If you like mozzarella, you’ll love scamorza! A cheese originally from Southern Italy, Scamorza is a proud member of the “pasta filata” pulled curd family. This cheese making process involves heating and stretching curds, almost as one would taffy. It adds more power to a pizza, lasagna, or sandwiches than does a mozzarella. Scamorza comes plain or smoked. This scamorza (smoked) from Cappiello is even more flavorful since it is roasted over hickory.
The Cappiello family immigrated from Sorrento, Italy to Schenectady, New York in the 1920s. Once settled in the States, they carried on the tradition of cheesemaking. In Italian shops, one often finds dryer cheeses and cured meats hanging from the ceiling over the counter.
Scamorza is one such cheese. Its shape, which resembles a pear or beggar’s purse, comes from such a hanging. In fact, the cheese is “strangled” (strangolare il formaggio – to strangle the cheese); it first is shaped into a ball, and then pinched at the top and tied with a rope to hang up to dry, and in this case, smoked. Such torture for a cheese! stretching, strangling, hanging, and then set over burning embers!
The result is a gorgeous dairy delicacy with a rich tradition in Italian artistry. Scamorza works as a savory table cheese and, when melted, adds excellent creamy texture to dishes. The smoke gives a “meaty” flavor, but with no meat, of course.
Cappiello products are OU-D, cholov stam. http://www.cappiellofoods.com
Elizabeth Bland, The Cheese Mistress