Scamorza Cheese, An Italian Creation
Scamorza cheese from Calabria is an Italian cheese tracing its origin to an error caused by a cheesemaker trying to produce a Caciocavallo using sour ingredients. To resolve the situation the mass was treated with very hot water, and that is how Scamorza came to be, that is, according to country legend.
As a name, Scamorza cheese originates in the verb scamozzare, meaning to break or cut off, in reference to the part of the production process in which curds are broken into smaller pieces, similar to the way a different Italian product is made, la mozzarella. The Calabrian version of Scamorza cheese doesn’t require a long maturation period, and for this reason it is usually produced in the summer months.
To make Scamorza cheese, Italian milk is filtered, then heated to 30-35°C and mixed with calf rennet. After about 40 minutes the curd is separated into small chunks, and rests for a quarter hour. At this point the whey is removed, and it is reheated to 65°C and rebroken to sit for another 5 hours. The Scamorza cheese paste is cut into strips, and immersed into scalding waters to be stretched and ripped by hand (“scamozzatura“). The resulting forms are then left to cool, and dipped in brine for flavor. The result is a succulent Scamorza ready for cooking in a pan or on the grill.