Author Topic: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast  (Read 3047 times)

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Offline Pizza De Puta

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Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« on: August 18, 2012, 12:23:46 PM »
I've only found one whole milk aged mozzarella that I like -- Trader Joes.  However, it only comes in one pound balls and it costs $5.

I need a $2/lb source of top quality mozzarella.  So far I've tried Precious, Kirkland, First Street, Wal Mart house brand and I'm underwhelmed by these.  Sysco won't return my calls because I'm not in business yet.  Our Wal Marts here do not stock Polly-O.

Any suggestions?
RE


scott123

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2012, 02:24:12 PM »
RE, commercial cheese can be a little more forgiving, but, when it comes to supermarket brick, there's no way to judge it fairly unless you dial in the right thickness factor.  Without a thin undercrust, not enough heat rises up to the cheese, so, rather than cooking from below, bubbling and giving off it's flavor, it cooks from above, browning a bit, but not really bubbling, and ended up bland, and in extreme cases, tough.

Marlon's WFO NY-style pie thickness factor is where the cheese melting magic begins to happen.  His more recent pies get a massive cheese melting assist from the fat from the pepperoni, but if you look at the first plain cheese pie in the thread

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,19065.msg186220.html#msg186220

you'll see exactly what properly melted cheese should look like.  It's a bit clear/translucent and has craters and ridges from being bubbled. The cheese itself is a uniformly tan shade, but you don't really see much in the way of isolated browning.  Unless you can achieve this, and you're ending up with something milky white, smooth-ish with brown spots, then there's no way to fairly judge the quality of the cheese.

Dialing back the toppings, as I talked about in the other thread, should also go a long way in helping your cheese bubble, especially if you're using watery veggies. Also, fat, as I said earlier, is a huge help.  A larger quantity of pepperoni will be immensely helpful.  Some of these supermarket brands say 'whole milk' on the label, but the actual fat content can be a bit low. On non pepperoni pies, a light spray of oil can help.

All of this, to an extent, goes away once you start dealing with Sysco, but you never can truly ignore the elements that go into crafting the pizza that bring out the most in the cheese.

You're grating the cheese by hand, right? No pre-grated or chunks/dicing, right?
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 02:43:49 PM by scott123 »

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2012, 02:35:45 PM »
Stella brand at Sam's club is $2 a pound and it is not bad...might want to try that.

Used to get Wellesley Farms shred for $2.40 lb. at BJ's and that stuff was like Grande man, I was in Fat City! Then it changed to crapola...wish they wouldn't do that   :'(
Maybe you can locate a brick of Wellesely Farms an try that.....
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 02:50:09 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 06:32:16 PM »
I've only found one whole milk aged mozzarella that I like -- Trader Joes.  However, it only comes in one pound balls and it costs $5.

I need a $2/lb source of top quality mozzarella.  So far I've tried Precious, Kirkland, First Street, Wal Mart house brand and I'm underwhelmed by these.  Sysco won't return my calls because I'm not in business yet.  Our Wal Marts here do not stock Polly-O.

Any suggestions?

You're not gonna find what you're looking for at a grocery store; neither product nor price. Grocery stores sell consumer quality products at consumer prices. That means low quality product at high prices.

If you want foodservice quality cheese at near wholesale prices, you're gonna have to buy a case of it from a foodservice distributor. The only two brands of cheese I've ever used that I would serve to customers are Grande and Polly-O. Since I'd never had a chance to try Polly-O until recently, I'm not 100% sold on it yet. Before I give a 100% nod to Polly-O, I'm gonna have to buy some Grande and compare them side by side. I know Grande is a winner, but I feel very good about Polly-O, too.

I may know of another good brand to try (a distributor house brand that someone I know said good things about), but that's all I can say right now. I'll try to get the details and pass them along.

You're probably not gonna be able to get a remotely decent cheese for $2 a pound. Don't take my word for it, but I think wholesale foodservice-quality mozzarella goes for something in the neighborhood of $3 a pound right now.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 06:40:18 PM »
Sysco won't return my calls because I'm not in business yet.  Our Wal Marts here do not stock Polly-O.

