Author Topic: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style  (Read 28024 times)

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Offline Texaspizzaman

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Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« on: August 20, 2005, 05:36:25 PM »
This is my first post here, I love Pizza, its my wife and I fav food.  She is from Chicago and I am from St. Louis
I cant believe there is no St. louis style catagory here ;)    I have been residing in Texas for 15 years now and miss St louis style almost every day.  For those of you who dont know, St. louis style revolves around a thin craker crust with a cheese called provel.  Provel was invented in St. louis and most of the italian places (the good ones) sub it for mozzerella in their dishes.  The cheese+crust is what makes the pizza unique.  The cheese is a processed mixture with astounding thermal properties(burns the crap out of your mouth a full 15 minutes out of the oven)  has anyone tried making a provel substitue?   The real stuff consists of white cheddar, provelone, and swiss.  I have come up with a pretty good substitute that gets me by until I go back home.  I use 1 Cup White Cheddar, 1.25 Cups Provelone, and .25 cup Swiss.  All are fancy shredded and mixed well together.  Provel is a very buttery smooth cheese, that tastes great with thin sauces and dried herbs sprinkled on top ( Like IMO'S)  Thanks for a great fourm, I am really going to like it here!


Offline Snowman

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2005, 11:37:19 AM »
I know exactly what the poster above is referring to.  However, I have a DISTINCTLY different view of St. Louis style pizza.  I actually had to open the box from Imo's the first time I ordered from them to make sure there was anything in it.  I am not a fan of their pizza.  It's commonly referred to (by non-native St. Louisans) as "snot on a cracker".  The crust is super-thin, the sauce is more of a ketchup base (or tastes like it) and provel is some nasty cheese. 

However, if I'm not mistaken, Kraft foods owns the patent on "Provel".  It is a VERY regional pie, and I've never experienced it outside the greater metro area of St. Louis.  I considered it to be a horrible rip-off (weight of finished product). 

However, the national chains did have to stop and take notice and modify their menu to include this regional pizza.  I saw one of the chains (I THINK it was Pizza Hut) making one, and they pulled out what looked like a tortilla for the crust. 

Oddly enough, the "Chicago cut" (using squares instead of slices), is employed as part of the St. Louis style.  Since I only eat deep dish and stuffed pizzas, I have never seen a Chicago cut on a Chicago pizza  ??? .

In short, IMHO, Provel is not a cheese I'd want to duplicate.  I also don't consider St. Louis style pizza to be of the same credibile types as Chicago and New York styles which have permiated most of the country. 

No offense to the original poster here, just that I don't see St. Louis style pizza being worth trying to duplicate.  Don't worry though, I feel the same way about California style, which I haven't even brought myself to sample. 

To add a positive note to all of this, while I lived in St. Louis, an Imo's driver was robbed.  He hit both robbers and killed one with a .22.  Everyone in the pizza biz rejoiced at the news (though some more silently than others). 

Offline gperls

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2005, 09:23:32 AM »
I'm originally from St. Louis also, and really miss my provel pizzas. Fortunately, Imo's here in KC has franchise stores that will sell you blocks of provel, and a local grocery store sells it by the pound. Imo's web site will also sell you the cheese, but the shipping makes it pricey.

I don't particularly care for the Chicago deep dish. Does that make it not credible?


Offline Snowman

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2005, 07:59:41 PM »
It's not that the pizza isn't credible (okay, IMHO, it's not credible), but that it's very regionally-specific.  It is that reason that makes be believe a section devoted solely to it might not have much activity.  Then again, everyone's nuts over this here neopolitan pizza, and I've never heard of that one.

