The Good: Tastes delicious, Great aroma, Not the least nutritious cheese
The Bad: Expensive, Inconsistent bite to bite
The Basics: Cappiello Zesty Marinated Mozzarella is flavorful and spicy, when it is not a very typical Mozzarella cheese.
With all of the cheeses that I have reviewed, I was somewhat surprised that I had never yet reviewed a Mozzarella cheese. I suppose that should not have overly surprised me; Mozzarella cheese is usually so bland. That cannot be said of the Cappiello Zesty Marinated Mozzarella cheese I just found at my local grocery store, which is probably why it is now my first mozzarella cheese I'm taking the time to review. Cappiello transforms a very ordinary mozzarella cheese - albeit in a braid, as opposed to a block - into a real taste sensation with a spicy marinade, making it very easy to recommend.
F. Cappiello Dairy is an upstate New York cheesemaker and the Zesty Marinated Mozzarella is the first offering from them I have tried. I found this cheese locally for $7.99 for the 8 oz. braid.
The Zesty Marinated Mozzarella Cheese is one of Cappiello's soft cheeses and it is fairly easy to work with, though it is intended to be a cheese consumed on its own, as opposed to used as a component ingredient. This cheese is too soft to use a cheese plane on, but it may easily be cut with a cheese knife. It may, however, be melted onto things surprisingly well.
The Zesty Marinated Mozzarella may be found on-line and in stores available by the pound. It is a white cheese coated in an oily marinade with very evident spices.
Ease of Preparation
This is cheese, not marinading and aging meat, so preparing the Zesty Marinated Mozzarella Cheese is as easy as slicing open the plastic package. One need only be attentive to the temperature surrounding this cheese as it will melt at higher temperatures. At room temperature, it may sit out and it retains its shape nicely, though it does sweat considerably. At room temperature, it is very easy to slice it into chunks with a good cheese knife. This is not a very manageable cheese to use when making recipes.
When used on a burger, this melted very quickly, so those who like burgers more rare will find this to be an intriguing component. As well, Cappiello Zesty Marinated Mozzarella cheese melts perfectly in omelets and other egg dishes. Because of its robust flavor, it tends to overwhelm less flavorful foods like chicken.
Cappiello Zesty Marinated Mozzarella smells very much like the spices that coat it. The consumer's nose is opened up with red pepper, oregano and the wonderfully pungent smell of mozzarella.
The Zesty Marinated Mozzarella is appropriately named as it immediately kicks the consumer with its bold flavor. The pepper and spices make it taste like the mozarella was dipped into an Italian dressing that somehow had the vinegar neutralized! The cheese flavor only comes out as the spices diminish on the palate, which makes the overall flavor taste surprisingly deep, especially for a mozzarella.
The Zesty Marinated Mozzarella has a strong peppery aftertaste that returns after the cheese flavor once again diminishes. The aftertaste lasts on the tongue for about five minutes after the cheese is consumed.
Like most cheeses, the Cappiello Zesty Marinated Mozzarella is intended to be be consumed in 1" cubed portions (in this case that comes to 28 grams for those able to measure such things). In the recommended serving size, there are 80 calories, sixty of which are from fat. Cappiello Zesty Marinated Mozzarella Cheese has no trans fat, 6 grams total fat of which four are saturated fat. That represents 20% of the RDA of saturated fat, so one might be required to exercise some to work off dishes that are enhanced by this cheese! In addition to the fat, there is 5% of the RDA of cholesterol, 7% of the daily sodium, 15% of one's needed calcium and 2% of your daily Vitamin A in the cheese. There are less than one carbs and 6 grams of protein in this cheese. This actually makes it one of the better cheeses (nutritionally) that I've tried.
The primary ingredients are pasteurized milk, acetic acid and enzymes. There are no preservatives outside the salt, which is why it must be refrigerated and sealed tightly when opened (otherwise it will dry out at the corners)!
This is a cheese, so some care must be maintained in its handling. Refrigeration is mandatory. Under those conditions, it probably lasts for months, but once open odds are the consumer will eat it within days. This is a dairy product and should not be kept at or above room temperature longer than it must.
Given that this is a very soft cheese with spices that fall right off, it is a little messier than most other cheeses. On its own, Cappiello Zesty Marinated Mozzarella Cheese should not stain any clothing or dishware, but the spiced marinade definitely will stain.
Cappiello creates a wonderful variation on mozzarella by spicing the braid in such a way that meat and cheese eaters are bound to fall in love with it!
For other cheeses, please check out my reviews:
Sartori Extra Aged Fontina Cheese
North Country Cheese Garlic Dill Cheese Curds
New Bridge Mediterranean Cheddar Cheese
For other food reviews, check out my Food Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.