Author Topic: Personal preference of Provolone  (Read 905 times)

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Offline pythonic

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Personal preference of Provolone
« on: March 06, 2014, 08:06:01 AM »
It seems all we talk about here is Mozzarella.  What provolone brands are your favorites?

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Offline waltertore

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 08:27:04 AM »
I like the Grande provo-nello going for $3.79/lb right now.   Walter

Offline pythonic

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 02:03:23 PM »
I like the Grande provo-nello going for $3.79/lb right now.   Walter

That's what I use too primarily but the price just went up to $5.99 around me.

Nate
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2014, 12:27:59 AM »
Not that long ago, I had some extra dough but only provolone in the fridge. I think it was the first time I've ever used it on pizza. It was also the last time.
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Offline pythonic

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2014, 02:10:46 PM »
Not that long ago, I had some extra dough but only provolone in the fridge. I think it was the first time I've ever used it on pizza. It was also the last time.


I wish I felt the same but I do not have an oven to make my mozzarella taste godly.
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Offline cc2323

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2014, 02:40:49 PM »
I regard Grande Provo Nello and Sargento sliced provolone options to both be a solid B, if you can dig the grading scale thing. Provo Nello is usually between $5-6/lb by me, don't know where your get it cheaper, but $3.99 is a good deal.

I've been meaning to try the provolone put out by Trega Foods under their "Masters Reserve" line. It has won a bunch of awards for best in US, for whatever that is worth. Short of having it shipped at great expense I was planning on venturing over to The Milwaukee Public Market, which is a boutique cuisine entity that has a cheese seller that offers like a thousands cheeses. If they have it, I'll post back with my thoughts on whether it truly is all that and a bag of chips.

I would be curious about other provolone options that people have tried. Curiously, the 2 biggest cheese distros by us are Star Dairy and Hennings, and neither offers a provolone to my knowledge. Bacon-wine-cheddar sure... but no provolone.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2014, 03:41:14 PM »
Occasionally I'll make a thick pan style pizza as a change of pace from my normal NY style, and I like to lay down a layer of provolone on top of the dough before adding sauce, topping and mozzarella. I like to get the provolone at the deli so it is sliced rather thin and evenly. Stella, one of Saputo's brands is generally the one most available in my area, but I doubt that it really makes much of a difference which one you use.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2014, 04:02:31 PM »
I like the Grande provo-nello going for $3.79/lb right now.   Walter

I respect Grande provolone, but I don't like it on most styles of pizza. I didn't taste it the first time I had your pizza, Walter, but I definitely tasted it at the party in your classroom. As someone who grew up where most local joints use provolone, I feel pretty strongly that provolone has no business on NY style pizza.

Offline pythonic

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2014, 10:41:10 AM »
I respect Grande provolone, but I don't like it on most styles of pizza. I didn't taste it the first time I had your pizza, Walter, but I definitely tasted it at the party in your classroom. As someone who grew up where most local joints use provolone, I feel pretty strongly that provolone has no business on NY style pizza.

The grande is very sharp.  What are your feelings on Sorrento or BeliGioso?
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 09:17:16 PM by pythonic »
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Offline waltertore

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2014, 04:48:11 PM »
I respect Grande provolone, but I don't like it on most styles of pizza. I didn't taste it the first time I had your pizza, Walter, but I definitely tasted it at the party in your classroom. As someone who grew up where most local joints use provolone, I feel pretty strongly that provolone has no business on NY style pizza.

