OK, so this Polly-O cheese ain't so horrible, but I don't think I'll buy it again. The moisture content does not go well with my bakes. I reduced sauce and pepperoni by maybe 40%. Also, due to an error on my part, I ended up mixing in some Baccio. Maybe 70% Polly-O and 30% Baccio.
The result was a much more agreeable baked texture, but was still a bit on the greasy side of things. Longer bakes and minimizing moisture content in toppings does make this a usable cheese. An example of Ziti previously used would be a good application. Probably the no-boil Lasagna noodles, too, as they can be moisture hogs.
Taste-wise pre-bake: It definitely has that little touch of salt and a bit of strength in the flavor that many of the better pizza cheeses I've tried has. Post-bake was similar, which I noticed a little bit of yesterday. Obviously today's is invalid due to the blend I had to go with due to putting the wrong container in the freezer.
This may be an answer for folks who are fighting problems with cheese drying out too much at bake.
The retail Sorrento/Galbani or whatever Lactalis is calling that mozzarella these days is a higher moisture cheese than the big blocks of Sorrento. There are many discussions of that low moisture Sorrento on here. However, for baked ziti I prefer the retail version, especially like right now when one supermarket chain has it on sale for $1.99 a pound.
Thanks, Zing. I had
seen your analysis about the Polly-O brand(s) being like that, but had not dug deeply at all on the Sorrento. Mostly because I had no access to big blocks until recently, but also because the store version was already my go to "emergency" cheese regardless of what I found out about it.
btw, I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts on cheeses. Always seems to be good info. Thanks!