Mmmm. I discovered this cheese last summer and loved it: Scamorza Affumicata. (“Scamorza” is the kind of cheese. “Affumicata” means it’s smoked.) So I found it again at the store yesterday and had a chunk this morning with some fresh tomato. Good breakfast?
From a Wikipedia entry:
Scamorza is a plastic curd (or stretched curd) cheese in which the fresh curd matures in its own whey for several hours to allow acidity to develop by the process of lactose being converted to lactic acid. Artisanal cheesemakers would generally form the cheese into a round shape and then tie a string around the mass one third of the distance from the top and hang to dry. The resulting shape is pear-like. This is sometimes referred to as “strangling” the cheese. The cheese is usually white in color unless smoked. When smoked, the color is almond with a lighter interior.
It is reputed to melt better in baking than mozzarella. It can be substituted for mozzarella in most dishes. If using the smoked variety (scamorza affumicata), it adds a nice background flavor in replacement of mozzarella.
In Italy, scamorza is more commonly made in the south rather than the north. Technically, scamorza is a product of Puglia, where it is made throughout Bari province (Slow Food Editore. 2005. Italian cheese, p. 372.) However, it is available across the country, both in the unsmoked and smoked forms. Mario Batali cites grilled scamorza as a traditional dish in Neapolitan cooking. (Batali, M. 2008. Italian grill, p.33.) Scamorza in Bari is made from sheep milk. This is not necessarily true of cheeses called scamorza outside the EU.