Author Topic: Mozzerella balls  (Read 7430 times)

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Offline Pizzaholic

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Mozzerella balls
« on: June 25, 2004, 11:06:16 AM »
I just found fresh softe mozzerella balls in 8 oz size packaged in a little fluid.
Has anyone ever used anything like this??
Should I drain the fluid overnite?
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Offline Foccaciaman

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2004, 11:24:30 AM »
I have used them before in salads and on pizza. I did not  drain them for more than a couple minutes and had no problem on my pizza. ;D

Got mine from Sam's Club, but I have not seen them there for a while.
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Offline Les

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2004, 11:55:42 AM »
I just found fresh softe mozzerella balls in 8 oz size packaged in a little fluid.
Has anyone ever used anything like this??
Should I drain the fluid overnite?
Pizzaholic

I've used them several times and have mixed feelings.  I think the cheese tastes fresher, so that is good.

But I like my cheese to brown some during baking, and I've had a hard time getting the more moist fresh cheese to do that.  The last couple of times I pressed the cheese between paper towels and weights while the dough rose, and that helped.  But it still wasn't as good (browning-wise) as say Polly-O or Precious.  If anyone has any tips let me know because I would rather use the fresh stuff.

Offline Foccaciaman

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2004, 05:04:04 PM »
When pizza is just about finished turn oven on broil and put pizza to upper most rack just long enough to brown the cheese . This should give you the desired effect.
However you must watch your crust closely as it will brown and burn also rather quickly.
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Offline giotto

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2004, 04:54:18 AM »
Unless you are talking di bufala (buffalo mozzarella), the mozzarella cheese balls are not worth it.  First, the taste is simply not there.  Second, you don't want a runny pizza, so you definitely need to dry them out with towels before applying them.  I'd even recommend letting out some of the water the night before their use.

Buffalo mozzarella comes from the water buffalo.  There is a herd of them in Southern California; but most of the buffalo mozzarella (di bufala) needs to be shipped in from Italy, and water is used to keep it fresh.  This mozzarella makes a huge difference in taste-- it is lighter and very tasty.  Naples has made buffalo mozzarella a DOC requirement.  But even Italians will complain at times of the runny nature of the fresh mozzarella, and Naples restaurants will use full cow's milk mozzarella and deviate from the DOC requirements.

Certain mozzarella from Wisconsin is worth the difference, and you will not get it in water.  A good grade will not burn or dry out; instead it will maintain a wonderful color.  I prefer the whole cow's milk, since the fat isn't much different from skim milk.  Check to see if you are getting low moisture, which is available for even whole cow's milk.  This may give you a slight difference in how it browns.

Bottom line-- enjoy your cow's milk mozzarella that's all wrapped up for making your pizza.  Leave the container versions for salads that are made up of cherry tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella.  And when you see the buffalo version at $1 per ounce, you'll likely find that it is worth the difference.  I get it at Whole Foods in the SF bay area, and you'll find it at higher quality Italian Delis.

Online Pete-zza

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2004, 10:07:31 AM »
Giotto,

Although I have never been to Naples, I understand that if you want a DOC pizza in a Naples pizzeria--with buffalo mozzarella cheese--you have to specifically ask for a DOC pizza.  Otherwise, you will get cow's milk mozzarella cheese on your pizza.  The Naples pizzaoli claim that the buffalo mozzarella cheese is too watery for pizza but I'm not certain that that is the real reason.  With oven temperatures in excess of 700 degrees F, and with bake times under a few minutes, I would think that the water contributed by the buffalo mozzarella cheese would be burned off by the time the pizza is done.  Cow's milk mozzarella cheese is cheaper than buffalo mozzarella cheese, which may be the real reason that it is used by Neapolitan pizzaoli instead of buffalo mozzarella cheese.  In the U.S., because home ovens don't achieve the temperatures of wood-fired ovens, it will usually be necessary to drain fresh mozzarella cheeses before using to reduce the water content.

