Scamorza (Italian pronunciation: [skaˈmɔrtsa]) is a Southern Italian cow's milk cheese. It can also be made from other milks, but that is less common. It is a stretched-curd cheese, in which the fresh curd matures in its own whey for several hours to allow acidity to develop through the conversion of lactose to lactic acid. Artisanal cheese makers generally form the cheese into a round shape, and then tie a string around the mass one third of the distance from the top, and hang it to dry. The resulting shape is pear-like. This is sometimes referred to as "strangling" the cheese. The cheese is usually white unless smoked. When smoked, the color is almond with a lighter interior.

Country of originItaly
RegionAbruzzo, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise
Source of milkCows’ milk
TextureElastic, stringy
CertificationProdotto agroalimentare tradizionale (PAT) 1996
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Scamorza can be substituted for mozzarella in most dishes,[1] but the resulting taste will be much stronger and more dominant. It is reputed to melt better in baking. Using the smoked variety (scamorza affumicata) adds a prominent background flavor in replacement of mozzarella.


The term may come from the Italian phrases capa mozza or testa mozzata, both meaning "severed head". This would also explain the use of scamorza in regional Italian to mean "fool" or "idiot".[2][3]

Production areas

In Italy, scamorza is more commonly made in the south. Strictly speaking, scamorza is a product of Apulia and Calabria.[4] However, it is available across the country, both in the unsmoked and smoked forms. Mario Batali cites grilled scamorza as a traditional dish in Neapolitan cooking.[5] Scamorza in Bari is made from sheep's milk. This is not necessarily true of cheeses called scamorza outside the EU.

See also


  1. Fletcher, Janet (24 August 2006). "Italy's scamorza is smoky stand-in for mozzarella". The SF Gate. Hearst Communications Inc. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  2. "SCAMORZA di vacca e di bufala". (in Italian). Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  3. "Scamorza: formaggio vaccino a pasta filata, tipico della Campania". (in Italian). Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  4. (Slow Food Editore. 2005. Italian cheese, p. 372.)
  5. (Batali, M. 2008. Italian grill, p.33.)
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