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scamorza

similar to mozzarella

Using cow's (instead of buffalo's) milk, scamorza is a popular 'stretched' cheese that originated around Bari. Sold when only three days old or so, it is often used in pasta dishes requiring melted cheese, notably in Campania, and also as a vegetarian alternative for a main course. The more popular smoked form (scamorza affumicata) has more flavour.

In southern dialect, the name of this rather pleasant cheese means 'beheaded'. Its distinctive shape comes from being 'strangled' when the ball of wet cheese is hung out to dry. But don't let that put you off!

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by cyclingshepherd