I didn't catch that the first time I read it. But you know what? Screw Sysco. If they don't want to take a minute of their time to sell you something that will help you become their regular customer, they don't deserve your business, either now or after you open. So check with other distributors; particularly smaller, more local ones. Someone will sell to you, and it probably won't take you many tries to find a distributor who will be happy to sell to you.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2012, 07:01:08 PM »
You're probably not gonna be able to get a remotely decent cheese for $2 a pound. Don't take my word for it, but I think wholesale foodservice-quality mozzarella goes for something in the neighborhood of $3 a pound right now.

http://future.aae.wisc.edu/data/monthly_values/by_area/816

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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2012, 07:05:52 PM »

All of this, to an extent, goes away once you start dealing with Sysco,
Very interesting....
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2012, 07:14:46 PM »

You're probably not gonna be able to get a remotely decent cheese for $2 a pound.
I said that Stella brand is ok......trying to give the guy a 'lil help/encouragement rather than a blanket negativity...

I have prolly 10+ yrs. experience with polly-o if ya want to listen...
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scott123

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2012, 07:49:05 PM »
Very interesting....

Yeah, once you get into Grande/Grande clones, a lot of cheese related worries fall by the wayside.  Grande clones are a lot like bromated flour.  The pizza almost makes itself. For the home baker using something along the lines of KABF and supermarket motz, it takes some serious alchemy to do what bromated flour and grande clones do with ease. 

I would also include food service tomatoes in this equation.  I can't get anything in a supermarket that approaches the Stanislaus tomato filets. Pizzeria owners have a lot of legs up on home bakers- which makes it even sadder that so much of what they produce is crap.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2012, 08:11:34 PM »
Is Cisco the only game in town is what I was meaning....do they offer more than Roma, Gordons,etc.  ?
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2012, 08:30:05 PM »
I said that Stella brand is ok......trying to give the guy a 'lil help/encouragement rather than a blanket negativity...

Oh, I missed that. I don't think I've ever tried Stella, and I refuse to shop at Walmart. I did, however, attempt to help a nutjob pizzeria owner named Stella in 2005. Long story.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2012, 08:48:55 PM »
Oh, I missed that. I don't think I've ever tried Stella, and I refuse to shop at Walmart. I did, however, attempt to help a nutjob pizzeria owner named Stella in 2005. Long story.
I didn't say Walmart.....dufus!  ;)
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2012, 08:55:26 PM »
Yeah ya did.

Stella brand at Sam's club is $2 a pound and it is not bad...might want to try that.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2012, 09:07:04 PM »
Yeah ya did.

What is it you say....apples and oranges.....or apples an prussian blue??!!!   :-D
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Offline Essen1

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2012, 05:13:29 PM »
Try Costco.

They have recently added a whole bunch of new mozzarella varieties, whole milk and part-skim, to their selection.

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11672358&search=whole+milk+mozzarella&Mo=5&cm_re=1_en-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&lang=en-US&Nr=P_CatalogName:BD_827&Sp=S&N=5000049&whse=BD_827&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=Text_Search&Dr=P_CatalogName:BD_827&Ne=4000000&D=whole+milk+mozzarella&Ntt=whole+milk+mozzarella&No=1&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=bdoff&s=1


And the "North Beach" brand is produced by Cascade Dairy in Hayward, CA and was also sold at Trader Joe's until they switched to their own label. The North Beach one was my very favorite on a retail level. Great meltability, creamy and great flavor.

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?prodid=11543104&whse=BD_827&topnav=bdoff&cat=28587&hierPath=11122*11275*11276*28587*&lang=en-US

Forgot to mention...here's a post by TomN regarding a Grande & Bella Rosano comparison:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17626.msg180842.html#msg180842
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 05:16:36 PM by Essen1 »
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best Source of Quality Aged Mozzarella on West Coast
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2012, 08:26:06 PM »
Thanks Essen....Costco here I come... ;)
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