Jeffrey Steingarten, a writer for Vogue magazine and an oft-quoted food guru, wrote an article in the September 2003 edition of Vogue magazine in which he thoroughly investigated Italian buffalo mozzarella cheeses.  Two brands of imported buffalo mozzarella cheeses he particularly favors are Caseificio Cooperativa La Garofalo, Capua, Caserta, and Industria Lattiero Casearia Mandara, Mondragone, Caserta.  But, unless you live in or around a major metropolitan area, like New York City, you will have a hard time finding those particular brands.   You will have to be satisfied with whatever brand your local specialty store offers--if it even offers any brand.  Also, whatever brand you find will not be quite as good as what is availalable in Italy, since the buffalo mozzarella cheeses destined for U.S. markets must undergo special processing to ensure that they survive the rigors and delays in the journey across the Atlantic from Italy to the U.S. (by air), and that they arrive in fresh enough condition to be used before the quality starts to degrade, which is usually within a matter of a few days.  

Because of the unavoidable drawbacks inherent in the importation of buffalo mozzarella cheese from Italy, there has been a recent movement on the part of a few entrepreneurial domestic companies to produce fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese for local consumption.  To date, I am aware of only two domestic producers of buffalo mozzarella cheese: Star Hill Dairy, a farmstead dairy in Vermont and Bubalus Bubalis, Co., a cheese producer in California.  They may well be the only domestic producers in the U.S. at this time.  Only time will tell whether their domestic buffalo mozzarella cheeses will match the quality of the imported varieties, but early indications are that the quality is reasonably good but not yet up to the standards of a good buffalo mozzarella cheese imported from Campania, Italy.  For those who may be interested in the domestic versions of buffalo mozzarella cheese, I have provided links below for the two domestic producers mentioned above.  I live outside of Dallas and was able to find the Bubalus Bubalis brand in Central Market, and I was able to find the Star Hill product in a Whole Foods store in Massachusetts while I was there on a visit.  I found both brands quite good, and even did a side-by-side test of the Star Hill cheese and an imported buffalo mozzarella cheese on pizzas, and no one could tell the difference.  

As with any mozzarella cheese product, whether buffalo mozzarella cheese, cow's milk mozzarella cheese, whole-fat, low-moisture, part-skim, sliced, crumbled, shredded, diced or minced, you will have to experiment to get the desired texture, flavor, meltability and coloration on your pizzas.  There are just too many variations among types and brands of mozzarella cheese to lay out specific rules.

Here are the links to the two domestic producers of buffalo mozzarella cheese:

Star Hill Dairy (Vermont): http://www.starhilldairy.com/products.shtml (with online ordering capability)

Bubalus Bubalis, Co. (California): http://www.farmersmarketonline.com/mozzarelladibufala.htm or http://www.mozzarelladibufala.net (with online ordering capability)

Peter  

Offline giotto

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2004, 06:39:10 AM »
Pete-zza:  

Welcome... The lack of availability of water buffalo in Italy is a good reason for cow's milk mozzarella even in Naples, where DOC status for pizza was initially pushed.  Despite its DOC status, buffalo mozzarella on pizza is not only something that you need to ask for; but as you suggest, it's also something you can expect to pay more for in places like Naples.

I found an opportunity the other day while at Whole Foods to speak to a person who had lived most of his life in Italy.  He echoed the same concerns that Peter Reinhart in his book American Pie noted about the "puddly" substance of buffalo mozzarella and it's propensity to turn rubbery if not eaten right away.  This person gave a real look of distaste when he mentioned di bufala on pizza and felt strongly that it was not appropriate for many people as such.

I have not experienced this problem with buffalo mozzarella.  When making it at home, I take a couple of steps to dry off some of the water.  I have no choice but to cut it into slices, and then I run my oven at 530 F as usual.  It turns out great.  I've enjoyed each buffalo mozzarella so far.  Little Italy in San Francisco carries it in the Delis, and plenty of places like Whole Foods carry it throughout the bay area.  I rarely see the same label.  

Bubalus is the company in S. California that I was referring to before.  They apparently have the lions share of water buffalo in the U.S.  The cheese maker is from Italy and it's amazing the amount of effort he goes through to reach certain goals.  They want to get it into Costco some day to make it more cost effective.  I'll have to ask our Whole Foods why they are not carrying this local variety.

Even if you order direct from Bubalus though, you still pay close to a buck per ounce for each pound ordered.  At stores, I've yet to see it under $1 per ounce.  I really like the taste of Buffalo mozzarella cheese.  But many of my friends prefer Grande's whole milk cheese when I make pizza. And at $3.99 lb, Grande cheese is hard to pass up since I'm a real fan of it as well.  
 ::)

Online Pete-zza

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2004, 02:09:35 PM »
Giotto,

Welcome to you too.

