Welcome to the forum.
I would be very happy for our members to be able to use the finest ingredients on a Lehmann NY style pizza dough, including the best cheeses. I was thinking of Dom DeMarco at DiFara's when I mentioned Grande cheese in my earlier post, since Dom uses the Grande line of cheeses for his pizzas.
As you may know, Grande cheese is basically distributed to professional pizza operators. In some parts of the country, it is also sold at retail, but not widely so. In most cases, the cheeses at the retail level are either private branded or otherwise do not bear the Grande label. So the only way to know if it is Grande inside the package is to ask.
On the outside chance that I might be able to identify a source of the Grande product for you, this morning I called a food distributor, DiCarlo Food Service, an independent food distributor who services the NY metro area. They carry a lot of pizza ingredients and are located in Holtsville, NY, which I understand is in Long Island. They even have a website, at http://www.dicarlofood.com/
. When I called this morning, I was told that they have a cash-and-carry store next to their main facility, where individuals can purchase from among the items carried in the store. They do not carry everything listed at their website, only the most popular items. The store is open Monday through Saturday, from 8 AM to 5 PM. They take no checks but will take Visa and Master Charge for purchases in excess of $25. I was told that one should call them, at 631-758-6000, ext. 350, to inquire as to any particular product(s) and availability, and make any necessary pre-arrangements for pickup.
I spoke mostly to Gabe in the store. He told me that they do carry the Grande cheese, but only by the case, which constitutes several "bricks" weighing a total of 55 pounds. When I asked him if he could help me find a source of the cheese in smaller quantity, he suggested inquiring in local pizzerias that use the Grande and try to prevail upon them to sell in small amounts. He also indicated that they carry a DiCarlo whole-milk mozzarella cheese that they will sell in smaller amounts. I suspect this is the type of cheese they sell to pizza operators who do not wish to pay premium prices for Grande, especially when there are any number of local sources of mozzarella cheeses of acceptable quality with better pricing.
I was also interested to learn from Gabe that the store carries many other pizza ingredients and brands of interest to us as home pizza makers. They include the Escalon tomatoes (including 6-in-1s), and a good part of the Stanislaus line of tomatoes (7/11, Alta Cucina, etc.). These are sold by the can (#10) or by the case. They do not carry any DOP San Marzano tomatoes in the store but do carry a more generic San Marzano canned tomato. (The DiCarlo website, however, shows that they carry the Vantia DOP SMs; maybe they will sell it if specifically requested).
DiCarlo's also carries the Hormel brand pepperoni and their own house brand in sliced form in a 10-pound bag. When I asked about flours, I was told that they carry the All Trumps flour (a good high-gluten flour for use in the Lehmann or any other NY style dough recipe) and also the Caputo 00 flour. When I inquired whether the Caputo flour was in the 25 kilo bag (55 pounds), he said that it was in one-kilo bags with a blue label. I believe this is not the same Caputo 00 flour most of us have been using at this forum, but rather another "blue label" 00 Caputo flour that I have heard is being tested in the U.S. and is more like all-purpose flour. But don't quote me on that, since I may not have it right.
I did not inquire as to pricing. At this point I was just trying to scope out the operation to see if they have or do anything that might be of benefit to our members who live in the NY area and are looking for the best pizza ingredients. From what I can see at this point, it looks like one could make a killer Lehmann NY pie with just the ingredients from DiCarlo's. For those who are interested, my best advice is to call DiCarlo's and see what they have to offer and double check on all the groundrules relating to cash-and-carry purchase from them. It might also be useful to inquire whether they will sell stuff shown on their website but not carried in the store.