St. Louis style pizza is certainly an "acquired" taste in my opinion.  Then again, beer is an acquired taste as well, and we all seem to have managed to acquire it :)

Offline Texaspizzaman

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2005, 12:44:07 AM »
Snowman, most people(who are not from there) think the same about St. Louis style.  We had a Imos style resturant here in Houston for a few years.  The gentleman who owned it was from St. louis and opened his own pizza place down here.  I went there 3-4 times a week for dinner.  I would hear all of these People come in and complain about the size and the cheese tastes like velveeta, etc.  I wanted to smack them.(HARD)  Its a very regional taste.  Asking for a St. louis style catagory was more of a joke than anything.  I guess you just have to be born there to enjoy it.  I love it!

gperls
In a pinch I go online and order the 5lb blocks of provel, shipped here its $50.00 for 10.00LBs.  I most often just make the mix I posted in the opening thread.  It really does tatse just like it, throw a  pound of spicy italian sausage on it and hang on :o

P.S. I am going back home in a week so I cant wait!  I will take a picture of my first IMOS and post it here....

Offline mackhenrod

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2006, 08:26:36 PM »
i'm from st. louis and i love st. louis style pizza.but imo's is not a good example of st. louis style pizza. at least not anymore. they are a chain now and we all know what happens to chains. they go to cheaper ingredients and so on.
                 if you want a good st. louis style pizza you have to go to one of the italian family owned pizza places in the st. louis area. there are many to choose from.most of them make their own sausage and sauce. if you are ever in the st. louis area and would like to try a great st. louis style pizza, i recommend Serra's pizzaria in maryland heights, or pirrones'. pizza in florrisant.
               Imo's is just a fast food pizza joint. they just are a resemblance of st. louis style pizza.
 by the way, i love new york style, chicago style and  even certain california styles.which one is better? i say the one that puts quality into their pizza. could be any of 'em.

Offline whochee

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2006, 10:24:20 PM »
Being from st. louis myelf, I would agree with the above post, and would add silo's and maybe even angelos pizza also as being st. louis style, and they are some very tasty pies.  Many from this area know that these places, as well as restaraunts like fratellies and arcobassos orginated from north county st. louis and all are from the same italian family tree (or something like that), but I dont know if that is true.  I do know that Imos is good pizza, and to claim it isn't certainly would question your sanity, not the best, but good, but then again, even not so good pizza is better than most other food, and if you need to take shots at some citys pizza style to inflate your ego, then more power to you.
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Offline SheriffB

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2006, 11:03:51 PM »
I've lived in Missouri most of my life, but am fairly new to STL.  I liked Saint Louis style much better before I lived here.  Farottos does a pretty good version, IMO. 

Offline cocoabean

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2006, 06:04:51 PM »
I saw bags of Provel at Schnucks yesterday near around the deli area, near the "Roma" crusts, or something.  Also had Imo's sauce.  Bought neither, but we have a few STL style joints around here and they're amazing.

Offline The Hill

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2006, 03:06:38 PM »
We are located at Lake of the Ozarks.  We offer a STL Style za' and a Chicago style 'za.  The STL is much more popular.  IT is an aquired taste.  Quantanty doesn't always mean quality! 

We're right next to 'Topsiders Nightclub' by the Grand Glaize Bridge.

Beer Buffet Special - all you can drink draft beer for three hours for ten bucks.


Offline rjhockey

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2007, 11:42:03 AM »
I lived in St Louis for four years during grad school. I like pretty much any pizza, had never met one I couldn't swallow until moving to Stl. A saltine cracker with ketchup sauce and cheese gone terribly wrong. I read in this thread someone describing it as "snot on a saltine". That would be fairly good description. The biggest weakness of this pizza is the horrible excuse for a crust and wretched sauce. People aren't exaggerating, it really tastes like a saltine with ketchup. I'm originally from Cincinnati, home of Cincy style chili, I can appreciate how this is a taste that only the natives could really love. You eat what you know.