Hi Ryan:  I hear you.  I go up and down with it to none at all depending on my mood and how much provolone we have in the fridge. I don't want to be locked into any specific style but my root is NY style just out of being born/raised/worked with pizza there.  I do the same with my music and thus have created the word Spontobeat to describe it.  I guess I should start calling my pizza "my pizza" from now on so as not to disrespect the NY style :).  The longer I work with dough/pizza the more I am able to capture the tastes I like and incorporate them into the products.  I have no interest in cloning any pizzeria pies or making pie the same day after day.  So I think you have already found my pies ebb and flow in some ways.  Right now I am back to putting some oil in my sauce and working on a developing a good flavored crust with a same day dough via experimenting with sourdough starter and IDY previous night preferment.  Walter


« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 05:31:01 PM by waltertore »


Offline Johnny the Gent

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2014, 05:05:04 PM »
On a couple occasions I've tried blending small amounts of provologne (10%) to w.milk mozz, and for my taste, the provologne simply dominates. That may be due to the way provologne is made here in Brazil - salty and with a strong smoky flavor. And then there's the problem with headaches...If I had regular access to a good quality mild/medium white cheddar, I'd prefer that.


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Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2014, 08:31:46 PM »
Imported Arruchio,  the domestic from them is awaste of time.  Iam sure someone makes better provolone that this,  but it is not needed.   Sharp pungent aromatic dry addicting great in ablend of awesome mozz,  about 10%  -Marc

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2014, 12:36:16 PM »
The grande is very sharp.  What are your feelings on Sorrento or BeliGioso?

I've probably never had either of those cheeses. I pretty much stick with mozzarella, even though a good bit of the pizzas I make are based on places that use provolone; particularly Tommy's, but I've been wanting to do some more work on a Donatos clone. When I've used provolone, I've either used Grande or the crappy stuff from a grocery store deli. (I think.)

I usually use GFS whole milk mozzarella because it's cheap, convenient, the right size/weight, and it's really not bad. Plus they'll slice it for you in the store, which is awesome for when I plan to make deep dish. And if I end up not needing the slices, my KA shredder attachment shreds a stack of slices nicely.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2014, 12:50:37 PM »
Hi Ryan:  I hear you.  I go up and down with it to none at all depending on my mood and how much provolone we have in the fridge. I don't want to be locked into any specific style but my root is NY style just out of being born/raised/worked with pizza there.  I do the same with my music and thus have created the word Spontobeat to describe it.  I guess I should start calling my pizza "my pizza" from now on so as not to disrespect the NY style :).  The longer I work with dough/pizza the more I am able to capture the tastes I like and incorporate them into the products.  I have no interest in cloning any pizzeria pies or making pie the same day after day.  So I think you have already found my pies ebb and flow in some ways.  Right now I am back to putting some oil in my sauce and working on a developing a good flavored crust with a same day dough via experimenting with sourdough starter and IDY previous night preferment.  Walter

I also dig the fact that you don't limit your pizza to someone else's definition of what it's supposed to be. I'm the same way a lot of times. For example, I pretty much figured out how to make a Tommy's clone, but since then I've worked on making it better than Tommy's pizza while still calling it a Tommy's clone. Similarly, with Malnati's, I know I'm doing things a little different than how they do it (like replacing all the dough's olive oil with corn oil, and mixing with a flat beater for only as long as it takes to pour the water into my mixer bowl) because I think this makes essentially the same dough as Malnati's but better and/or easier.

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2014, 01:42:54 PM »
As someone who grew up where most local joints use provolone, I feel pretty strongly that provolone has no business on NY style pizza.

As someone who grew up in NY, where almost all the local joints didn't use provolone, my sentiment is still very similar.  I might soften it a tiny bit by saying that provolone generally has no place on NY style because it's intense flavor is off putting to a relatively large portion of the population, even in small percentages, and NY style pizza, by it's nature, should please everyone.

Provolone is part of a group of ingredients that garner a lot of attention due to the common misconception that more expensive and/or more 'Italian' ingredients make better NY pizza.  They don't.

Olive oil
Fior di Latte/Fresh Mozzarella
Fresh Basil leaves- especially uncooked
Provolone

generally have no place on NY style pizza. Sourdough- same thing, except that's additional time rather than money, although I think most artisan bakers consider sourdough an upscale addition. High end parm (grana, reggiano)  is in a similar realm- expensive, inauthentic, extremely rare in commercial settings, but the number of people that can't tolerate it is so small that it's use is not that egregious.

