Cheese is a favorite for most foodies. Some people like to use it as part of the dessert while others use it as a topping, but other times they mix it in the meals or sauces. Whichever way you like is perfect when you know which one to use where.
One thing that will determine whether your pizza will be great is the toppings and the cheese you use. Mozzarella and provolone cheese are some of the most common ones you will find on different pizzas and pasta. But do you know the difference?
Notice that most people who like cheese also use these two interchangeably. They will add great flavors but also texture to your food and pizza particularly. Before we delve deep into this topic, we have to understand them.
What is mozzarella?
This is one of the most common cheeses, and I can attribute this to most Americans who love it. Anyone can understand that mozzarella is the perfect choice of cheese because it will fit in with most of the recipes that call for the use of cheese.
One thing unique about it is that you won’t always need to cure it to make it ideal for your consumption.
Traditionally this cheese is a south Italian type of cheese that they make from the Italian buffalo’s milk. They further use the pasta filata method to make the cheese.
Now, if you get the fresh one, then it will be white to pale yellow color. It has high moisture, and you should serve it just a day after harvesting.
It comes from the Neapolitan name of the Campania dialect ‘Mozza.’ They started using the cheese back in the 12th century. Today though, you can find the traditional mozzarella cheese in the European Union as they make it to meet the initial standards.
What is provolone?
This one is another cheese type that first originated in northern Italy. Provolone name refers to the large provola. This one, though, is not as old as the mozzarella since they invented it in the 19th century. You will find a lot of it being produced in northern Italy.
This is another one of the common types that use the pasta filata method to process it. The difference, though, is that it’s aged. Also, it’s a semi-hard cheese, yet it has a sharp and sweet taste that’s further mild in some way.
Most of us enjoy it with some bacon but also the meats. Now this cheese, contrary to other types, has protection by protection destination origin that guards it. This shows and forbids the production of the cheese by any other country.
But how aged is the provolone?
Now don’t fall for most supermarket cheese that they position as aged when they aren’t aged. If you, therefore, can get them from the manufacturer, you will be better off because you are sure it’s nicely matured.
With such options, you are also sure you will not have them having additives notice that they are highly processed. For example, if they added a lot of sodium, they influence the cheese’s quality.
If possible, you can get the cheese from the place that makes the cheese, and that way, you are sure they will mature it right. If you are, therefore, a health-conscious individual, then this is not an option for you. Choose the cheese from the best.
Remember, the perfect provolone shouldn’t be too milky or too sharp. It should all be balanced to make your meal a perfect meal.
How to process the cheese?
The way they make or process the cheese varies from one type to another.
So here then you will need to extract the fresh cow’s milk. Notice, though, that the cheese depends on the fat you find in the milk. The method you are going to use in the processing of the cheese also matters.
The moment they milk the cows, though, they will take it for the cheese making. This is what makes it produce fresh provolone. However, if you use the one taken long after the milking, you lose the taste of the freshness.
What you will like the most about it is that it has a smoky flavor too. It would help if you, therefore, heated it to a temperature of 98-102F. Next, you will have the curd separate from the real milk. They will then strain the water out of the curd, and they dry the milk solids.
You will then cook the milk at an even higher temperature of 118-125F. You can then cook it for at least 6 hours, and this will then prep the curd for the cheese making.
After this step, then you are almost done with it, so you need to cut the curd into different shapes. But then you will also get it through the stretching process. This is also what you will hear some people refer to as pasta filata.
You will have to take it through this step because it’s the one that gives the cheese the springy texture. Also, your end product will not turn too rubbery.
They then shape the cheese either by hand or using a mold. You will then cool it down and then pass it through a saline bath. Lastly, you can then dip them in a light wax. This is what will keep it from forming the molds.
From here then they will allow it to start the curing process.
How to make the mozzarella cheese?
The first step is to find the buffalo milk, then add the whey to it to start ripening the cheese. They give it time to ripen, and when it’s ready, they will add the rennet on to help in the coagulation process.
After the coagulation and the curd are formed, they will cut it to pieces and knead it with the salt. This will then break the curd into small and tiny pieces.
You will then add some water over the curd to melt. And then they also use the large ladle to mix it best. They will then drain some of the water that they mixed in, and with this, you will have the whey that you already added. This is the way you drain the unwanted whey.
Next, you can start to knead the curd, and then you can take it through the pizza filata. From here, the only thing remaining is to shape the cheese balls.
This is then ready for consumption, and so you can serve it immediately.
What are they made of?
As we had already discussed these points above, the provolone cheese is made using fresh cow milk. The main ingredient is the milk, but they will, in the end, add some salt to it. However, the Italian cheese type they sometimes even make using buffalo milk too.
The difference is that you have to use buffalo milk when you are going to make this cheese. Again at about the end, they will add the salt.
What does it taste like?
Of course, the main difference may come from the taste.
Does it have a stronger taste than the mozzarella one? You won’t need to eat the provolone’s rind, but the pale yellow color of the inner parts will darken with time. It feels like you are taking a dense but not rubbery paste, yet it also has a nutty flavor sometimes.
By four months, you can use the provolone, but then it can take up to three years to fully mature, and at that time, it has a sharper taste.
It has a unique spicy flavor Iand you know, you can use it on a cheese plate or even the pasta. So the rennet is the one that causes the stronger flavors. Notice that sometimes they may also use the applewood branches in the process, giving it a smoky flavor.
