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Work the Curd

A cheesemaker pulls a big fold of mozzarella

Once formed, most cheeses are left alone.
Not fresh mozzarella.

Proto-mozzarella is cut into strips

The cheesemaker continues to cut the proto-mozzarella

It must be pressed…

The cheesemaker pats the mozzarella

and pulled… and coaxed…

Stretching the mozzarella

and shaped by a hot bath and a strong hand…

Shaping a ball of mozzarella

Further shaping the mozzarella ball

until it floats like a soft pillow in a fresh milky pool.

Balls of mozzarella float in a bowl

Photographer Michael Harlan Turkell

Michael Harlan Turkell, a once aspiring chef, now photographer, captures the inner workings of kitchens. As former photo editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan, his recurring BACK OF THE HOUSE series appeared in the magazines from 2006 – 2011. Michael’s been nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award in Visual Storytelling, included in 25 Under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers V2, (PowerHouse Books), received a Photo District News Photo Annual Award, and has had his photos printed in an array of publications, and cookbooks. Learn more about Michael at http://harlanturk.com/