I have read that the Naples/Campania region of southern Italy is home to over 80 percent of Italy's river water buffaloes.  That accounts for why most of the buffalo mozzarella cheese comes from that region.  And not all of that cheese is destined to use on pizzas, either in Italy or the U.S.  It is often eaten alone as a delicacy or in dishes such as caprese.  

The advantage of the domestic varieties is that they are fresher, even though they may not yet measure up to the overall quality of the imported buffalo mozzarella cheeses. For a while, it was even questionable whether a domestic version would ever be created.  I recall speaking with an artisanal cheese maker in New York City's Green Market who ventured to say that she didn't think that the water buffalo herd that Star Dairy in Vermont had acquired would survive the harsh Vermont winter.  Even the owner of Star Dairy had his own reservations.  Every morning during the first winter the first thing he would do was to check to see if the water buffalo were still alive.  Fortunately, they did survive and even appear to be flourishing.  

Here in the Dallas area, Paula Lambert, a nationally known cheese expert and founder and owner of The Mozzarella Cheese Company, took a stab at making buffalo mozzarella cheese.  She succeeded for a while but eventually threw in the towel over an apparent dispute with her supplier of water buffalo milk.   She and her company are well known for the quality of their fresh cow's milk mozzarella cheese.   And, it ain't cheap.  I bought some today for a pizza I plan to make later today, and it sells for around $15 a pound, which is close to the price for buffalo mozzarella cheese.

I doubt that you will see low prices for the domestic buffalo mozzarella cheeses.   With only two domestic producers and an arguably freshness advantage over imported varieties, there is no need to try to capitalize on that advantage by lowering prices.  Maybe someday someone will open up a company by the name of "Discount Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese" and that will be the impetus for price competition.

In the Dallas area, I have a choice of both imported and domestic buffalo mozzarella cheeses, at about the same price per pound.  I am also able to buy a fresh cow's milk mozzarella cheese produced by a local artisanal cheese producer who, you will be happy to know, Giotto, uses organic production techniques.  I usually buy several balls of the stuff and freeze whatever I don't plan to use in the near term.  I do not recommend freezing buffalo mozzarella cheese because it turns such cheese tough and otherwise degrades its quality.

I have also discovered that the pizza establishments that tout their DOC pizzas don't necessarily use imported buffalo mozzarella cheese either.  The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN) doesn't require it, and I believe only one (or possibly two) of the three pizza styles certified by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Politics in its much more stringent regulations promulgated in May call for buffalo mozzarella cheese.  In a long conversation I had with the chief pizza maker at Naples 45 in New York City, one of the two restaurants cerrtified by the VPN in New York City (the other is La Pizza Fresca Ristorante), I was told that he uses a fresh cow's milk mozzarella cheese for his "DOC" pizzas because he deems the imported buffalo mozzarella cheese to be too "sour".  As an aside, he also said that he didn't always use San Marzano tomatoes since the supply was limited and he joked that his restaurant alone could use up the entire supply because of the restaurant's volume (several hundred pizzas a day during the lunch period alone, I was told.)  Pizza production rules can be great, and I applaud efforts to try to preserve historical tradition, but when push comes to shove, the economic rules and local tastes almost always prevail.  Otherwise, every pizza establishment in the country would be making classic Neapolitan style pizzas.

Giotto, you mentioned that you have access to the Grande cheese, which I understand to be the king of all mozzarella cheeses used by professional pizza makers.   Is it available at the retail level anywhere?

Peter


Offline giotto

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2004, 04:34:26 PM »
Pete-zza:  

Thanks for the info.  Organic is goood... I have no problem getting great tasting vegetables 9 out of 10 times, EXCEPT for tomatoes, which is more like 1 out of 10 times from even farmers.

I get Grande from Whole Foods.  They have it in large slabs; BUT I was ecstatic when the cheese cutter told me that if I compare the upc code on their no-label wrapped mozzarella to the $27 slab, I would find that it too was Grande.  He loves the way it cuts.  And it is all priced at $3.99 per lb.