Of course, you will have a difference in the taste as well. The mozzarella will give you a mild and buttery flavor. The provolone, on the other hand, has a tangy flavor.
The curation process
The provolone will age for 3-4 months and even more time to cook it. The maturing happens to make it semi-firm, pliable, cheesy cream, smooth and nutty flavor too.
You can further use the fresh mozzarella, and you don’t have to let it cure like you do when you are making the provolone. Sadly, the mozzarella may go bad if you don’t take it immediately.
Checking the texture and melting
Here you are bound to have some difference too. Mozzarella is soft, primarily since they use it in its fresh form. The fact that it’s soft makes it melt easily than the other types.
Provolone is semi-hard, and it’s not easy to melt. For this reason, you will find that most people prefer mozzarella for pizza. It will get stretchy and melty fast. They then use the provolone for the sandwiches, pasta, and more.
The shelf life
Another main difference is here since the mozzarella has a weaker shelf life when you compare to provolone. You will store the provolone for longer. And even though you like the mozzarella, you can’t store it for as long as you do the provolone. To last long, they have to pack them in brine solution as that then assures you that you will have it last longer.
Another clear difference is here. Mozzarella works well when you’re going to cook with it. Provolone is great in sandwiches, though. This is also why you will find it in most pizzas all over the world. Notice that pizza may as well be the most popular food in the world, and that’s why whenever you mention cheese, people think mozzarella.
The reason people like to use it in cooking, too, is because it’s creamy, soft, and just yummy. The mozzarella is further typical because you can find it easily. Again you don’t have to wait for you to mature so you can use it in its new form.
You will notice that they make the provolone to a log and cylindrical shape. As for the mozzarella, you probably have seen this already too. They form the balls and the bricks, and you can then eat it fresh, or when you have, it packaged it in the brine.
Sometimes you may notice the flavor difference but don’t think the flavor is the same as the taste because it’s not.
Let‘s talk about the nutrition value.
With every meal we consume, we always want to find out whether it’s helping our bodies in any way. Remember, some foods may taste different and not as good as the health benefits they give to you. We will give you a basic summary to make it easy for you to understand.
If you consume 150g of provolone cheese, you should expect to have earned 528 calories. This also means that you have consumed 40.5g of fat, 3.15g carbs, 1.3g of sodium, and 39g of protein.
If you consume 150g of mozzarella cheese, then you should expect 420 calories. It also means you consumed 25.5g of fat, 4.65g of carbs, 24g of sodium, and 48g of protein.
In a nutshell, we say that provolone is more caloric than mozzarella, you know. So when you want to live a healthy life, you need to use mozzarella.
Types of provolone cheese
Notice that the provolone cheese comes in two types.
This is a smooth and creamy cheese, also one of the most common types of provolone cheese. Usually, it has smooth nutty but also buttery flavors.
This one is great for those who like the cheese types that don’t age as much. It will always take between 2-3 months to age fully.
You can also have the provolone Picante Which you will get to age for a little longer. This one often has a sharper, beefier, and saltier taste.
I know we have the provolone cheese in America, but I don’t want to compare it with Italy’s ones. They use different milk, and the weather is different, so you don’t expect it to be the same. However, you could set it in the category of provolone dolce. The other thing about it is that it sometimes has a mild taste, and it can be rubbery too.
There’s also the provola cheese, which is often a smaller version of the provolone. You can have it in both plain and smoked versions.
Types of mozzarella
The difference is that mozzarella comes in a lot more different versions and types.
Mozzarella di bufalla
This was initially the mozzarella that Italians used. They found the milk to use in making it from the water buffalo.
The difference is that today they even use the cow’s milk, not the buffalos.
It’s the one that comes in white color and this one then you want to eat immediately. This then means that you can store the mozzarella in small plastic bags. Therefore, the secret is to make sure you eat the mozzarella as soon as you open it.
This is like a ball of cheese, and when you cut it, you will have the cream in the middle part shows out. And the cream usually also has shreds of mozzarella curd.
Of course, you can smoke all the different kinds of mozzarella for a difference in the taste. This is also what people refer to as smoked cheese, remember. They will often then suspend the cheese over the wood fire to start the smoking.
Health benefits of mozzarella cheese
It has enough calcium.
This is one of the most significant minerals in the human body. If you took an ounce of mozzarella, you are consuming about 18% of the calcium, you ought to be taking already. It would help if you had calcium for your bones.
Mozzarella is a powerhouse of proteins. It will make it give you the body-building features to remember. This has a way to boost your muscle strength.
It will give you the vitamin B7
This is the perfect source of biotin. It’s ideal for pregnant women who need it urgently. You won’t have to struggle with low blood glucose levels. Your nails will never be brittle, either.
Health benefits of provolone
This cheese is excellent for your bone health. Like mozzarella above then, it will give you the benefit of enough calcium in the body. Again the calcium you receive from the provolone will help with your dental health. It works excellent to remodel your teeth. Generally, it will always increase oral cavity health.
It’s ideal for cardiovascular health. While most people think it will mess your heart up, you should know that the provolone will help you maintain perfect heart health. The calcium will help to reduce blood pressure.
It’s ideal for gut health too. This is great since it will always also balance the gut bacteria floral. Here, therefore, we are saying that you are safe when taking the provolone. It’s the type of cheese that even pregnant women can use.