Whether plain or smoked, scamorza cheese is excellent for dishes where you want mouthwatering, oozing cheese — or you can just eat it raw! Yum!
Pronounced as (skah-MOHR-tsah), this semisoft cheese is easily identifiable by its distinctive pear shape.
Although believed to have originated from Puglia and Calabria, nowadays, it is produced in various southern regions of Italy, like Campania, Basilicata, Abruzzo, and Molise.
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How is it made?
Making scamorza is the same as mozzarella’s, EXCEPT the curds are stretched further to break them.
This extra step is what gives scamorza that drier and firmer texture.
The last step is part of the aging process, wherein they tie and hang the cheese — which creates its distinctive shape and the edible, thin rind that we don’t see in mozzarella.
TYPES OF SCAMORZA CHEESE
- Scamorza bianca
Also referred to as plain or unsmoked scamorza, it’s alabaster in color, with a delicate taste and milky aroma.
- Scamorza affumicata
Otherwise known as smoked scamorza, these are light brown, with a smoky aroma and flavor.
SCAMORZA vs. MOZZARELLA
Both mozzarella and scamorza bianca are stringy and quite delicate in flavor.
However, this is not the case with scamorza affumicata.
While the texture is the same, the flavor and aroma are entirely different — the depth and complexity of the smokiness, in my opinion, makes it even more delicious than mozzarella.
How is it stored?
You can store the prepacked ones in the refrigerator for several days.
However, once it’s opened, you should try to consume it within three to four days. Longer than this and the cheese gets harder, and the affumicata variety slowly loses its flavor.
Scamorza cheese substitute
The pride of the region of Campania, it’s the go-to cheese if you’re looking for an excellent melting cheese that does not overpower a dish.
Delicate and creamy; hard to go wrong with that. 🙂
Another firm, semi-hard cheese that originated from South Italy but is now produced in some Northern Italian regions, like Lombardy.
Made from cow’s milk and buttery in flavor — but could be sweet or sharp, depending on whether it’s the dolce or piccante variety.
Originally from North Italy, but is now produced in various European countries as well.
It’s a semi-hard cheese that melts well, a bit sweet, buttery, and nutty — and yet, quite pungent compared to the first two possible scamorza substitutes.
How to use scamorza
Use it as a topping for any type of pizza.
The best one I have tried is a quattro formaggi that used scamorza affumicata instead of mozzarella.
The way it complemented gorgonzola – delicious!
- Baked Scamorza
You can use either bianca or affumicata for baking.
When I make this at home, I just sprinkle some pepper and fresh basil leaves on top and enjoy it with a chunk of bread. Oh, and a glass of wine too!
Alternatively, you can add some prosciutto slices or bits of crunchy bacon on top.
Either way, baking scamorza is an excellent idea for an appetizer or snack.
Give it a try! 🙂