Tony G. at Pyzanos (5 x world champion pizza tosser with plenty of awards for great tasting pizza) recommended Grande Wisconsin cheese to me, and I've been happy ever since-- you can see an article on him and other ingredients he uses at the PMQ web site. Other pros have told me that they like it because it does not burn at their high temps.  Today, I was out of the Grande and made a basic pepperoni pizza with a CA mozz.  The cheese came out too dark, even at 525 temp.  So much for being lazy.

I noticed that at Whole Foods, they also carry the 00 flour used in Italy. Have you tried it yet?  It's super fine and you'll likely be rolling up the crust from bottom to top like the locals.  I can understand why in Italy they combine it with American All Purpose some times.

As far as the price of Buffalo Mozz, I have no idea how the price will ever get down.  But the cheese maker at Bubalus is on a mission-- kind of like Gates wanting a PC on everyone's desktop.  Very few people at Costco will pay $8 per 8 oz when they can get very good mozz at other stores for $4 lb.  If they sell it direct at $15 lb, their mission is a ways off.   The buffalo in S. Cal is doing very well though, and I'm happy to hear that they survived the weather back east-- this is great news.

Online Pete-zza

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2004, 05:52:54 PM »
Giotto,

Whole Foods in Dallas is where I buy the organic cow's milk mozzarella cheese.  I generally look over their cheeses quite well, but I never noticed any block mozzarella cheese or anything carrying a Grande nametag.   I will have to look more carefully or ask questions the next time I am there.  The Grande cheese holds appeal to me since I read that it is full-fat (at least one form of it) and has no preservatives or additives.  After reading labels on the packaging of mozzarella cheeses of different types, I came to the conclusion that additives and preservatives are added mostly to the finely shredded or finely diced versions, to prevent caking or inhibit mold.  I avoid these because they cook too quickly and brown too fast.  Most other processed forms of mozzarella cheeses I have seen in the supermarkets seem to be free of those additives and preservatives.  If you go back and look at prior postings on this forum you will note that many of the members buy shredded forms of mozzarella cheese in large quantity (several-pound packages) and at very low relative cost from places like Costco or Sam's and divide the packages into smaller portions and freeze them until ready for use.  And that seems to work out quite well and without requiring a second mortgage on the house or consigning the kids to slave labor.  

I was not aware of the availability of 00 flour at Whole Foods.  I have looked for it at Whole Foods and Central Market (a really upscale specialty food store) in Dallas on several occasions in the past and have not seen it.  Do you recall which brand it was?  I have done a lot of research on 00 flour, as you will note if you go back a week or two when I posted a piece on 00 flour.  I have often wondered why the Italians combine other flours with the 00 flour, which works well alone without the other flours.  I believe the Italians combine 0 flour with the 00 flour, and quite often they import flour from the U.S. or Canada ("Manitoba" flour) to combine with the 00 flour.  That didn't strike me as a cost effective thing to do, so I wondered whether it is done as an accommodation to tourists' taste (including a lot of Americans) for pizzas using higher-gluten, higher-protein flour.  Or maybe it is because higher-gluten flours produce a better handling dough and one that can be refrigerated, just as is done by most commercial pizza places in the U.S. that make up all their dough balls the night before the day they plan to use them.   A dough made from 00 flour alone tends to run out of steam (the natural sugars get used up fast) after about 6-8 hours at room temperature, and can become weak and limp, hard to shape, and refuse to brown no matter how long you bake the pizza (because all the sugar is gone).

Peter


Offline giotto

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2004, 12:38:34 AM »
Pete-zza:

The brand that I purchased from Whole Foods is ITALBRAND Superfine "00" from Italy, 17.6 ounces (500 g).  It is in a small light blue and white bag.  

Regarding Grande cheese, Whole Foods has both their skim and whole milk slabs-- I prefer the whole milk.  Definitely ask the person responsible for the cheese department at your whole foods.  I have a picture showing Grande with an aged feta cheese that I added toward the end of a pizza cycle at the bottom of page 1 in the "Pizza Tonight" topic, at: http://www.pizzamaking.com/yabbse/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=473&start=0.

Your point regarding 00 flour "running out of steam" after 6 - 8 hours is interesting because it supports some differences in how Napoletana pizzerias in Italy bring out the sugars during the fermentation process.

Normally, it takes 6-8 hours for the enzymes to free up the sugars from the flour's starch.  Here in the U.S., we tend to rely on refrigeration, along with salt to curb yeast activity, so we can leave more natural sugar for our own palette.  We also add sugar to the dough to increase it's sweetness.  

