Author Topic: Grande cheese  (Read 9635 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Steve

  • Steve Zinski
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 1968
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Richmond, VA
    • pizzamaking.com
Grande cheese
« on: August 19, 2004, 08:00:58 AM »
I found an online retailer who sells Grande Cheese.

Vern's Cheese Inc. www.vernscheese.com

Here's a reply that I got from them:

The 6# Grande part skim mozzarella would be $3.69/lb. Please keep in mind that this is a random weight piece of cheese, so it may weigh more than 6#, or it might weigh less. Because we don't know the exact weight on the package, shipping to Richmond, VA would be approximately $11.00.

They carry the full line of Grande cheeses including the whole milk mozzarella (whole, shredded, or cubed).  8)

Pizzamaking.com is a member-supported public resource. Click HERE to become a Supporting Member.


Offline giotto

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 411
  • Location: SF Bay Area
  • Italy has DOC, we have NY standards.
Re:Grande cheese
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2004, 03:07:56 PM »
Excellent.  I have resolved to only use the whole milk version, which I get from Whole Foods in the San Francisco area.  The whole milk version does not water down at all, and is something that I can apply with confidence at the early state of my heat cycle, normally set at 515 - 540 F.  As far as fat content of one vs. the other, it's negligible.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2004, 03:08:33 PM by giotto »

Offline Arthur

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 253
  • When Brooklyn Was the World
Re:Grande cheese
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2004, 01:24:07 PM »
Thanks Steve!

BTW, my parents were able to find the store in NY that makes fresh mozz for 2 of the top NY pizza places (NxxK's and GrimXXXXX's).   This is not the mozz in water - it comes sort of wet in a plastic wrap.    I made 2 pies, one with the mozz on top of the sauce (like I usually do) and one with the mozz under the sauce - on the dough (like I saw them do at NxxK's in NY).    The result - well mixed results from the eaters - some liked the first and some liked the second.  I personally like the mozz on top of the sauce, because with the other way the mozz liquid seemed to sink into the dough and made the dough wetter.  When it was on top of the sauce my dough remained light , nicely dry and crunchy.

The mozz was outstanding - like eating water - which somehow tasted good.  I do have to say that the mozz I bought in costco (name formaggio??) was quite similar :)  and much easier to get.


Offline giotto

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 411
  • Location: SF Bay Area
  • Italy has DOC, we have NY standards.
Re:Grande cheese
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2004, 03:38:00 PM »
Arthur:

Your experience seems very similar to working with Buffalo Mozz, which too gives me a very light tasting experience and is best left on top of the sauce.  For those who like the mozz  below, just dribble a little bit of extra sauce on top of the mozzarella after placing it on top of the full sauce-- best of both worlds. This will help protect the mozz as well.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2004, 03:38:37 PM by giotto »

Offline Arthur

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 253
  • When Brooklyn Was the World
Re:Grande cheese
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2004, 12:30:40 PM »
I found an online retailer who sells Grande Cheese.

Vern's Cheese Inc. www.vernscheese.com

Here's a reply that I got from them:

The 6# Grande part skim mozzarella would be $3.69/lb. Please keep in mind that this is a random weight piece of cheese, so it may weigh more than 6#, or it might weigh less. Because we don't know the exact weight on the package, shipping to Richmond, VA would be approximately $11.00.

They carry the full line of Grande cheeses including the whole milk mozzarella (whole, shredded, or cubed).  8)



I'm waiting to hear back from Vern via email...but DiBruno.com wants $8.99/lb!
Also, do I want the chuck or shredded?

Offline giotto

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 411
  • Location: SF Bay Area
  • Italy has DOC, we have NY standards.
Re:Grande cheese
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2004, 05:53:41 PM »
I have not tried the shredded, only the slabs.  I prefer the slabs because shredded often requires additives to prevent sticking, which can affect the cooking process.  The slabs probably give me a longer life as well, since I can split out only what I use and keep the rest together, untouched by shredders.  

I also find that working with slices, cut in the shortest direction vertically, tends to go a bit farther as well.  I tend to do this when I get low on it.  I slice them across, then cut each of these into 2 or 3 slices.  This tends to give me a little more pull as well.  I like to shred it too, especially if I mix it with something like a few EDAM shavings.  It's nice to have the option.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2004, 11:29:31 PM by giotto »

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22139
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re:Grande cheese
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2004, 02:23:44 PM »
I recently received a copy of all the products sold by Pennsylvania Macaroni Co., (PennMac), a company in Pittsburgh that has both a retail operation and a wholesale business for restaurants in and around Pittsburgh.   I had previously had discussions with a PennMac customer service rep, Rose McNeill, about the Grande cheeses.  The Grande cheese are listed in the product list but not on the pennmac.com website.  However, I was told that it would be possible to buy the Grande cheeses by calling the PennMac telephone number (1-800-223-5928 or 412-471-8330), and asking to speak directly with Rose.  Since she is not directly responsible for pricing, she will check with the person who is and quote a price.  I spoke this morning with the other person, who quoted me a price of $3.99 a pound for whole-milk Grande mozzarella cheese.  There are many versions and forms of the Grande cheese available at PennMac, so for those who are interested, I would try to be as specific as possible or ask for the various forms before deciding.  

