Mozzarella cheese is a grocery store staple. Mild in flavor and white in color, the cheese can be found shredded, in logs or in balls. Monterey Jack cheese is also a mild cheese with a creamy, ivory color. Easily melted, Monterey Jack is commonly used in many recipes. The two popular cheeses are vastly different in shape, production and taste.
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Monterey Jack was created in Monterey, California by David Jacks in the late 1800s. The cheese is made using skim, low-fat or whole cow's milk and spices or peppers are sometimes added . Monterey Jack can also be aged. Mozzarella is a simpler cheese that originated in Italy and was traditionally produced using milk from the water buffalo. Presently, mozzarella is also made with skim, low-fat or whole cow's milk for mass production. Unlike Monterey Jack, mozzarella cheese curd is kneaded during production to create the desired consistency. Mozzarella can also be smoked.
The most popular unaged Monterey Jack is a creamy, ivory color that can be purchased in rectangular logs as a semi-soft cheese. The aged version can be found in specialty shops and is a firmer, orange cheese. Mozzarella cheese is sold in a variety of forms from small balls to shredded cheese. The cheese is white in color.
Mild and nutty in flavor, unaged Monterey Jack has a bland taste similar to Muenster cheese. Cheeses with added spices create a more pronounced flavor. Aged Monterey Jack is similar to cheddar in color and taste, with a much sharper flavor. Buffalo mozzarella is creamy with a sweet mild flavor, while standard American mozzarella made from cow's milk has a milder taste and stringy texture.
Properties and Usage
Monterey Jack has a high moisture content with a low melting point. For that reason, it is often used on sandwiches and in dips. Aged Monterey Jack has a lower moisture content and is used grated. American mozzarella is firmer and drier than Monterey Jack and is best used for cooking, rather than snacking. Buffalo mozzarella is sometimes sold marinated or with olive oil, and is often eaten alone or with greens. Both cheeses are a good source of protein, while mozzarella is a good source of calcium and B12, as well.