally, to smell like my foot after a hard day at the old-sock-wearing-factory. They taste sour and should be considered an actual crime against taste buds. The term “extra sharp” is applied to the strongest cheeses. I believe that adjective refers to the quality of knife you’ll want to stab yourself with.
Cream cheese is just cheese that tries to trick you into trying it by masquerading as a Cool Whip-type substance. (Never again!) Cottage cheese is, all possible joking aside, the single most disgusting food I have ever encountered, and I once watched a person eat natto. Someone once suggested I try it with pineapple. If you took just one of those tiny horrid, watery blob-things that make up cottage cheese and put it inside of an entire pineapple, that might work. But I’m not taking that chance.
Mozzarella is not a cheese by virtue of the duck test. It doesn’t have the foul odor, rancid taste or even texture of cheeses. Note its flexible, stringy appearance versus the crumbly or brittle consistency of “cheese.” Hold a chunk of mozzarella under your nose and sniff. Did your sinuses try to escape? No, because it’s not cheese. Pop some in your mouth. You can barely taste it! This is what makes it perfect on a pizza, where it serves more as a binding ingredient than anything else. Actual “cheeses” leave your taste buds wondering what they did that made you hate them so.
Provolone, similarly, is not a cheese, but that’s mainly because provolone actually is mozzarella. “Provolone” is a North Italian word meaning “mozzarella,” kind of like how they call it “pop” in South Dakota and “soda” in Maine. When the cheese was brought to America from Italy, no one corrected the mistaken identify because it meant they could sell twice as much cheese. That;s the only explanation.