Homemade Mozzarella Sticks

My older son believes that he could live on mozzarella sticks—they are his guilty pleasure.  When I was his age, I loved them as well.  For lunch, my friends and I would often head to Mama’s Pizza on Broadway on the Upper West Side, right around the corner from our school.  We would munch on mozzarella sticks, catching up on the latest gossip while trying (unsuccessfully) to get the attention of the Baldwin brothers who also hung out there. Let’s just say it was the mozzarella sticks that did not disappoint in this story.  My son has been begging me to make homemade ones for years.  According to my son, these were worth the wait.
mozzarella sticks
My recipe for mozzarella sticks is not difficult nor does it require many ingredients.  But these are fried (baked would not cut it) and not healthy food.  But as the saying goes, all things in moderation. Until recently, I had not thought of the origin of these tasty fried cheese sticks, but there is some history there.  Mozzarella sticks are not Italian at all. 
Mozzarella sticks date back to the late 1300s in Medieval France where the first recipe for “fried cheese” appeared in Le Menagier de Paris.  In the mid-1970s, string cheese was invented by a Wisconsin cheesemaker named Frank Baker, who had long dreamed of a snack-size piece of mozzarella.  Their ultimate popularity is due to well-known fast food chains such as T.G.I. Fridays and Applebees who brought a plethora of fried appetizers to consumers, including much-loved fried cheese sticks.

mozzarella sticks

I serve these mozzarella sticks with a side of marinara sauce, just like I used to have them.  For the sauce, I use my simple tomato sauce recipe with just a dash of dried Italian seasoning mixed with it.  If you are looking for a more traditional zest marinara sauce, check out this link. If you desire, you could make this recipe fancy: prepare your breadcrumbs, and make the seasoning mix yourself.  But the goal here was to recreate the classic and not to overthink it.  And this beats the heck out of the frozen supermarket offerings.

mozzarella sticks

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

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