We are all eating mozzarella

I put out a cheeseboard at a party this weekend and it was demolished. The cheddar, manchego, brie, goat cheese and aged gouda was cleared, as was the mass of bread and oatcakes. I also put out some homemade membrillo (quince paste), which was also duly gobbled up.

The one cheese I didn’t put out was mozzarella. On a typical cheeseboard, mozzarella would have caused confusion – but I’ll bet if I had put it out, it would have been inhaled. As cheeses go, mozzarella is quickly taking over the world, if the recent moves by Arla and Ornua are anything to go by. Arla has added capacity in Denmark and Bahrain for the cheese, while Ornua’s new facility in Spain will serve the international market with a lot of mozzarella.

The basis of this popularity is the pizza and quick serve restaurants, as well as food delivery services. Plus, an emerging middle class in many markets, where cheese is not normally consumed. Now, I don’t know about you, but there used to be a time when I never bought a ready-made pizza. Today, I go to the supermarket and am awed by the range and frankly quite appealing pizzas on offer. Some of the time, I’ll make my own pizza dough, buy the cheese and sauce, and add my own toppings. Other times, I grab that ready to go pizza, add an extra ball of mozzarella to it and some further toppings, and we are good to go. The offspring is happy, and we are all fed. More cheese is consumed.

Milllenials will consume less dairy, but they eat more cheese than anyone. As someone recently said at a conference, cheese has made itself relevant and a key part of people’s diets. It tastes good and delivers the experience people love. And mozzarella travels. Granted, it might not be the dreamy globes of the mozzarella di bufala from my Italian holiday this year, but it remains a satisfying part of the pizza experience. As the world moves to eat more pizza, mozzarella is there, topping the crust. It is the world’s favourite cheese.

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