mozzarelline allo zafferano: a specialty from abruzzo, south of italy

Mozzarella seems to be very popular in Switzerland, there are many different types here from normal ones to buffalo mozzarella. We have also got them in different sizes, I saw these mini ones called mozzarelline and mozzarella perles (pearls). They are perfect for salads or snacks in apéro.

However, I wanted to make something different rather than a salad, so I came up this idea and have made Mozzarelline allo Zafferano: mini mozzarella cheese with a batter flavored with saffron, a specialty from Abrusso, South of Italy. Saffron is a seasoning that always appears in the Abruzzi menu. Abruzzo is Italy’s principal source of saffron, with the majority of it grown for export.

I have had fried mozzarella cheese in restaurants but they are usually in rectangular shaped like fish fingers. I personally preferred this round versions, they are much more adorable to me. Believe it or not, they were all gone in less than five minutes on the table!!!


Mozzarella allo Zafferano, as seen in#8574 foodgawker, 05.11.08


  • 2 packs of mozzarelline (150g per pack)
  • batter mix: 120g flour with about 180g of lightly salted cold water
  • filaments of saffron or a sachet of saffron powder
  • sea salt
  • bread crumbs (German: paniermehl)
  • Cooking oil for frying
  • Choices of dipping sauce: honey, aceto balsamico or ketchup


  1. Empty the mozzarelline from the packets, drain to discard the liquid and blot dry with kitchen paper and set aside.
  2. Using a pestle and mortar to make the saffron filaments into a fine powder.
  3. To make the batter, place the flour into a mixing bowl and slowly add the lightly salted water, mix thoroughly to get a thick liquid paste, add water until the appropriate consistency is achieved.
  4. Add the saffron powder to the batter and mix thoroughly, you will now get a nice yellow batter.
  5. Put the bread crumbs in a separate bowl.
  6. Pour the cooking oil in a frying pan so it is deep enough to cover the mozzarelline and heat it up.
  7. When the frying oil is hot enough, dip the mozzarelline in the batter and then roll them in the bread crumbs until it’s all covered.
  8. Fry the mozzarelline in the hot oil. You can do this in batches with 4-5 pieces each time.
  9. As mozzarelline is cheese, it will get soften very quickly, so in a count of up to 5, they should be ready, so quickly take them out of the oil and lay them on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
  10. Serve immediately when hot with the dipping sauces and fresh cherry tomatoes.

If you interested to see how mozzarella perles look like, here is one for you. I simple made a salad by tossing them with cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and mixed green, add some olive oil, aceto balsamico, salt & black pepper.

 Mozzarella perles, tomatoes and basil salad



6 thoughts on “mozzarelline allo zafferano: a specialty from abruzzo, south of italy

  1. We often have the “perline” version and they’re a great snack. I also once tried some gorgeous smoked mozzarella in a deli in New York.

    I have seen those smoked mozzarella here but have not heard from anyone who has tried them. How did the deli prepare it, on salad ?

  2. The fried mozzarellines are gorgeous and the saffron gave them a lovely colour…I’d love some with wine.

    You are right, a glass of white or prosecco will be perfect!!!

  3. oh yeah!!! I love those when I was a kid in Canada, you can get mozzarella stick everywhere. But I bet this version is even better.
    My mouth is watering…

    Hi Carmen, I am making you hungry again? Maybe you can make this to impress your hubby? Try dipping with honey, funny enough the pure honey dip seems to match with these mozzarelline well.

  4. interesting … very interesting … I’m an italian boy but I don’t know this speciality (I live in other region) … In the first free moment I’ll try to cook it.

    Thank you 🙂

    Thanks for dropping by and hope you will like it.

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