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Recipe story

While living with Priest Don Gianni in Tuscany we meet the Martino family, who makes their own scamorza cheese every week. Scamorza can be found hung throughout cheese shops and homes in Southern Italy, hence the name "beheaded" in dialect (scamozza). The process of making scamorza begins the exact same way as mozzarella. The only difference is that scamorza is left in brine for a few hours which makes the final product harder and dryer than the wet mozzarella. The same characteristics lead the scamorza cheese to last longer. It can also be found smoked. 


recipe film:

prep time: 1 Hr
+ 3 hr wait
dairy product

kitchen supplies:

serves 5-6
  1. Combine the milk and culture in a large pot. Stir. Heat the milk and culture to 36°C (96°F).

  2. While the milk is heating, add the rennet into a coffee cup half full with warm water. 

  3. Once the milk has reached 36°C (96°F) immediately remove from heat. 

  4. Add the rennet and water to the milk. Mix well, cover the pot and allow to stand for an additional 30-40 minutes. Do NOT shake or touch the pot during this time period. 

  5. After waiting, the milk should have the consistency of yogurt. Using a long sharp knife, make 3 horizontal and 3 vertical cuts, then let it rest for another 10 minutes. 

  6. Afterwards, enter your hands into the coagulated milk, splay your fingers, and gently work the milk so that it breaks apart a little (30 seconds).

  7. Place the coagulated milk back on the stove over medium heat, cover, and let it reach to a temperature of 40° C (104°F). Once it reaches this temperature, gently remove it from the heat, keep covered, and let it rest under a blanket for 3 hours. During this resting period, the curds (solids) will sink to the bottom of the pot, while the whey (liquid) will remain at the top.

  8. After waiting 3 hours, heat 5 liters of water to 80°C (175°F) in a seperate pot. Strain the whey from the curds and store 1 liter of the whey for your next scamorza which you can use in lieu of the bacteria (see the beginning of the film where they add they "cultured whey").

  9. Now add the heated water (80°C -175°F) to the curds. Using gloves to protect your hands against the heat, work the curd by stretching it and kneading it so that it becomes a glob of gooey stretchy mozzarella. Shape 2 scamorzas (see video).

  10. Place the shaped scamorzas in cold brine (dissolved salted water) for 2 hours, remove from the brine, tie a ribbon around it's neck and hang. Enjoy!

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