Fior di Latte: The Secret to Authentic Italian Pizza

By: the PROs

Fior di Latte: The Secret to Authentic Italian Pizza

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Fior di Latte for Pizza

Imagine biting into a slice of heavenly pizza, with the perfect balance of a crispy crust and a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth topping that instantly transports you to the cobblestone streets of Italy. Well, that magical ingredient responsible for that velvety goodness is none other than Fior di latte.

We’re going to take you on a journey to discover the wonders of Fior di latte – what it is, how to make it, how to use it, and how to store it, among many other tantalizing tidbits. You’ll soon be on your way to becoming a fior di latte aficionado, impressing your friends and family with your newfound pizza prowess.

So, grab your apron, and let’s dive into the delicious world of Fior di latte!

So, let’s get started!

What is Fior Di Latte?

Fior di latte is a semi-soft fresh cheese made from cow’s milk. Fior di latte is the Italian way of saying cow’s milk mozzarella. Fior di latte, also known as “flower of milk.” and famously referred to as FDL in restaurant language.

The phrase, fior di latte, taken on its own, translates to flower milk and refers to cow’s milk mozzarella. 

It is, however, essential to note that although fior di latte and fresh mozzarella are used interchangeably with some, they are two different products in how they taste and their preparation method.

Fior di latte has a thin, shiny, smooth, milk-white film with Southern Italian heritage. When it comes to its taste, it has a slightly acidic taste with a fibrous structure. 

fior di latte
Fior di latte

Cutting it, the Fr di latte releases a milky liquid.

 Although you can buy a Fior di latte cheese ball in your nearby store, you can also make it yourself. 

Yes, you heard that right; with the necessary ingredients, you can make this great cheese in the comfort of your kitchen. 

However, it is vital to get some of the details right. 

For starters, you should use the freshest, most colorful milk and cream from grass-fed cows. 

You can get this from a dairy or choose milk made for this purpose from your nearby store. If you choose the already packaged milk, ensure whole milk. 

Secondly, be precise in your measurements and ensure you sterilize your tools. 

Also, it is an added advantage to be generous with the salt

Finally, to achieve the desired effect, eating your Fior di latte as soon as possible is advisable.

How to Make Fior Di Latte

Since we have already established that good quality milk is the backbone of a good Fior di latte, it is also essential to be fresh, not more than 24 hours after milking.

making fior di latte
Making Fior di Latte

Ingredients

  • 4 litter (1 gallon) of whole milk
  • 0.5 vegetarian rennet tablet
  • 6 grams of citric acid powder
  • 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • Water

Method

Step 1. Combine your citric acid and 30 ml of water in a bowl.

Step 2. Then dissolve the vegetarian rennet in 30 ml of water in a bowl, stir the mixture, and let it rest.

Step 3. Pour your milk into a large pot and warm it to 37C over medium heat.

Step 4. Add the citric acid mixture to the heating milk while stirring to avoid burning.

Step 5. Next, add the rennet mixture while stirring for 30 seconds to combine. Heat the mixture to about 40C.

Step 6. Remove the mixture from heat and give it about 20-30 minutes for curds to form. The milk should separate into two parts, leaving you with a yellow liquid at the bottom and a thick solid yogurt-like substance at the top.

Step 7. Once the milk has curdled, cut it into pieces of 3cm cubes.

Step 8. Set a cheesecloth or sieve in a strainer over a pot.

Step 9. Pour the curds and the water over the cheesecloth to separate them.

Step 10. Put the setup aside and give it 2-3 hours to drain completely.

Step 11. Now, gently press the curds for excess liquid and transfer them to a large bowl.

Step 12. Scatter the 3cm pieces with salt. Then pour just enough boiling water to cover them.

Step 13. Using two wooden spoons, stretch the curd. If the cheese breaks as you try to stretch it, put it back in the boiling water and heat it some more. Then try stretching it again.

Step 14. Once the cheese stretches without breaking, cover your hands with gloves to avoid burning, and continue stretching the cheese until it is smooth and pliable. 

However, be careful not to overwork the cheese. This process should take 2-5 minutes.

Step 15. Once the cheese is shiny and firm, cut it into balls of your desired size and place it in a different bowl with cool water.

