Would the inventor of the mozzarella stick please stand and take a bow? This delicious dish is quite possibly the perfect food; it features the combination of a crispy, flavorful breading with a creamy cheese filling. Served alone or with a dipping sauce, mozzarella sticks please every palate. When you sit down to enjoy your next plate of warm, gooey organic mozzarella cheese sticks, take a moment to ponder the history of these tasty tidbits.
They’re French, Not Italian
Comment vous dites? You heard correctly; mozzarella sticks are thought to be French, not Italian. The very first documented recipe for fried, breaded cheese appears in a French cookbook titled Le Ménagier de Paris, published in 1393. This means folks have been enjoying crispy, creamy cheese for over 600 years. Good things tend to stick around.
String Cheese Takes It to a New Level
While the idea of breading and frying cheese has been around for a long time, using mozzarella string cheese is a totally modern interpretation. When mozzarella is heated and stretched, the proteins in the cheese line up, making it possible to peel strings from a larger piece of cheese. This phenomenon has been recognized for a long time, but a Wisconsin cheesemaker in the 1970s decided to take advantage of this science to market bite-sized mozzarella snacks. String cheese as we know it was born.
A Hole in the History
So, we know the origins of frying breaded cheese and of string cheese, but the story gets a bit murky when we try to pin down who first decided to fry breaded string cheese. What we do know is that the popularity of casual restaurants like TGI. Fridays and Applebee’s exploded in the 1980s, and that mozzarella sticks were regularly featured as appetizers on their menus. They were served alongside a variety of dipping sauces, including marinara, plum sauce, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, ranch, spicy jelly, and even raspberry sauce. While the sauces are amazing, the best mozzarella sticks can stand just fine on their own.
Mozzarella sticks can be found all over today. They’re a standard on many appetizer menus, and frozen varieties can be found on grocery shelves, making it simple to serve these favorites at home anytime. Kids and moms love them for after-school snacks, and they’re perfect for movie nights, game day parties, and more. With a box of the best mozzarella sticks in your freezer, you have the perfect answer to the age-old question, “What do we have to eat?”