Scott123, can you tell me why fresh mozz shouldn't be used on pizza? Is this a tradition thing, taste, or what?
It also seems like many NP places use fior di latte over buffala based on difficulty sourcing buffala. I've seen some places offer both, but the buffala is usually a few dollars more.
My feelings on mozzarella boil down to two relatively personal preferences (with a heavy NY bias):
1. Cheese has to melt thoroughly, without curdling.
2. Cheese has to, when melted, be flavorful and rich.
Fior di latte has less fat than bufala, which, in turn, gives it a higher melting point- most of the time. In a high heat, fast bake, Neapolitan setting, where there's always, imo, a threat of undermelted cheese, bufala is the lesser risk.
Undermelted brick mozz, can be very unpleasant, but undermelted fresh is just misery. No richness, no flavor, no buttery succulence, just rubber. Even when it is melted, it doesn't have the butteriness of it's low moisture cousin. It's just one big old slice of boring. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a flavorholic- the in your face sharpness of provolone is not my bag either. I just have to have that butterfat. Fior di latte + evoo does NOT equal whole milk brick.
My childhood pizzeria, as I've mentioned elsewhere, has defiled their crust over the years, but their cheese and sauce is the same. When you walk in the door, you're greeted by this overwhelming smell of butter. It's such a beautiful thing. Nick talks about smelling a good mozzarella and getting a strong buttered popcorn note. That's exactly what I want from mozzarella. I want my pizza to smell and taste like that, my house to smell like it, heck, if I could bottle it, I'd wear it as a cologne.
So, even in a best case scenario where you can actually get the fior di latte to melt, it still has very little flavor, character or richness- very little soul. And that's IF you can actually get it to melt. Fior di latte goes from rubber to curdled in the blink of an eye. If brick breaks, it tends to be a bit cosmetically challenged, but it's still pretty palatable. If fior di latte breaks, you've got a watery soupy mess that you wouldn't serve to your worst enemy- and fior di latte breaks a lot. Maybe not in Neapolitan settings, but as you increase the baking clock, so goes the propensity for curdling.
NH places that use brick mozz with higher temps and longer bake times- respect. Coal places that offer a brick option- respect. Coal places that only offer fior di latte- not so much respect.