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Does Fior Di Latte Melt?

Like most cheeses, Fior di latte melts when heated, making it a popular ingredient in pizza, lasagna, and grilled cheese sandwiches.

The melting point for di latte cheese is around 150F; depending on the cheese and the recipe, this temperature could vary, but it generally starts to melt around that range.

If you are in the pizzeria business or just trying to fine-tune your pizza-making skills, this is a question that you have come across more times than you can count. 

Its other variation is mozzarella of Fior di latte? However, this question relies on two aspects of Fior di latte. The milk used, and two, how fresh the fior di latte is. 

Earlier in the article, we emphasized that the milk should be fresh and of excellent quality, preferably unpasteurized milk from grass-fed cows. 

adding-fior-di-latte-to-pizza
Fior di Latte Pizza

Fior di Latte Pizza

Fior di latte is a popular topping for pizza, as its mild flavor and ability to melt well make it a great complement to various other ingredients.

How to Use Fior di Latte on Pizza

  1. To use Fior di latte on pizza, start by making or purchasing a pizza dough and rolling it out to the desired thickness.
  2. Next, add your desired sauce and toppings to the pizza, leaving enough room to sprinkle shredded Fior di latte cheese.

The cheese you use will depend on your taste, but it’s usually around 100-125g per pizza.

  1. Finally, bake the pizza in a preheated oven at 425F (220C) for around 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and melted.

The great thing about Fior di latte is that it keeps its milky flavor even when melted; it gives a special touch to the pizza.

Fior di latte has superb melting characteristics attesting to why it is preferred and extensively used in pizzas and other dishes. 

Secondly, the freshness of the Fior di latte plays a vital role in its melting properties. The fresher the cheese, the better it’s melting characteristics, and vice versa. 

Cheese stored in whey or salty brine water does not melt well but gets soft. 

Due to its full-bodied and tender mouthfeel, many people prefer mozzarella for di latte fresh, as is, with tomatoes, basil, and olive oil, for example, but not melted on a pizza. 

How Long Does Fior Di Latte Last?

Most professionals in the cooking industry advise using Fior di latte as soon as possible, especially when it is homemade. 

The reason is that it will retain not only its high-quality, smooth elastic texture but also will avail flavors that will leave your taste buds in awe. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot store it for later use.

You should keep it refrigerated at about 38F (4C) if bought from the store for two weeks. 

Once opened, it is best consumed immediately and at room temperature. 

However, it can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of five days after opening, depending on the methods you use to keep it. 

Use a bowl containing whey to store the cheese to avoid hardening or lightly salted water for the same purpose.

On the other hand, it’s advisable to refrigerate it right after making it. That is if you don’t consume it. Pack it in an airtight container and refrigerate it for five days.

Does Fior Di Latte have Rennet?

Fior di Latte does not typically contain rennet, an enzyme typically used in cheese production to cause coagulation and curdling of the milk.

Instead, fior di latte is typically made using a combination of bacteria and acid to coagulate the milk and form curds. The curds are then stretched and formed into the characteristic smooth, white cheese known as fior di latte.

Rennet is a set of enzymes mainly produced in the stomach of mammals. Its main component is protease, an enzyme that helps curdle milk. Some of the other enzymes found in rennet include pepsin and lipase. 

Therefore, for a long-time, rennet has been used in the cheesemaking process to help separate milk into liquid whey and solid curds. 

It is, however, essential to note that not all forms of rennet are from animals. The reason is that most vegetarians and vegans avoid products that necessitate the slaughter of animals, be it for meat or their byproducts. 

Although making some cheeses requires animal byproducts to achieve taste and texture, fior di latte is not among them. With the availability of vegetable rennet and plant rennet, fior di latte indeed does have rennet, but not necessarily one produced by animals. 

Vegetable rennet is made through fermentation; yeast or fungi are mixed with the animal genes to create a chymosin-like enzyme. 

On the other hand, plant-type rennet is sourced from plants like nestles, which mimic animal rennet functionality. 

Although there is a third rennet type, the mold rennet is not used in cheesemaking as it induces a bitter taste.

fior-di-latte balls
Fior di Latte

Is Fior Di Latte Pasteurized?

