Why Mozzarella Is the Worst Cheese There Is

Also, pre-grated cheese is evil

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Rebecca Siegel / Flickr

Only eat mozzarella if it's fresh

According to the U.S.D.A., Americans eat over 30 pounds of cheese a year. 11.5 pounds of that is mozzarella, which has beat out cheddar (9.6 pounds) for the second year in a row. The means mozzarella is the most popular form of cheese in the United States, which it shouldn’t be, because it’s terrible.

Plain-old mozzarella comes in vaccuum-tight plastic bags stacked on grocery store shelves like white bricks, which the cheese pretty much is. Most of the mozzarella in the U.S. is desiccated, dried out until it has a better shelf life, less moisture, and less taste. The brick shape and hard texture makes mozzarella popular for grating, but much of the country’s favorite cheese comes in an even more heinous form.

Modern Farmer relates our obsession with mozzarella to the popularity of pizza and notes that “resealable bags of shredded cheddar and mozzarella” have made cheese easier to add to meals. These bags of pre-grated, fibrous strings of dairy-like substance that come dusted with preservatives are literally the devil. They make foodies cry. No one should ever be forgiven for buying them, and don’t even ask about Kraft’s green cylinders of atomized parmesan dust.

You should only be putting regular mozzarella on pizza. Eating fresh mozzarella in non-melted form is okay. That’s it. And if you feel tempted by the allure of convenient bagged cheese, get off your couch, buy a cheese grater, and use it. Your tastebuds will thank you.

The good news is that there are many other types of cheese for culinarily backward Americans to enjoy besides mozzarella and its lesser-evil cousin cheddar.

Burrata is an amazing form of mozzarella that also contains cream. Cut open the outside of the cheese, and out comes oozing a spreadable, soft substance that is ten times as delicious as any normal mozzarella. Grana Padano is a cross between parmesan and romano cheese that’s great grated or on its own. Robusto is like cheddar but better.

For those who can handle stinkier cheeses, triple cream brie is accessibly pungent. Epoisses is said to have been Napoleon’s favorite cheese. Rogue Creamery makes a line of blue cheeses that are good for beginners who don’t want too much mold.

I’m not telling all you dairy philistines to start eating Casu marzu, a maggot-filled cheese that’s illegal in the U.S., but at least try something different.

88 comments
uttim75
uttim75

Agree with all the comments here. This article is worthless.

dafoodmaster
dafoodmaster

So, why is mozarella the worst cheese there is?

RandyJackson
RandyJackson

Whole article could have have been summed in 4 words: "Shred your own cheese".

michelleeebeans
michelleeebeans

This is seriously a horribly written article - if it's called "Why Mozzarella is the Worst Cheese There Is" why is there is literally (correct way to use it, btw) no information about the preservatives that the pre-shredded variety is coated with? You also do nothing to really define "regular mozzarella." I'm not saying I don't agree with you, but this is really just lazy reporting.

JoaodeCarvalho
JoaodeCarvalho

I can understand the point of this article but it's terribly written. It basically says that you shouldn't buy non-traditional cheeses. Real mozzarella is "mozzarella di bufala" - that usually comes in little white soft cheese balls. Search it up. Everything else is part of those inventions that make "life easier" but are not nutritious.

dnnythms
dnnythms

Does pizza cheese fall into this stat?  If it does, you said, "You should only be putting regular mozzarella on pizza."

FrankBourgousie
FrankBourgousie

Oh, look, another arrogant food snob. It kind of reads like poor quality satire. Yawn.

AnonnaMiss
AnonnaMiss

Oh God the hipster foodie is making noise again.

MichaelO'Hara
MichaelO'Hara

"Literally" the devil? I don't think you understand what that word means.

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

Awful article.  Never says anything that is really bad, just the author's obnoxious opinions about frozen and preserved cheeses. Here is what should be discussed>  Ask why is pizza so popular?  Because it is cheap and within the budget of the increasingly larger poor class and shrinking middle class.  I never cared for pizza very much growing up, but I am hard pressed to buy a meal for 4 or 5 people for less.  Dough with a little sauce and a little cheese.  Great nutrition.  I'm sure there is a correlation somewhere with obesity.  

