Fresh Mozzarella Bufala is extremely perishable, it is best eaten di giornata, on the day it was made. If it is kept in its own whey it can be good for a couple of days at a cool temperature. The only way to preserve it for any given time is to seal it in a small plastic bag with brine. Before modern technology it was virtually impossible to transport Mozzarella out of its native Campania and Apulia, once it could be transported it spread to world wide popularity and is a major ingredient in many of Italy's national dishes. It's hard to imagine the Neapolitan pizza without creamy Mozzarella, or the classic Caprese salad of tomato, basil and mozzarella.
As with any cheese, Mozzarella is produced by separating milk using rennet, this produces curds which are then roughly chopped into pieces and heated to 180/190 Fahrenheit (about 80/90 centigrade). It is then stirred and kneaded by the cheese maker till it forms an elastic paste which can be drawn into threads, this is then divided into equal portions, this is called Mozzatura, cutting or chopping off, giving the cheese its name.
Traditionally Mozzarella was made from Buffalo milk, but now due to consumer demand the majority of Mozzarella is made from cows milk, strictly speaking thsi should not be called Mozzarella, but fiora di latte or fordellatte (milk flower). The traditional variety is made from the milk of the Black Water Buffalo, which are kept in herds on the fertile plains around Salerno, Eboli and Paestum. Mozzarella di Bufalla campana was granted official recognition and a DOC rating in 1993, DOC Mozzarella di Bufalla is also produced in the provinces of Lazio and Foggia in the region of Apulia. Authenti Mozzarella di Bufalla Campana can be recognised by the protection consortium's quality seal.
Mozzarella is also known as Pasta-filata, due to its thread making qualities when torn and melted.