Mozzarella sticks are wonderful fried cheese that are coated with a breading to contain the melted goodness. You crunch into one and the cheese strings out in a gooey, fantastic mess. The invention of the modern recipe is thought to have come out of Paris, France in the 15th century, but recipes for breaded cheese sticks can be traced back to 1393. The original recipe called for the use of Muenster cheese instead of Mozzarella, but the rest, as they say, is history.
Where Is the Initial Recipe?
You can find the initial recipe for breaded cheese sticks in a cookbook called Le Menagier de Paris. What is interesting about the some of the various recipes is that it called for people to have specific days for specific proteins or foods. On a soup recipe for old peas, for example, the cookbook has specific instructions about what to do on meat days and on fish days for the soup to be used.
Out of this cookbook also came one of the first recipes for a powdered drink. Hippocras was made from cinnamon, ginger, and other spices and then sweetened for a day in wine. Then the spices are strained out through a cloth. What the cookbook offered was the chance to create all of the spices together at first, grind them into a powder, and then have them ready to be included in a quart of wine once ready.
Although Mozzarella sticks may not have a true inventor, there is a way to begin tracing the history of the cheese itself.
Traditional Mozzarella Comes From the Water Buffalo
The milk from a water buffalo is considered quite rare, and so the traditional Mozzarella is very expensive. Today’s cheese tends to come from cow’s milk, which is why it is only a fraction of the price of the authentic product.
Water buffalo began being raised in Italy around the 12th century when there were several wars going on for the land. Over the years, farmers abandoned their property and the herds began to be thinned out as the land was reclaimed over the years. Many credit Hannibal with the invention of Mozzarella, but there is some talk about Indian traders showing the Italians how to make the cheese and still others claim that the Arabs brought it with them during their invasions.
What is known is this: Mozzarella sticks taste wonderful! They aren’t part of Italian cooking, but they can be found as an appetizer in many stores or the frozen foods section of a grocery store. You can dip them in a variety of sauces, including one based in raspberry jam, for an outstanding culinary experience.
Whether you wish to credit an ancient French cookbook, the invasion of Italy by the Arabs, or someone else, be sure to enjoy one of these breaded cheese sticks that have been around in some form for over 600 years today.