Fior di latte should have creamy soft attributes that make it ideal for use. Additionally, its outstanding melting qualities are attributed to the milk’s freshness and components, such as its fats. 

One of these qualities is the milk not being pasteurized. Since pasteurization removes the fatty features found in milk, it renders the milk less than for its intended purpose. 

Fior di latte from unpasteurized milk, it will not have the outstanding qualities that characterize it. 

However, if this is the only milk available to you, it is possible to make a Fior di latte from it; do not expect all the attributes to be present.

Can You Freeze Fior Di Latte?

The best way to store Fior di latte homemade or a pack bought from the store is to freeze it. 

Therefore, the answer to this question is yes; you can freeze your Fior di latte. However, this is only applicable in two cases. 

One, when you bring home excess cheese than intended from the market and want to keep it for future use, and two, when it is freshly made at home, you don’t need the extra in more than five days. 

The reason is that once you defrost it for the first time, it is not advisable to freeze it again. 

Additionally, once defrosted, the timeline to use it decreases from the three weeks it’s suitable for when frozen to a couple of days.

What Is the Difference Between Fior Di Latte and Mozzarella?

Although Fior di latte and mozzarella are terms used interchangeably in most parts of the world, they are two very different things in Italy, where they both originate. 

The difference between fior di latte and mozzarella is the distinction in their dairy products’ ingredients. 

While on the one hand, Fior di latte is made from fresh, grass-fed whole cow’s milk; fresh mozzarella, also known as buffalo mozzarella (Mozzarella di Bufala), is made from buffalo milk. 

As we all know, Buffalo mozzarella is a fresh cheese with spun dough made with buffalo’s milk, produced and known in ancient times. Indeed, around 1200 the monks of the Monastery of Capua offered this cheese to the devotees on pilgrimage.

However, when it comes to making them, they are pretty similar. That is because both are fresh, stretched curd cheeses.

The second main difference between these cheese forms is their taste and flavor. 

Fior di latte has a more delicate taste that conquers the palate than its counterpart. 

Additionally, it is softer and creamier without the fattiness found in mozzarella. 

Fior di latte has a sweeter, lighter, and more elastic taste, attributed to its raw materials. 

Is Fior Di Latte Same as Burrata?

The above dual is another mostly confused cheese type in the market. Although these cheese types are both prepared through stretched curd methods, they have significant differences that are easy to pick out. 

The first thing is the process used to make them. 

In making Fior di latte, one adds lactic element and rennet to form curds which are then cut and extracted from the whey. 

Then the curd is cut into cubes and kneaded manually in boiling water to make it stretch, thus making it into desired pieces, and then cooled in water. 

On the other hand, although burrata is made from stretched curd, it only serves as the casing and not the primary dairy product substance. 

Instead, a stracciatella, a soft filling, is mixed with the cream.

On the taste, although a Fior di latte has a more delicate and elastic texture, the burrata has a much creamier, richer flavor and a looser texture. 

The burrata also has a flavorful taste compared to the Fior di latte due to olive oil in the making process. 

Additionally, the burrata has a higher calorie count due to its creamy nature.

Where to Buy Fior di Latte

Here’s where to buy Fior di Latte best for Authentic Neapolitan Pizza.

Best for Authentic Neapolitan Pizza
Fresh Mozzarella - Fior Di Latte

Fior Di Latte is an Italian-style cow's milk cheese made to order and delivered fresh as can be. With a name meaning "milk's flower," each ball-shaped cheese has an elastic texture and fresh, tangy taste thanks to the use of fresh cow's milk (as opposed to the buffalo's milk used in Mozzarella di Bufala). While fresh Mozzarella cheese can be enjoyed by itself, it works wonders spread over pizza or accompanied by salad.

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The Last Slice

There are so many variations that primarily depend on the components used and the making process for cheese. Fior di Pizza gives you the perfect low-moisture cheese for all your baking needs.

Therefore, before picking one type, it is imperative that you do your due diligence and understand what suits your purpose. 

Hoping the above information has added to your knowledge, it is time to surge on and try these types on your next pizza bake. 

Remember, the only way to perfect your skills and become a great baker is through ongoing trials.

Additional Resources on Mozzarella

Enjoy!

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