Author Topic: My first block of Grande!  (Read 2547 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline pizzamagic

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 26
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • I Hate Bad Pizza!
    • ScottBergerPhotography
My first block of Grande!
« on: May 20, 2005, 05:26:34 PM »
I just got my first block of Grande Whole Milk Mozzarrella from Vern's Cheese. It's a little darker then Polly O or other retail mozz, more beige then white. It also tastes a little more like muenster then Polly O. Is this normal? I called Vern's before I opened it because it was 8 weeks from its production date and they are going to replace it. You can get the production date from the Quality Code. The first two numbers is the month and the second two numbers are the date. Grande reccommends using it between 2-6 weeks after production. Are the characteristics of my block (beige, more muenster tasting) normal or a sign of ageing?
Best Regards,
Scott


Offline snowdy

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 270
  • Location: CA
  • i pledge allegiance to the pizza
    • Dataheadz Design
Re: My first block of Grande!
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2005, 02:16:31 AM »
hey man :)

i got the grande shredded cheese so im not sure about the coloration.

you got  a block?

i was wondering about that because i prefer to use sliced cheese instead of grated. How are you going to slice it up? do you have a slicer?

if so please lemme know where i can get something to get thin slices off of a block at home.

thanks!

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3063
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: My first block of Grande!
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2005, 03:32:57 AM »
The 1/2 block of Grande whole milk that I purchased from a local pizzeria also tasted like muenster. I know exactly what you mean.   I have no idea how old it was.  It didn't look that gray, maybe a little grayish yellow, but nothing crazy. One thing is for sure it was nowhere the snow white that fresh, or most of the cryo pack style mozzarellas are. I remember a post on this board from someone who seemed to know what they were talking about that said that until mozzarella molds the flavor just gets better and better. Do me a favor and don't throw that block you have out. Then let us know how the two compare when the new one shows up.
I did an 8 brand high end, dry (processed) mozzarella shootout a while back.  I made sure to pick up most of the brands that had won first place at Wisconsin cheese competitions.  You've got to love that state! It was amazing to taste how some mozzarella was so much more sour than others. Maybe sour is the wrong word to describe it, but I don't know how else to put it.  Grande was actually pretty sour (Muenster like) compared to a lot of them, but the nice thing is that it was much more creamy than anything.  I think that is why it melted WAY better than anything else, and could hold up to high heat without burning better than anything else.  For flavor I favored the brands that had less of a sour taste, and more of a buttery taste.  Unfortunately the one with my favorite flavor is a little on the dry side and can burn if you aren't careful.  I guess some people don't mind that though. If you are one of those people check out Great Lakes. The flavor is really amazing.  I just have a feeling it is going to be hard to find.

Now with my supercharged oven, I pretty much have to stick to fresh mozzarella.  If you are one of the people like I used to be that thinks fresh mozzarella is bland try this.  Find a local manufacturer of fresh mozzarella, or find out from your grocer when they get their shipments.  You might be surprised if you check the yellow pages that you have someone in the area that makes the stuff fresh a few times a week.  Get it within a few days of being made or received at the store.  Squeeze the ball lightly with a paper towel wrapped around it.  Repeat this step until dry.  Now cut thin slices and lay them out on a plate.  Sprinkle a decent amount of good sea salt on the cheese, then rub it in.  Flip the cheese over and repeat.  Coat the cheese with some good medium priced olive oil, preferably unfiltered.  Raineri is really good, and Coluccio is even better and cheaper.  I used to not like fresh, but now after following these simple steps I am blown away at how much creamy buttery flavor it has.  And no muenster!  Maybe it is just my local cheesmaker, but the complexity of the flavor is so amazing.  You taste it unsalted/oiled and it tastes like water.  You add some salt and melt it (for some reason it has to melt first) and it seems like the best cheese in the world. I can't figure out why, but it works.
Also, sorry to bash Grande here, like I said nothing performs like it and it is better than 90% of the junk out there, but I know there is another dry (processed) mozzarella that is used by a handful of the best places in the NY, NJ, PA, CT area.  I have been trying desperately to find out what it is.  It melts like grande, and has a similar but even better flavor than the Great Lakes.  I remember reading a post on one of the forums (chowhound? I can't remember).  It was a guy, I think in Jersey, that was talking about his favorite pizzeria ever.  Basically the story was that all of a sudden this place just went to average quality over night.  Along with the change in flavor, for the worse, came the pretty wooden "We proudly use Grande cheese" plaque on the wall.  If I remember correctly I got a laugh out of the story because he was talking about how the place had cut corners and started using this cheap cheese.  I have a feeling nothing is more expensive than grande!  Just about every foodservice distributer I have checked with says that it is in the $3.50 a pound range while the next most expensive cheese they carry is only $2.50 a pound.  That's a pretty big jump in price, especially when you are buying a whole fridge full of the stuff like the busy pizzerias do.

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21980
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: My first block of Grande!
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2005, 08:23:48 AM »
scott,

A while back I posted a message about aging of mozzarella cheese, in which I excerpted from a message that Big Dave Ostrander posted at PMQ in response to a questioner who apparently had gotten "green" (under-riped) mozzarella cheese. The message I posted on the subject is Reply #14 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,858.msg7807.html#msg7807.

Peter

Offline pizzamagic

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 26
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • I Hate Bad Pizza!
    • ScottBergerPhotography
Re: My first block of Grande!
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2005, 11:19:32 AM »
Thanks Scott and Pete. I did some research last night (PMQ) about mozzarella and it was consistent with what you and a Grande Rep I have been talking to have said. Grande Mozz is best used between 2-4 weeks after production. The first 4 numbers of the Quality Code are the month and day of production. Wayne, the plant manager at Vern's Cheese said that he didn't even know how to read it. I find that hard to believe. Fortunately they are sending me a new loaf to replace it. I tried the loaf they initially sent me last night. The texture was excellent but the taste a little strong for me. I also noticed you can use alot less then Polly O for coverage.
Snowdy, I use an old fashion hand cheese grater with large holes.
In the future I will specify in my Grande orders, not to send me anything over two - three weeks from production.
Has anyone gotten any orders from Penn Mac? If you have, what was the age on the cheese?
« Last Edit: May 21, 2005, 11:22:03 AM by pizzamagic »
Best Regards,
Scott

Offline Randy

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2020
  • Age: 67
  • Pizza, a great Lycopene source
Re: My first block of Grande!
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2005, 01:34:12 PM »
Walmart great value cheese has that same strong smell, maybe they are the same. Myself I prefer a lighter tasting cheese like ploy-o part skim.

Randy

Offline pizzamagic

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 26
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • I Hate Bad Pizza!
    • ScottBergerPhotography
Re: My first block of Grande!
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2005, 02:17:08 PM »
Walmart great value cheese has that same strong smell, maybe they are the same. Randy
;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Best Regards,
Scott


 

pizzapan