NY style pizza is food for the regular Joe.  It's a crowd pleaser.  It's not really Italian, but, rather, Italian American. It's been through the melting pot and become far more accessible.  As far as I'm concerned, it's ingrained so far into this nation's fabric, that I'd consider it as American as apple pie.  When you move away from this crowd pleasing everyman's/everywoman's approach and towards less universally appreciated ingredients in an attempt to somehow improve it, you only achieve the opposite effect and do it a tremendous disservice. Great NY style pizza should be something that everyone loves, not just the people that like provolone.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 02:22:24 PM by scott123 »

Offline stonecutter

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2014, 01:58:13 PM »
The grande is very sharp.  What are your feelings on Sorrento or BeliGioso?

I've used Sorrento smoked for a cheese steak pizza we make...I liked it a lot.
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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2014, 02:12:37 PM »
I don't want to be locked into any specific style but my root is NY style just out of being born/raised/worked with pizza there.  I do the same with my music and thus have created the word Spontobeat to describe it.  I guess I should start calling my pizza "my pizza" from now on so as not to disrespect the NY style :).

Walter, I'd be very sad if you started calling it "my pizza," since the world so desperately needs ambassadors that understand what NY style pizza is capable of being, and, with your background and your talent, I'd be hard pressed to find someone more suited to that role.  I guess, if NY style pizza was alive and well, with it's banner held high, then I might say, sure, do your own thing.  But what you've experienced with other 'NY style' pizzerias in Ohio has been happening all over the U.S.- even in NY.  The pizza that we grew up with is close to being extinct.

Imagine if corporate interests had commodified and gentrified Blues music almost entirely out of existence.  If the Blues needed ambassadors in order to survive, would you self identify as a Blues musician then?

I know that I've gotten on your case a little bit in the past regarding authenticity, but, in reality, you're not really improvising THAT much.  Would it cramp your free wheeling style too terribly to gain the insight that, while some people LOVE provolone, some people don't, and maybe offer provolone as an option on your pies rather than a core component? I don't think you'd be giving up that much spontaneity, while still allowing you to be fully entrenched in the NY/NJ ambassador role that I feel pretty strongly that you were put on this earth to do- among many other things, of course.

Offline waltertore

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2014, 02:22:25 PM »
Walter, I'd be very sad if you started calling it "my pizza," since the world so desperately needs ambassadors that understand what NY style pizza is capable of being, and, with your background and your talent, I'd be hard pressed to find someone more suited to that role.  I guess, if NY style pizza was alive and well, with it's banner held high, then I might say, sure, do your own thing.  But what you've experienced with other 'NY style' pizzerias in Ohio has been happening all over the U.S.- even in NY.  The pizza that we grew up with is close to being extinct.

Imagine if corporate interests had commodified and gentrified Blues music almost entirely out of existence.  If the Blues needed ambassadors in order to survive, would you self identify as a Blues musician then?

I know that I've gotten on your case a little bit in the past regarding authenticity, but, in reality, you're not really improvising THAT much.  Would it cramp your free wheeling style too terribly to gain the insight that, while some people LOVE provolone, some people don't, and maybe offer provolone as an option on your pies rather than a core component? I don't think you'd be giving up that much spontaneity, while still allowing you to be fully entrenched in the NY/NJ ambassador role that I feel pretty strongly that you were put on this earth to do- among many other things, of course.

