Author Topic: What makes great Fresh Mozzarella?  (Read 7150 times)

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Offline scott r

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Re: What makes great Fresh Mozzarella?
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2006, 12:24:24 PM »
I have read many times on this forum about how fresh mozzarella does not taste as good on pizza, and it makes pizza too watery even when dried.

You need to add a lot of salt to fresh mozzarella.  It is just like the san marzano tomato issue.  Once you salt those baby's up to the point that the California tomatoes are salted, you will be amazed at how much more you like them!  A good fresh mozzarella, like grande, if salted properly will taste amazing.

The reason why people think fresh cheese is too watery is because it is past it's prime.  A good fresh mozzarella will be so tight and dry that you can slice it right on the pizza and it will not leave any more moisture than the dry packed processed mozzarella.


Offline jasonr

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Re: What makes great Fresh Mozzarella?
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2006, 09:26:13 PM »
Quote
That's like saying. "Craig McTavish never wore a hockey helmet, so why should I?"

No, it really isn't. Your analogy is false. It's more like saying: Craig McTavish never had to use an expensive hockey stick to be a great hockey player, so I don't need to use an expensive hockey stick to be a great player. If my favorite pizzaria makes pizza without fresh mozzarella, then clearly fresh mozzarella is not a pre-requisite to making my favorite pizza. Thus, it is not necessary for me to use it to get what I want. Given the negative factors I mentioned, I simply see no reason to go to the trouble of using it.

Quote
The reason why people think fresh cheese is too watery is because it is past it's prime.  A good fresh mozzarella will be so tight and dry that you can slice it right on the pizza and it will not leave any more moisture than the dry packed processed mozzarella.

Well, I don't pretend to be an expert on the subject, but I have purchased my cheese from a high end Italian grocer. It is expensive cheese. If this cheese is past its prime, then where am I supposed to go to get good cheese? I realize price doesn't automatically equal quality, but seriously, if I can't rely on the posh expensive places having the good stuff, then what do I do?  Do I have to search the city store by store until I stumble on the magical good quality mozzarella?

But ok, let's say I find this good mozzarella. What is the procedure for salting and shredding it? What do you do to make it good? I'm certainly willing to try, for curiosity's sake.

Offline scott r

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Re: What makes great Fresh Mozzarella?
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2006, 04:26:27 AM »
Hi Jason, I am not sure where you can find the fresh cheese, but I know a few high priced Italian specialty stores in my area that don't move their product that fast.  It is all up to the ordering practices of the establishment, and just because you are paying top dollar does not mean that your cheese is fresh! Pizzerias have the advantage here, as I have found that all the wholesalers in my area that will sell me fresh cheese (I buy in bulk for parties sometimes) get it and sell it within a few days of manufacture.  I also have one Italian specialty store in my area that moves a lot of product, and gets buffalo mozzarella (from around Naples), and cows milk (Grande from Wisconsin) in twice a week.  The oldest it can be when I buy it is a week max from manufacture.

I know I am very lucky to have this situation.  People in New York are even more lucky, they have stores that sell cheese so fresh you can buy it when it is still warm from manufacture!  I am sorry if I came off as a jerk, but I just wanted to try to help clear up the bad reputation fresh cheese has gotten here on the forum.  Believe me, you are not the first person to come on here and say that they made bland watery pies with fresh cheese.

If you do happen to find cheese in clear water, that is firm and bounces back to its original shape after being squeezed and doesn't have any shreds coming off,  it should be fairly dry.  There are some bland tasting brands out there, just like any other cheese, so try everything you can find to get the best flavored cheese. Just because it is expensive, or fresh does not mean that it will be a flavorful brand.  I am actually embarrassed to admit this, but  unfortunately for my wife and my free time I do drive around to multiple places scoping out the ingredients for my pies.  I usually have to try a few stores to find decent tomatoes, which for me are even harder to locate than good mozzarella. Also, my favorite sausage is not the place with the best pepperoni, or the place with the best produce or cheese. I would never expect anyone else to be as big of a pizzafreak as me, though.

At the NY pizza show I was fortunate to attend a really fun seminar hosted by the owner of Lombardi's pizza.  One of the audience members asked him how he dealt with his mozzarella if it was too wet.  He said that the first thing he would do is talk to his cheese maker and tell them to get their S**T together.  If that didn't work, he thought the best way to deal with the problem was to hang the cheese up in the cooler with some cheese cloth and allow it to dry. 

If my cheese is too wet I use a different method.  First I slice the cheese (since grating fresh mozzarella is impossible).  I then lay the cheese out on a stack of paper towels, usually about four thick.  I put another stack of paper towels on top, and wait about five minutes.  I flip my stack over and wait another five.  Sometimes this is enough.  Sometimes It is not even needed.  Sometimes I repeat this process with fresh paper towels a few times.  If both sides of your paper towels have soaked through in the 10 minutes, you are going to have to do this again.  Once the cheese is dry I sprinkle a decent amount of sea salt, or real salt evenly across the cheese.  This type of salt not only tastes better, but is better for you.  Normal table salt has had all the trace minerals removed. The minerals are then replaced with chemicals to keep the salt from clumping.  The removed minerals not only provide flavor, but are also good for you.

In a professional pizzeria they would never do this, but I also sometimes put the sliced/dried/salted cheese in a plastic container with a lid and add some olive oil.  I then shake up the cheese to evenly distribute the salt and oil around all sides of the cheese.  This makes for an especially yummy pie, and for some reason seems to taste better than if I just sprinkle olive oil on top of the pizza before baking.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: What makes great Fresh Mozzarella?
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2006, 02:11:50 PM »

Yes, our Ital and Mozzarella Fresca products are carried by Sysco Foods New Mexico (formerly Nobel/Sysco).  In our cultured, Ital product, they carry our Ital Cheese Ciliegine (1/3 oz balls), Bocconcini (1 1/3 balls) and Ovaline (4oz balls).  I'd love to hear what you think!  Please let me know if you get any push back or have any problems.  Thanks!


Jason,

I just got around to ordering 3 pounds of Ital Ovaline from Sysco. Will be used for a pizza party on Sunday. Looking forward to seeing how it compares.

Bill/SFNM


 

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