Curiosities, anecdotes and legends about mozzarella in carrozza

mozzarella in carrozza

The mozzarella in carrozza is a typical dish of the Campania culinary tradition also widespread in Lazio. Simple to prepare and excellent for saving a dinner if you have few ingredients available at home or to be enjoyed as a tasty and delicious appetizer: in fact, you can also find it as an appetizer in menu Of Gusto Osteria. To prepare this special mozzarella, all you need is homemade bread or loaf of bread, mozzarella (generally buffalo), flour, eggs, milk and oil for frying. The recipe consists of bread cut into small slices filled with mozzarella to be floured well especially at the edges, dip in the beaten egg with a pinch of salt and milk and then fry in a pan.

There is also the Roman version which involves the use of fiordilatte instead of buffalo mozzarella and the addition of anchovies or cooked ham. It is similar to the Roman version Venetian because this recipe crosses the Lazio-Campanian borders and is often also found on the menus of Venetian taverns: in this case too the mozzarella is not present alone as in the Campania version but is combined with other ingredients, typically anchovies and cooked ham.

But how did mozzarella in carrozza originate? This regally named food is actually a poor dish born in Campania in the early nineteenth century as recovery solution to be able to reuse ingredients that are no longer fresh such as stale bread and mozzarella from previous days. The reasons for the particular name of this tasty and stringy recipe are circulating various anecdotes and motivations. Some hypotheses maintain that it is called this because the mozzarella is placed on two golden slices of bread arranged in a similar way to a carriage, as if to act as a chariot for the cheese. Or in an even more imaginative vision, the mozzarella placed on the bread melts during frying and when it is bitten it strings together, creating "bridles" that guide the slices (i.e. the carriage) on which it is placed.

A more historical hypothesis claims instead that innineteenth century The milk, transported on carriages (like other supplies), due to the continuous movement during the journey it curdled arriving at its destination as fresh cheese. This is where the name mozzarella in carrozza comes from. But it can also refer to the fact that the carriages had round shaped wheels and the slices of bread available in our country before the arrival of the allied armies were rounded in shape, thus recalling those of a carriage, in this case in which mozzarella is inserted.

But mozzarella in carrozza is not just the regal and poetic name of this tasty recipe. And also the title of a famous work of art by Gino De Dominicis, an installation from 1970 that gives physical form to the metaphor of this special name: it is in fact composed of a real carriage inside which there is a mozzarella (renewed every day by the curators of the museum where the work is located from time to time time). But in addition to art, not even cinema has remained immune to the charm of this dish: in fact, mozzarella in carrozza is protagonist of a scene from the neorealist film Bicycle Thieves by Vittorio De Sica from 1948. Here - in a sad and touching moment - the protagonist and his son console themselves from their unfortunate vicissitudes by eating stringy mozzarella in a carriage at the restaurant. For them only meal and delicious food while for the other patrons of the restaurant just a small appetizer while waiting for other courses.

Mozzarella in carrozza is therefore a traditional dish, simple, substantial and tasty brought back to the present day thanks also to the street food but ultimately it has never gone out of fashion.