DOC standards in Italy, however, require no sugar and no oils in the pizza dough.  In addition, you'll find Napoletana pizzerias employing their dough the same day they make it.  Try to accomplish a tasty dough under these circumstances, unless you're working with dough that liberates the sugar in shorter time frames as you suggest.

It was funny watching some of the US candidates competing in Italy for various contests related to dough making.  They gave some previews on Food TV.  In the contests for fastest stretching and dough preparation, these guys were putting their hands right through the dough.  And when it came to cooking it, they were having problems with their normal cooking times.  The 00 dough is not as strong and does not have the elasticity.
 ::)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2004, 04:49:52 AM by giotto »

Online Pete-zza

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2004, 01:19:01 PM »
Giotto,

I am familiar with the Italbrand brand of 00 flour.  About a couple of weeks ago, using information I got from this forum, I did an online search for the flour at the website of Claro's Italian Markets, in Southern California.  When I couldn't find the 00 flour, I called them.  I spoke to someone who said that they were down to their last bag and didn't expect to replenish anytime soon since there was not much demand for the product.  Nonetheless, I cross examined him about the protein content of the flour and, after having the guy read the label to me, was finally able to coax out of him that for each serving of 34 grams the protein was 3.5 grams.  That is a little more than 10 percent.   By contrast, the Bel Aria brand is said to be 7.4 percent, and the other popular imported brand, Delverde, appears to have around 9 percent.  All three brands are called 00.  The differences seem to confirm what I have read about milling of flours in Italy, that is, the gradings (0, 00, etc.) are more a matter a degree of fineness of the milling rather than the protein content. Hence, the results you will achieve in using the different 00 flours in a recipe will vary, possibly considerably.

As for the matter of 00 dough running out of steam, I tested this concept recently when I made a pizza based on a dough recipe I found at another forum that called for use of a mixture of all-purpose flour and cake or pastry flour, in a 75 percent/25 percent ratio--to mimic 00 flour (a fairly standard and well-known practice).  The recipe's author (who claimed to have devised the recipe after spending time in Italy and watching Italian pizzaiolos) said to substitute 00 flour if available, which is what I did, since I had the 00 flour.  The recipe called for the dough to rise at room temperature from about 12-24 hours.  Without thinking of the possible implications, this is what I did.  But when I tried to form the pizza dough, it was soft and limp and hard to shape.  I proceeded nonetheless, and the pizza baked, but it wouldn't brown no matter how long I baked it.  I concluded that all the natural sugar was pretty much gone (I was true to the classic formulation and had not added any additional sweetener or oil).   I also suspected that the all-purpose flour/cake or pastry flour combination might well have survived the 12-24 room temperature rise better, without exhausting the natural sugar due to amylase (alpha and beta) enzyme performance.  

In a more recent example, while I was in Mexico, I allowed a Bel Aria dough to rise more than 8 hours (a first rise of about 4 hours, a punchdown, and another rise of a little over 4 hours), all at room temperature, and the results were pretty much the same.   The crust was thin and hard and almost pure white in color.  When I went back to the normal 4 hour and 2-4 hour rises, again at room temperature, the dough was perfect and baked out as I expected, vindicating me in the process to the skeptics who had been watching me.  All of this left me with the belief that you can't let a 00 dough rise too long at room temperature.  You can use a refrigeration period with 00 flour, and I have done this successfully, but you still have to watch the rise times when you bring the dough to room temperature.  

You are correct in that the Italians don't normally use refrigeration in making 00 doughs.  I have gone to many Italian flour and pizza websites and translated them (using the Google translator) and have not found evidence of use of refrigeration.  My experience suggests that you should be able to start a 00 dough early in the morning and use it later in the day.  I read somewhere that DiFara's, the well-known and highly-regarded pizzeria in Brooklyn, starts its dough in the morning for use the same day.  DiFara's uses a combination of Delverde 00 flour and a high-gluten flour, in a 75/25 ratio.  

Getting back to the mozzarella cheese matter, I called the Dallas Whole Foods market this morning before composing this reply.  I spoke to someone in the cheese department who appeared knowledgeable about all the store's cheeses, and he said that they didn't carry the Grande cheese.  He rattled off all of their mozzarella cheeses and the closest thing they have to a Grande cheese is a sliceable Polly-O mozzarella cheese, which I have used before and know to be a Kraft product.

