A creamy variety of mozzarella keeps a time-honored local tradition alive. "Muzzarella co' a murtedda" is produced only in the Lower Cilento. It's made like the more famous mozzarella di bufala, but uses cow milk instead of buffalo milk. The curds are kneaded and formed more hastily into oblongs instead of balls, then they are wrapped in myrtle leaves, called "mortedda" in the local dialect. This all-natural "packaging" method was a rudimentary but practical way to store and transport the cheese from the grazing grounds where it was made to the nearby villages, where it was sold and eaten.

Myrtle shrubs grow wild in the Cilento National Park, an easily harvested lining for baskets that imparts a a unique grassy-citrus aroma and flavor to the soft, creamy cheese.

There are still producers who make the Cilento's mozzarella co' a murtedda. The most prized versions are made from Podolica milk. The Podolica is a special breed of cattle found only in the region of Cilento and neighboring Basilicata, making it a rare but special cheese.

Been there? Done that? Share your experience and tips!

Haven't visited yet? Have questions about Mozzarella co' a murtedda? Ask them here!