Mozzarella originates from Southern Italy. Early records show that the Romans were already producing a similar type of cheese from sheep's milk in the middle of the first century A.D. According to tradition, it is said that during the third century, monks from San Lorenzo di Capua handed out bread and self-made cheese called "mozza" to the needy. The name "mozzarella" developed from "mozza", which comes from the Italian verb "mozzare" (= to separate).
With the emergence of water buffalo farming in the 16th century, the switch from sheep's milk mozzarella to what is considered authentic "mozzarella di bufala" (buffalo milk mozzarella) came into effect. In approx. the middle of the 20th century, mozzarella triumphantly advanced throughout all of Europe. Due to the enormous demand, mozzarella is now virtually only produced from cow's milk. Mozzarella made from cow's milk is milder in taste than mozzarella made from buffalo's milk.