Peter

Offline giotto

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2004, 11:22:34 PM »
Pete-zza:

Chemistry is good stuff.  The start time for enzyme activity was not the point that I meant to cover though.  Instead, my interest was to identify the 6 - 8 hour time frame as a pre-requisite elapsed time to release enough natural sugars to produce a tasty same day American pizza, without the need to rely on too much external sugar. Other factors certainly help determine the final results.  Peter Reinhart seems to suggest that at least 6 or 7 hours are required for enzymes to release most of the sugars.  This seems to be true.

With regard to the 00 outcome, I was mostly curious how it came out for you.  In Naples, the ability to fold it can result in a desire to roll it as well.  The fact that you reached a crispy level, and still could fold it without cracking must have been quite an experience at home.  Do you have a picture to share?  [NEVER mind, I saw your comment about your digi camera on another topic.  Consider taking a regular picture and have your local Walgreens or whatever put it on diskette or CD for you.]

I spoke to one of the cheese managers at Whole Foods.  She indicated that all Whole Foods have the same products available in the computer.  Whether the buyer at the store decides to order it or not is another thing.  This means that special orders can be made.  I have some experience on this one.  Whole Foods is great in their willingness to order something for you, as long as it is an "approved" item, which it is in this case.  I was told that Grande is only available in whole slabs (the two I saw were about $23 @ 3.99 lb for skim and whole milk).  They then cut it up in the back and make it available in smaller proportions at the same price.  I was told that the Grande cut in proportions sells out every day.  As long as you remind your local store of your propensity to buy there, they should get you a slab; and let them know why they should consider it.

It was also interesting to speak to her about the buffalo mozz.  She was well aware of the availability of the one in S. Cal.  But she said their Italian customers are so set in their ways and do not believe that anything here will be as good as what is in Italy, even it is shipped.  Hence, they order an imported version.  I mentioned that localization is held in the highest regard in Italy, and yet here, we are supposed to do away with something that is created with significant knowledge right in our back yard.  I don't even want to get going on the implications that unnecessary disregard of localization has on a job market and community spirit-- we're pretty much sucking wind here in the Silicon Valley.  I'll eat all non-organic without a 2nd thought before I'll accept this attitude.  I gave her a little bit of background about the Italian cheese maker in S. Cal, and what these guys go through with the water buffalo-- she was impressed and obviously had little background to sell Bubalus from here.  The good news-- she will speak to her buyer to at least give it a chance.  
« Last Edit: August 09, 2004, 02:24:55 AM by giotto »

Offline Arthur

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2004, 10:53:02 AM »
I was so glad to see this thread on Grande cheese.  I have heard for a long time that "great" NY pizza places use a 50/50 mixture of whole/part-skim.

I called up my local Whole foods (virginia) and of course, they don't carry it  :(     I guess I'll need to go in and try and convince them to order it.


Offline giotto

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2004, 04:17:38 PM »
Arthur:

Indicate that the Whole Foods in N. California at 408-257-7000 carries Grande whole milk and skim milk, and that they've indicated that it is an accepted item in the Whole Foods computer system (it must be for them to sell it) , and request a "special order."  They should not hesitate to do a "special order" under this circumstance.  They will have to order it as a slab-- but at $3.99 lb, I've seen them range in the $20 arena.  When you order large amounts, like a case of 6 flours, you get a 15% or so discount as well.  Slabs may very well fall under this category.  If you decide to order just one, I'd recommend the whole milk version.

Offline Arthur

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2004, 04:57:04 PM »
Thank you!  I will try this since my experience with supermarket shredded mozz is just plain bad!

Offline giotto

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2004, 09:18:57 PM »
Arthur:  Hopefully you won't have any trouble.  

Pete-zza:  Got a question about calculating protein.  I never seem to match the numbers by dividing protein into serving size.  Why is this? KA's bread flour for example is at 12.7% according to their specifications and other statements.  However, if you divide their 4g protein by 30 g serving size, it comes to 13.33%, QUITE A DEVIATION.  This calculation seems out of synch with specs for other brands as well.  And there is not anything on any label that I can subtract out to make numbers match the specs.  I remember your reference to this calc as well for 00 flour.  Unfortunately, not every company has a spec sheet on their flour.  
« Last Edit: August 09, 2004, 09:22:45 PM by giotto »

Online Pete-zza

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2004, 11:01:41 PM »
Giotto,

You aren't hallucinating and your calculator isn't broken.  It's one of those nutty things about trying to calculate protein percentages from labeling information.

