NY1's Valarie D'Elia journeys to a village in Italy to show how real, fresh mozzarella is made. She filed the following report.
Northeast of Naples, 40 minutes driving distance from Benevento in Italy's Campania region, sits the small village of Castlefranco in Miscano.
While I know the village as the childhood home of my grandparents, who left for America as toddlers, Castelfranco is probably more famous for a particular style of mozzarella cheese.
Caciocavallo is an aged cheese. Made from the same process as soft mozzarella with fresh cow milk, instead of being braided into shape, Caciocavallo is formed into an oblong ball with a little nub on top. It is then hung and stored in a dark, cool, cellar for at least three months.
Caciocavallo is a harder cheese than traditional mozzarella and doesn't melt well, so it is not used as an ingredient in pizza.
On the other hand, Castelfranco's traditional softer mozzarella is best eaten immediately, in a Caprese salad with tomato and olive oil or with a crusty piece of bread.
Of course, a delicious way to "mangiare" mozzarella is on pizza. Bar Capricci, the heartbeat of the town of Castelfranco, is pizza central.
Owner Carmela Caseria makes her own "pasta." Yes, pasta is what we know as dough.
The ingredients for her pizzas include mushrooms, sweet and spicy salami, olives, prosciutto and tomato sauce.
Pizza night is a family affair, where everyone pitches in. Carmela fires up her wood oven, and these pies bake in a New York minute.