Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Balsamic Strawberry and Mozzarella Bites

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Some days you get lucky and actually have fun at your job.  Last Thursday was one of those days for me.   One of the stores that I merchandise cheese for was kicking off it’s first day of making Fresh Mozzarella in house.  And I along with about 15 others got to each take our turn learning how to make mozzarella from the kindest and most patient man I’ve met in a long time named Giovanni.

Giovanni 2          Giovanni Fresh Mozarella

And thanks to Giovanni and his great Italian accent I became officially “Mozzarella Certified”.

Giovanni 3

One of the companies my company merchandises product for is Il Villaggio and they have an incredible Balsamic Vinegar that just happens to be on sale this week.  It is normally $19.99 a bottle!  Yes you read that correctly.  But this week it happens to be 50% off and so at $9.99 a bottle while rather pricey…it’s worth every penny.  This is not your average Balsamic Vinegar.  It is aged in 30 year old oak casks.  It has a “full-bodied flavor, a sweet and slightly acidic taste and a deeply fragrant aroma”.  It is thick and syrupy and so incredibly flavorful that just a few drops is all you need to enhance the flavor of well….anything!

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At first to get customers excited about the new freshly made mozarella we made mini caprese samples.  We took a cube of the fresh mozarella, half a cherry tomato, and a leaf of fresh basil all assembled on a toothpick and then drizzled them with the Il Villaggio Aged Balsamic Vinegar.  Amazing!  Great idea for a party especially now with fresh basil so available.

But then I started thinking that for the demonstration that I was helping out with on the following Saturday morning needed something more exciting and  that people would want to try at an earlier part of the day.  We came up with pairing the fresh mozarella with some fruit.  Namely strawberries.    And these little tid bits of deliciousness were a big hit!  Big success and we sold lots of fresh mozarella and Balsamic Vinegar that day.    I even bought some myself to home with me. 

Balsamic Strawberry and Mozzarella Bites

1 ball of Mozzarella cheese.  (Fresh is best if it’s available.)

Fresh strawberries, washed and sliced in half

Balsamic Vinegar (Get the best you can afford.  It really does make a big difference.)


Strawberry Balsamic Mozzarella Bites

These could not be easier to make.   Simply assemble with a piece of Mozzarella cheese on the bottom.  Insert a toothpick into the cheese and top with two halves of the sliced strawberries.  Stand them on a serving plate.  Pour some of the Balsamic Vinegar into a teaspoon and then drizzle over the strawberries.  You can pour directly from the Balsamic vinegar bottle but I don’t recommend that.

This stuff is like gold!  You don’t want to waste a drop!  Drizzle. 

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