I discovered the same contradictions when I started looking at the labels for different 00 flours, especially when I found that I couldn't use the different brands interchangeably in my 00 recipes.  For example, I read somewhere that the Bel Aria 00 flour has 7.4 percent protein.  But the label for the Bel Aria 00 flour says there is 4g of protein per 140g serving.  That would come to about 2.9 percent, which would seem to me to be impossibly low to make a pizza.  I couldn't come up with what seemed to be the right number from the label, so I chose to accept the 7.4 percent figure from wherever I found it as being more accurate.  The Delverde 00 flour has 9g of protein per 100g serving, or 9 percent, based on its labeling information.  That percentage seems reasonable but the labeling information for the Delverde 00 flour is in several different languages and so cryptic that you can't really make heads or tails out of it--or at least I couldn't.  The Italbrand 00 flour has 3.5g of protein per 34g serving, or about 10.3 percent--again reasonable but not conclusive.  The KA flour that mirrors 00 flour has 8.5 percent protein, but I only know that by seeing it in the KA catalogue (in fact, the KA packaging information, like that for its Sir Lancelot brand of high gluten flour, has no nutritional labeling on it--you have to find the protein percentage in the catalogue).  Your calculations for the KA bread flour highlight similar discrepancies.  

I recalled reading about the above dilemma some time ago and sought an explanation.  I couldn't immediately recall where I read what appears to be the answer, but with a little searching a few minutes ago, I found what I apparently read before--at the baking911.com website.  I have cut and pasted below the pertinent text, in quotations:

"Protein content is sometimes listed on the bag of flour and is shown as the number of grams protein/100 grams of flour. But, more than not, it is not listed. In that case, use the chart listing the type of wheat flour and its protein percentage as a guide. (Pete-zaa's note: the chart is the basic ratings of flours by protein level.)

If you find the protein content, nutrition labeling requirements aren't designed to reveal the precise percentage on its bag. They're designed to give approximate amounts, rounded to the nearest gram per 1/4 cup. For example, a flour with 2.7 grams of protein per 1/4 cup and a flour with 3.3 grams of protein per 1/4 cup would both bear nutrition labels reading 3 grams per 1/4 cup. However, the exact protein level of the second flour is nearly 20 percent higher than the first. To learn the exact protein level to the nearest tenth of a percent, you must contact the flour company and ask."

My recollection is that Pierre (of this forum) has from time to time addressed this issue.  I don't recall offhand whether he resolved the discrepancy issue, or found a way to more accurately decipher labeling information to get protein percentages, but he may have and I have just forgotten.  Or the answer may be as set forth above.

Peter


Offline giotto

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2004, 12:09:34 AM »
That's what I was afraid of... the protein level discrepancies come down to rounding on the part of the vendor.  Thank you, that certainly explains it for me.  I normally go the company's web site, and find the protein listed as a %; but this is not always reasonable.

By the way, I spoke to one of my favorite people in the cheese department at Whole Foods about Bubalus buffalo mozz.  After discussing it with the buyer in the morning, turns out that they have had some bad experience with it some time back.  I was happy to hear that they had given it a try.  First, it did not have the elasticity of the imported mozz they carry.  Second, it went bad much quicker than the imported mozz after opening.  And third, they had some distribution problems, even though Bubalus is fairly local.  She then told me that Lumbardi's carries it, so what the heck, I'm curious about its taste and what Lumbardi's experience is with it.  

I'm mixing Holland's Edam with Grande tonight to see if it comes close to a past experience in cheese elsewhere.  I was told that's what they used.  

Offline Pierre

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Re:Mozzerella balls
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2004, 05:46:28 PM »
giotto..... you may want to try some Gouda as well. I've been mixing young Gouda with Mozzarella (low moisture) and a bit of Provolone and get a very nice taste as well.

A sprinkle of Pecorino Reggiano or Parmesan on the sauce and the Cheese mixture on top...It takes a while though till you find the Brand with the taste you like and the stringyness you want..

Pierre