I have discovered from previous discussions that PennMac is amenable to some negotiation on price for bulk purchases, so that possiblility might be explored as appropriate.  If one lives in or around Pittsburgh, the Grande cheeses can be purchased at the PennMac retail store at 2010 Penn Avenue, in Pittsburgh.  Otherwise, there will be normal shipping charges.  According to the PennMac website, the practice at PennMac on cheeses is to cut them freshly at the time of order.  I ordered some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese from PennMac a few months ago and it was first rate.

Peter

Offline Arthur

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 253
  • When Brooklyn Was the World
Re:Grande cheese
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2004, 02:56:03 PM »
Awesome, awesome, awesome!  Thank you peter!

I just ordered the 50/50 5# bag.  I know giotta prefers slabs, but I have heard from some NY pizza places that I frequent that they use the 50/50 and I just want to try this out first.

Cost was $3.95 per lb + shipping (about $6).

I'll let everyone know how it tastes since I have not really found typical NY pizza cheese - although I have found some great fresh mozz.

Also, I'm hooked on Vantia sauce - used by DiFara's as specfied here
http://www.pmq.com/mag/2004july_august/newyork.php

it's one knotch above red pack and not like 6 in 1 - which is a great sauce but not for NY style pizza.




Offline giotto

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 411
  • Location: SF Bay Area
  • Italy has DOC, we have NY standards.
Re:Grande cheese
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2004, 06:11:16 PM »
Grande is actually a Wisconsin cheese.  Most of us mix the mozz anyways.  Nice to have the flexibility over percentages and type.  Pyzano's (owned by Manager of USA Pizza team, 5x world champion, etc.) mentioned a 75/25 mix that he created on a pizza that I liked (Grande mozz with a provolone).  Definitely a preference factor that you want to experiment with.  

As far as 6-in-1, many seem to like it for NY pizza as shown in the tomato session, just depends on how you mix it up.  I don't really use any sauce or tomatoes as is, even when fresh from a nearby farm, and I like it thin so it doesn't show a line along the pizza.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2004, 06:26:17 PM by giotto »

Offline Arthur

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 253
  • When Brooklyn Was the World
Re:Grande cheese
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2004, 09:27:57 AM »
OK...my experience with the 50/50 was horrible  :-\

I didn't realize that 50/50 was 50 percent provolone....sorry, but NY pizza doesn't have provalone on it so it tasted very strange to me.

Clearly, though, the Grande cheese is the best form of shredded pizza cheese I have found.  When cooked it gave a great consistency. I assume that the whole or part-skim or a mixture of the 2 (not the Grande 50/50 tho!!!! - just Grande whole mixed with Grande skim) would be correct for typical NY style pizza.

I, however, am sticking with my fresh (in plastic bag) mozz since that gives a lighter overall flavor and accents the dough and the sauce more than the cheese.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2004, 09:28:59 AM by Arthur »


Offline giotto

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 411
  • Location: SF Bay Area
  • Italy has DOC, we have NY standards.
Re:Grande cheese
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2004, 01:32:38 PM »
The provolone, unfortunately, didn't give you much of an experience with the Grande Mozz.  And when aged, it is even stronger.

100% whole milk Grande (which is low moisture) provides lightness in texture, taste and an ability to withstand heat.  A stronger taste can be created with some shavings of dry cheese on top.

Offline Arthur

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 253
  • When Brooklyn Was the World
Re:Grande cheese
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2004, 01:36:52 PM »
I do need to try the 100% whole milk.

Also, I have always put some regianno parm on but I was thinking of trying Pecorino Romano since that seems to have more of a kick.

Offline Foccaciaman

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 448
  • Location: Minnesota
  • ou812
Re:Grande cheese
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2004, 01:46:03 PM »
Arthur:
I am a lover of all cheeses and use provolone and smoked provolone alot on my sandwiches and other items.
I do occasionally mix my mozzarella with provalone but would never go as far a  50/50 mix which you said that you dislliked. I could understand why.
When I do use provolone with mozzarella it is on a ratio of 70/30, this helps give a little more of the stringy pull apart look and taste to the pizza. Generally though I am forced to stick with only mozzarella, because otherwise I am forced to make an additional pizza for my wife who will not eat it. (damn picky woman) ;D
Ahhh, Pizza The Fifth Food Group

Offline giotto

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 411
  • Location: SF Bay Area
  • Italy has DOC, we have NY standards.
Re:Grande cheese
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2004, 08:32:19 PM »
Pecorino is probably my favorite shaved topping at the end for reasons you mention-- it adds a nice kick that you can easily control.

Offline Les

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 199
  • Age: 67
  • It's Proper to use Grape Tomatoes in Wine Country
Re: Grande cheese
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2005, 08:17:50 PM »
I didn't know where to post this, so . . .

