Is bocconcini just bite-sized mozzarella?
This wiki link seems to say it is different.
"bocconcini alla panna di bufala, in a process which involves mixing freshly made Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP with fresh cream ... Bocconcini of whole cow’s milk are also manufactured, where the higher liquid content, in comparison to standard mozzarella, lends them the soft consistency of fior di latte"
Is it more like mozzarella or burrata?
One of the links from the wiki article says
"Factory-produced regular mozzarella has an elastic texture and is best used melted on pizza. Fresh bocconcini packaged in whey or water has a much spongier texture and absorbs the flavours around it."
In Australia, people tend to be confused about the difference between Fresh Mozzarella, Bocconcini, and Buffalo Mozzarella, i think due to the translation from Italian and the way we name the cheese products outside of Italy.
Mozzarella, stretched curd and Pasta Filata are all general terms for Italian style fresh cheeses including Bambini Bambini, Cherry Cherry, Traditional Traditional, and Grande Bocconcini, as well as Trecce, Mozzarella, Pizza Mozzarella and Buffalo Mozzarella. In Italy consumers will simply call any of the above products "Mozzarella Fresca" (Fresh Mozzarella).
The main difference between Bocconcini and pizza Mozzarella is that pizza Mozzarella goes through an extra cooking step after the curd is cut to expel more moisture. This allows it to be shredded for ease of use especially in a commercial environment.
Essentially, Bocconcini are small pieces of fresh mozzarella that undergo no further ripening after being packed in slightly salty water.
The only difference between Buffalo Mozzarella and fresh Mozzarella is that Buffalo Mozzarella is made using buffalo milk while other fresh Mozzarellas are made using cows' milk.
There is more info on Bocconcini and how it is made at this site...http://www.lacasa.com.au/cheesemaking...
The huge difference is in the buffalo or cow's milk bocconcini. I prefer buffalo; in Italy it is very wet, creamy and has a very faint tangy taste. (I am salivating now). We went directly to the factory and bought both the buffalo mozzarelle and the buffalo bocconcini and since both were so fresh did not notice the difference. If you comapre dry mozzarella balls to bocconcini, then the bocc would be creamier. comparing new york style fresh mozza to bocco, there is only a difference in size. This is comparing cow's milk to cow's milk, since now you can get good fresh mozzarella in many good food purveyors.
I quote from the wiki link given above:"Bocconcini of water buffalo’s milk are still produced in the provinces of Naples, Caserta and Salerno, as bocconcini alla panna di bufala, in a process which involves mixing freshly made Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP with fresh cream. A Bocconcino di Bufala Campana DOP is also made, which is simply Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, produced in the egg-sized format."
The common bocconcini we get in North america is Bocconcino di Bufala Campana, which is just smaller Mozzarella.