I have finally found a cheese which is perfect for me: Polly-O's Fresh Mozzarella.
I know, I know, conventional wisdom is Polly-O can't make a great cheese. I used to think that way too until tonight. Best of all, it's available at Sam's Club for dirt cheap. It comes in log form which weighs 32oz. It isn't the typical yellowish Polly-O cheese that I've bought in the past and hated. It isn't swamped in a pool of water like most fresh mozzarella.
It is very white, nearly dry and bursting with flavor. It is the best tasting, best melting, best slicing cheese I have ever bought. It is simply the closest cheese I have ever tasted to Patsy's & Grimaldi's. In fact, when sliced at the proper thickness, it is identical visually and taste wise.
Recently, I have bought the most expensive full fat mozzarella available, Grande, only to be mildly disappointed. While it tasted okay (but nothing like what the best of NY has to offer), you couldn't slice it razor thin like Polly-O's Fresh Mozzarella and it did tend to pool quite a bit. All in all, for $4/lb Grande isn't that special. Creamy smooth yes, but not NY special.
Polly-O's Fresh Mozzarella was a relevation at around $5 for 2 pounds. I can truthfully say that tonight's pie was the closest yet to a real NY style pie. I've been awfully close crust wise, although I'm sure Jeff's starter could help get me to the final level. Previously I had no idea how much to the overall taste of a pie cheese contributed until tonight.
I will make a pie tomorrow and take pictures to share my happiness...