This is a question concerning the cheese used by restaurants featuring pizza buffets. Some of the pizzas these establishments serve could sit out there for an hour or more until all the slices are taken. At the temperatures these pizzas are kept at, the cheese could get pretty hard. These establishments would benefit from using a cheese that looked like the pie just came out of the oven, and that was soft and stretchy as well.
As some readers may know, my neighbor and I are trying to clone Shakey's pizza. Shakey's cheese exhibits these characteristics. But we are short on samples of pizza and have no uncooked cheese. However, we noticed that the cheese on the pizza served at our local Golden Corral buffet restaurant (pretty much a nationwide chain by now) also stays soft even after the slice has cooled down. Since the pizzas are actually made in the dining room behind the buffet counters, it was possible to get a sample (enough for a baked potato, if you catch my drift) of cheese to try to identify it. The cheese was cold to the touch, but this restaurant is careful to refrigerate any foods in storage. We made no preparations in advance, so we had to wrap the sample in a paper napkin from the dispenser, and then in the aluminum foil the potato was baked in.
When we got home, we were surprised to find the napkin was sopping wet, with either water or some practically clear solution. We tried squeezing some of the shreds, but it had a completely different feel from a good mozzarella like Grande. It pressed flat to practically nothing. We were hoping to cook with it, but after 4 days in my refrigerator, it was green with mold.
I would like to know what this cheese is, and who sells it. I can't even be sure it is real cheese and not that vegetable oil-based imitation cheese. I asked the cook, but she knew nothing about the cheese. There is no access to the dumpster there. My aim is to add stinky cheeses to this mozzarella or blend to get it to taste like the cheese Shakey's uses in its corporate restaurants. We do know the cheese they use is private-labeled for them.