ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Mozzarella is an incredibly versatile cheese that can be used across an endless number of recipes while also being a common snacking cheese for both kids and adults.

The Tracy, Calif.-based California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) had an expansive booth at the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association’s (IDDBA) 2023 show June 4-6 that provided space for the wide range of cheesemakers authorized to use the organization’s Real California Milk seal, which is regulated by CMAB.

One of CMAB’s certified brands, Di Stefano Cheese, Pomona, Calif., showcased its fresh mozzarella products and shared the company’s story at the show. It said Mimmo Bruno, Di Stefano’s founder and owner, was raised in Puglia, Italy, and was the first artisan in the United States to recreate Burrata, a cream-filled fresh mozzarella.

Bruno’s entire family is involved in the business. The company is named after Bruno’s oldest son Stefano, who works at the Di Stefano plant full-time. Bruno’s younger son, Alessandro, attended the IDDBA show and told the story of his father’s first job cleaning the cheese vat and floors at a cheese plant in Italy when he was only 11 years old.

Alessandro explained that while a lot of cheesemakers use animal rennet in mozzarella, all of Di Stefano’s products are completely vegetarian and only made with milk, which allows the products to be enjoyed by a larger group of consumers.

Per the company, it only uses milk from cows that have not been treated with growth hormones and supports farmers who have ethical farming practices and give the cows large pastures to roam freely.

The company offers 1-pound curds for consumers who want the at-home experience of learning to make their own mozzarella. The Di Stefano brand is active on social media and posts videos of Mimmo and Stefano Bruno doing live demonstrations on the cheesemaking process on its YouTube channel.

“From curd to final product, the mozzarella comes alive before their eyes from the father and son who do it best — and of course, tasting the final product is a must,” the company said.

For more consumer engagement, the brand’s website has a page dedicated to wine pairings for all of its products and even offers consumers 10% off their purchase at The Organic Wine Store, which is also based in Pomona.

– This article is an excerpt from the July 2023 issue of Supermarket Perimeter. You can read the full mozzarella feature and find instructions for making fresh mozzarella in the digital edition here.