Updated: Sep 19, 2018
Caprese is what the Italians call a mozzarella and tomato salad. Sounds so simple, right? Well, not exactly. Suffice it to say that there is nothing quite as wonderful as a fresh caprese salad in Italy.
Like any great dish it's all about the ingredients. There aren't many but they need to be perfect. It starts with fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes. Easy in Italy, hard in the US. Then you add mozzarella cheese, but not just any mozzarella. It MUST be fresh mozzarella di bufalo. Yes, that's "di bufalo." That's mozzarella made near Rome using milk from water buffalos. Yes, water buffalos! Really. You simply can't believe the creamy and tangy taste of this version of mozzarella cheese. Then add fresh basil. Everyone in Italy grows it at home. Then extra virgin olive oil, hopefully fresh off the press, a little pepper and voila! I like to add a grind of sea salt and a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar from Modena.
A good caprese is worth visiting Italy for, all on it's own.