RoyShastid
RoyShastid

Next.....Why don't more people chose toe cheese ? Simple affordable locally produced by airtight shoes and artisans.

coriolanus
coriolanus

"These bags of pre-grated, fibrous strings of dairy-like substance that come dusted with preservatives": Um, I have to point out that the "preservatives" in bagged cheese are natural additives. Looking at a bag in my fridge, I find "potato starch" (nothing more than potato flour), cellulose (while this is manufactured and the idea of it is somewhat gross, it is still just wood/plant fiber), and natamycin, an anti-mold agent made from bacteria and approved for use in the much more stringent EU. It's not like they're putting Red 40 and MSG in your grated cheese. You'll have to get Cheetos for that.

FeRD
FeRD

@coriolanus In fairness, the piece (which, with apologies to commenter @FrankBourgousieabove, I chose to read as quite amusing satire) doesn't actually claim otherwise. It doesn't say the preservatives are chemical or unnatural. Only that they're "dairy-like" — which certainly applies to everything you mentioned — and that they're satanic... er, that they're satan. (That "literally the devil", that's pretty damn unforgivable. Or, still amusing, if you imagine Rob Lowe in Parks & Recreation.)

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

I kept reading the article to find some kind of relevance - facts, figures, surveys, links, studies,  ANYTHING - that substantiates the headline and assertions made in the article.

I found NOTHING.

Instead, what I was subjected to was some idiot's unsupported, snooty diatribe against commercial-grade cheeses because he/she/it is offended at what commercial production does to cheese.

Really?

It's one thing to rail and rant against something that's actually bad for you and prove it's bad. But it takes on a whole new level of arrogance to come out and say, "Gosh, I hate this stuff so you should too." without offering anything more than a lame opinion (not even any credentials that may explain why your opinion is any better than ours).

But the reason this reaches ten orders of magnitude more arrogant is the assumption that everyone in the world:

  1. Gives a damn about their CHEESE.
  2. Has the money and the time to hunt down something "better" on your say-so alone.
  3. Has the palate to even be able to tell the difference.
  4. Will even like what you suggest more than what they get (familiarity in taste is usually the determining factor in likes and dislikes)

For someone who is supposed to know about food, (allegedly, like I said, no credentials means you don't have any authority to speak except as a lay person), you sure as hell don't know much about people or writing to an audience.


Puck101
Puck101

I think everyone missed the the biggest mistake of all......... "For those who can handle stinkier cheeses, triple cream brie is accessibly pungent" Accessibly pungent????????????  Do not you mean excessively pungent? If you can not spell or use the grammatically correct words............ do us all a favor and STOP WRITING!!!!!!

michelleeebeans
michelleeebeans

@Puck101 "Accessibly" is the grammatically correct word, and is spelled and used correctly in this otherwise horribly written article.

quirkygirl
quirkygirl

@Puck101  No. He meant accessibly. His word choice is perfectly correct. Also, for someone so concerned with word choice, your punctuation is abhorrent.

beaelliott
beaelliott

All animal-based "cheese" is made from mammalian milk: Adult humans do not need cow's milk any more than they need goat's milk, wolf's milk, camel's milk, giraffe's milk. Unweaned infants do remarkably better on their own mother's breast milk which is what our species was intended to consume. There's absolutely nothing beneficial to the human diet in cow's milk that can't be gotten through plant based sources. 


Female cows are forcibly artificially inseminated to become pregnant and continue lactating. After 9 months, the dairy industry steals these baby calves shortly after they are born. The "worthless" males who can't make milk are either killed immediately or kept in isolation for a few months to become veal. The unfortunate females calves follow their mother's sad lot all the way to the last moments on the kill floor when they are no longer "productive". 

Thankfully there's abundant plant based alternatives that are just as nutritional, just as satisfying and just as versatile in cooking. Some even have twice the amount of calcium and vitamin D as cow's milk does. 

Dairy is also destructive to the environment and a tragic waste of resources. Perhaps it is time for "unweaned" adults to look beyond what deceptiveness and hype the dairy industry is pitching at you in order to keep their profits and their cruel practices in check.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GrbYVsK7vs

SamBinder
SamBinder

cool statements but where is your argument that backs them up, fool?