After reading so much about Grande mozzarella and feeling I'd have to order it online to get it here in N. Cal (I've been happy with Precious to tell you the truth) I was surprised today to find Grande at Whole Foods.  It was wrapped and labeled like a generic brand (I've tried generic mozzarella and it was BAD  :-X ).  However, when I picked it up and scrutinized the WF label, I saw it was Grande!  I've not tried it yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing if it lives up to the hype I've read here.

Offline andrek

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Grande cheese
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2005, 07:34:55 PM »
I was able to convince a locally owned deli here in central Illinois to order Grande by the case for me on semi-regular basis. They could not do less, since they claimed their distributor would not sell less. One case of 8 logs is nothing for a pizzeria, but way too much for me. I divide it up among friends, but still end up freezing some of it. I know that's heresy, but thawed Grande is still better than most any other commonly available store brands, and that includes Polly-O, imo.

I have read about Cooks Illustrated recommending Dragone (saw it on America's Test Kitchen too), so I'm curious how that compares, since it's more likely to be available at a store around here somewhere (not obvious where though). However, they also recommended the Kraft shredded in an older issue's Mozz taste testing, and that's just plain horse doo-doo. I ruined a perfectly good pizza trying a blend of the Kraft with a better cheese, the result being craptastic. So I don't trust them 100%.

AK

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3075
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: Grande cheese
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2005, 09:46:57 PM »
Andrek, I often use Grande and Dragone (made by Saputo) for my pizzas.  They are quite different, but probably unlike many people, I consider them to both be of the same general quality.  In a professional setting, the Dragone is much cheaper.

Grande has the best consistency, very creamy and smooth. It melts really well and covers the pizza with ease, even if you don't use a lot of it. Grande can hold up quite well under high heat without burning.  I think this is because it has a decent amount of moisture in it that needs to evaporate before the cheese burns.  Don't get me wrong though, somehow it is never soupy. When you reheat a slice made with grande, it tends to come back to life better than other cheeses.  My complaint about the Grande is that the flavor is not the straight simple mozzarella flavor that I grew up with.  In some ways I feel like it has other cheese flavors mixed in with it, and I would prefer to have control over that by mixing in my own special flavor cheeses.  I have only noticed this with the grande processed mozzarella, not the fresh (in water) variety.  A fellow forum member said that it tasted like Muenster cheese, and I agree.

Dragone is a dryer cheese.  Because of this it tends to burn a little easier, and is not as free flowing over the pizza.  When the cheese starts to cool down it tends to clump together a little more than the Grande.  We have all had the pizza that is somewhat warm, and when you bite into it all the cheese for the whole slice comes off in your mouth.  Dragone is not the absolute worst for this, but it does have that quality more than the Grande.  With these melting issues aside, it is still a great cheese because of it's excellent flavor.  To me it is a salty mozzarella, so I am careful about blending Romano in with it.  If you do feel the need for extra flavor it takes better to Parmesan, Gruyere, and other less salty flavor cheeses.  It is very milky and buttery tasting for a processed mozzarella, without even a hint of sharp or sour flavor.

Offline abc

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 193
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Grande cheese
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2005, 12:29:50 AM »
from what i'm reading, Grande cheese is almost $4 a LB B4 shipping... i thought these 'bulk' places would be able to sell cheese for cheaper than this.

for ex. I've bought pollyo 5lb loaves of low moisture from BJ wholesale club for about $11.00...   i'm not saying pollyo is better than Grande, but is Grande twice as tasty for what is about 2x the price of pollyo.


and are we thinking that pizza places that can get grande from a local distibuter is paying about 2.80-3.50 per lb?


I thought pizza places pay less than what i pay for a 5lb loaf of pollyo bec. they buy big quantities.

Offline PizzaBrewer

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 268
  • Location: Relocating my brewpub/pizzeria within NE Pennsylvania...
  • Seasoned pro Brewer, intermediate pro Pizzamaker
Re: Grande cheese
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2005, 12:38:25 AM »
My local pizza supplier has a cash-and-carry, the Polly-O is about $2.00 per lb. and the Grande is about $2.25 per lb.  Unfortunately they won't break open a case of the Grande to sell an individual loaf and it's out of the question for me to buy 56 lbs. of cheese at a time.

So to answer your question, no, the restaurants aren't paying anything like $4 per lb.

---Guy
Man does not live by bread alone.  There's also tomato, cheese and pepperoni.

Offline abc

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 193
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Grande cheese
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2005, 02:30:16 PM »
wow, that's a cheap price for Grande... how do you like Pollyo, i've seen some shops w/ pollyo boxes, but it looked like they had some preshredded stuff... not too crumbly like the the little bags in the supermarkets, like large shredded...  and they melt a lot greasier than the pollyo loaves of whole milk low moisture... they melt like thr grande does based on the pictures posted here...

i was able to pick up a 7lb pollyo whole milk low moisture today from the bklyn pollyo distributor.. 2.49 a pound.

also they said they have caruso, however they don't break these up for sale.

i also got a unbranded fresh mozz loaf from them, 3.50 lb.... they told me it's from a pollyo culture and made upstate NY.

I'll be trying these out...