On a positive note, I did learn to like St. Louis style pizza when made in good restaurants. Fratelli's comes to mind. They make a nice thin crust and flavorfull sauce. The provel cheese kinda grows on you after a while. Although, having left the area 6 years ago, I have yet to have a provel craving. To out of town visitors, it's worth a try. Choose one of the mom n' pop places and steer way clear of %$#-hole chains like Imo's. The pizza is surely something different than anything you've had before.

Tips on acting like a Stl local. When trying to pass off as a local, within the first two sentences you must inquire about which high school the other person graduated from. This will immediately establish your social rank. Choose a west-end suburb. If you are from out-of-town, you are immediately a lower rank than even the lowliest native and will not be allowed to play in their reindeer games  :'( Fake being native by asking if that "Imo's" is still down the street? And exercise caution when getting directions from locals. Farty and Farty Far are not places to pass gas, but loosely translate into Hwy's Forty and Forty-Four  :-D Oh yeah, best damn Italian food I ever had, go to "the Hill."


Offline mistermike

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2008, 01:28:39 PM »
The reason there isn't a category for stl style pizza is because it's a nasty genre of pizza. Fortels does a reasonable job if you ask for moz. rather than provel. I can handle a properly prepared stl style dough, which is probably a basdardization of the ultra thin crust pizza in italy, but provel cheese is an abomination, a foul product that would ruin any pizza.

Offline goosen1

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2008, 01:39:18 PM »
I need some info on the Missouri area here... I just moved out of Illinois down here to the Springfield Mo area.. Just north of there that is.. I have not found a place down here that has good pizza! So if anyone has any info on pizza places down here.. Please!!! Help me out!! LOL

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Offline gperls

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2008, 11:01:55 PM »
Goose,

Springfield has a St. Louis Italian restaurant there called Pasta House. They have provel, thin crust pizzas, toasted ravioli, and steak modiga. My favorite is the linguini with clam sauce. Check it out.

Offline Bissrok

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2009, 03:09:14 PM »
In my life, I've only met one person that liked St. Louis style pizza that didn't grow up on it (and, man, did he love it). But if you ask anyone that grew up here and 90% of them will tell you Imo's makes, by far, their favorite pizza. So, yeah, it's acquired. And I guess it hasn't spread far enough around the country to get it's own page yet but, well, give us time.

And provel's unique, but I never knew people had a problem with it before. The crust I can understand not liking (it's a big bland cracker), the whole package I can understand not liking... but provel? That's the only cheese I see people eat plain. And anytime it's in a salad, people go for that first. It's just damn tasty.

But the way other people see St. Louis style pizza is a lot like how we see our Chicagoan neighbors to the east. I mean, it's almost the polar opposite -a giant bread bowl with sauce poured on top (because they're not smart enough to build a pizza in the correct order, as the rumor goes down here). But pizza's pizza. I think we're all here to try and make better versions of the ones we like rather than expand our horizons over to crackers with ketchup on them, so I can understand the provel-bashin' (because I certainly trash a lot of other pizzas). Just watch what your kids eat, though. 'Cause one bite of our pies will chage 'em for life, and then you ain't ever getting them back.

Offline barathrum

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2010, 01:51:25 PM »
I agree with the previous poster.  I'm a St. Louisan currently residing in Chicago.  If I could only choose one type of cheese to eat for the rest of my life, the answer would be provel.  In fact, nothing else comes close.  I do understand, however, why other people would would find it odd.  It has a certain tangy flavor that can surprise people who try it for the first time.  People bite into it expecting to taste mozzarella and it catches them off guard. 

Offline 1cards

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Re: Provel Cheese aka St louis Style
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2010, 01:59:54 AM »
I am from St. Louis originally and found Imo's pizza even in its glory days to be over rated by the locals. The sauce is similar to ketchup. But then I do not pass the local chool did you attend?" question either. Some of the non-chain pizzarias are pretty good. Provel cheese is an acquired taste, but so is everything else that is not sweet or bland. Try St. Louis style pizza only from a local chef run pizzaria, not a chain.


 

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