At the dinner table it's common for us to say "may you please pass the cheese," and in those exact words, it refers to a cows milk cheese. If you are eating any other type of cheese you must state the name; for instance "may you please pass the Pecorino Toscano." As silly as it may seem, that's the norm of certain cultures.
When making mozzarella, mozzare means to cut and pasta filata means to stretch. Mozzarella production requires a lot of pulling and cutting to create beautiful shapes and braids. Mozzarella and Caciocavallo are two soft kinds of cheese that require both of these methods. Yesterday we had the pleasure of learning how to make fresh mozzarella with Davide, a local cheesemonger from Casarano, Puglia. He filled a large metal tub with hot water to melt the curd (cows milk in Puglia) and slowly, but surely whipped his oversized stirrer around the tub to create this smooth, elastic mozzarella. He pulled the cheese a few times to allow water seepage, and finally he formed small knots and braids; he just made it look so easy.
Other types of Formaggi are based on milk (Formaggi Vaccini), temperature (gorgonzola or raw milk parmesan), fat (Bitto), pastes (Taleggio), crusts (crostata fiorta), or consistency (stracchino). Two of the same types of cheese will never taste the same if one is from the north of Italy and the other from the south of Italy. The reason being is that cattle are grown and fed differently on every farm and their grain or grass could vary everywhere. It really is what animals eat that determine their flavor.
***I had the BEST sheep's milk ricotta from Puglia last week. I have never tasted a cheese like it. To me, it tasted like it had parmesan mixed in (there was a nutty background note) and it was so warm too. In all honesty, I had no idea what I was tasting because it did not taste anything like I would have expected. Amazing.