Scott:  You make a good point!  I have been weening off the provolone as of late anyway (about 4 oz for a 7lb loaf of mozz).   I used up our last loaf end today and didn't order anymore.  So it will be provoloneless as of tomorrow :)  I Do like the fresh basil on top though but have learned out here to ask if people want it or not.  About 50% don't not because they are NYified but because they never saw such a thing done out here.   I also like the parm/reg grated on top.  Other than that we are basically the food of home.   Recently I have started experimenting with same day dough by adding a sponge to it(there is a thread on the NY forum).  I remeber the same day dough as a kid.  It had a unique taste to it.  I am getting close with adding IDY/flour/water together the night before and then adding it the next morning to the main dough with the water.  The cold ferementing is great but we are experiencing what most of the small shops we grew  up with - lack of fridge space and no space to put another one.  Orders are verging on us using a 24 hour cold ferment right now and if gets any more busy the same day dough will need to be figured out or we will just have to cut back on orders.  I wish some of the old pizza makers I hung with were still alive.  As a kid I just did and didn't think beyond to the making process.  I know it was cake yeast and I bet they threw in some old dough to the next day dough to add flavor.  My main mentor Alfredo who ran a small shop around the corner from me made same day dough.  I don't remember him adding anything to it though.  He was fresh from Italy and his pie had no oil or sugar and that is my main reason why I don't add any.   NY style will always be my root and on a deck. You can have the WFO thing.  I am sort of glad it is getting so popular because it will make a good deck pie stand out.    I am continually disapointed when I go home and try most of the pizzerias.  You need to open your shop!  Walter
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 02:27:19 PM by waltertore »

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2014, 02:49:55 PM »
Yes, I remember the same day dough as a kid as well.  Same day, imo, is too American/too accessible.  It's basically wonder bread- white without much flavor.

It sounds like you have a plan for maintaining flavor in your dough while saving space, but I would seriously consider taking a page out of Anthony Mangieri's book and going with a bulk.  Bulks were pretty much born out of spacial limitations.  If you dial in the yeast and use the right containers, and go 50/50 bulk/balled you should be able to match the 100% balled fermented dough you have now to a T, with a fraction of the space. From everything you've told me, your dough is spot on right now, so if you have a method available that can recreate it perfectly with less space, I'd go with that.

Re; good deck pies 'standing out,' yes, that's very true.  As deeply saddened as I am by the current state of NY style pizza in NY and the rest of the nation, this almost completely vacuum of great NY style pizza creates unbelievable opportunities for aspiring pizzeria owners who are willing to do their homework. In some areas, such as mine, mediocre pizza commands a tremendously high level of brand loyalty, and that can be a barrier, but so much of the nation/world is ripe for the picking. If you can be as successful as you've been, buried inside a high school, I think you fully comprehend the marketability of a great old school NY style pie.

Offline waltertore

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Re: Personal preference of Provolone
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2014, 05:58:41 PM »
Yes, I remember the same day dough as a kid as well.  Same day, imo, is too American/too accessible.  It's basically wonder bread- white without much flavor.

It sounds like you have a plan for maintaining flavor in your dough while saving space, but I would seriously consider taking a page out of Anthony Mangieri's book and going with a bulk.  Bulks were pretty much born out of spacial limitations.  If you dial in the yeast and use the right containers, and go 50/50 bulk/balled you should be able to match the 100% balled fermented dough you have now to a T, with a fraction of the space. From everything you've told me, your dough is spot on right now, so if you have a method available that can recreate it perfectly with less space, I'd go with that.

Re; good deck pies 'standing out,' yes, that's very true.  As deeply saddened as I am by the current state of NY style pizza in NY and the rest of the nation, this almost completely vacuum of great NY style pizza creates unbelievable opportunities for aspiring pizzeria owners who are willing to do their homework. In some areas, such as mine, mediocre pizza commands a tremendously high level of brand loyalty, and that can be a barrier, but so much of the nation/world is ripe for the picking. If you can be as successful as you've been, buried inside a high school, I think you fully comprehend the marketability of a great old school NY style pie.

Scott:  Thanks for the bulk fermenting idea.  I am going to fool around with that some this week.  I agree the same day dough is not as flavorful and texturely not as pleasing.  But it does bring back some happy memories!  Whatever happens I will not sacrafice quality for quanity.  Things are spinning for me at the momement with an offer to get involved with helping a couple open a pizzeria.  New territory for me....... Walter