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Lester 07-08-2006 09:43 AM

Is there something wrong with me if I think the 100% whole milk mozzarella was tastier than the Mozzarella fresca that was packed in water? I used both of several pizzas last weekend and thought the 100% melted more evenly and had more flavor. Did I do something wrong? What is the difference between the two?

vitoduke 07-08-2006 12:51 PM

Hi Lester---I've been using whole milk Polly-O Mozzarella on my N.Y. style pizza and I also like it more. I guess it's a matter of taste. It is also stringy as you take a bite out of the slice, just as the cheese was growing up in Brooklyn {N.Y.}---Mel

Burntroof ofmouth 09-02-2006 06:13 PM

Hmm after reading a few posts i was gona try fresh mozz, cause were i live in new york, i live like 5-10 mins from like, 8 diffent italian stores, were fresh mozz is in abundance, tho i em so used to polly-o .Guess ill try both, me and my father always used the polly-o and no frills when making ,do to growing up on a union construction workers salary .

Fio 09-02-2006 10:18 PM

I'm no expert, but. . .
Fresh Mozz is essentially a large curd that has not been aged. It is packed in water and is a very fresh cheese.

"Regular" mozz is taken from the water and aged. AFAIK, the aging process removes moisture and allows secondary flavors to develop.

They are two different animals entirely. Fresh mozz, esp. Fior de latte or mozzarella de bufala, is used for the Italian-style pizza Napoletana. The Napoletana style is minimalist to an extreme, and relies on delicate flavors in harmony. That's why dough and ingredients are crucial. If you can taste the delicate flavor of the fresh mozz, and if it's in harmony with the tomatoes, basil and the crust, you're in heaven.

"Regular" mozz, including whole milk, low moisture (i.e Grande, Stella, Sorrento, or Polly-O) is used for American-style pizza, namely NY-style. The American style is "more" of everything, and relies on heavily-spiced sauces and an abundance of toppings. There is "more" cheese, and it has a stronger flavor. Fresh mozz on an "American" pizza would be overwhelmed by everything else.

One more thing: When using fresh mozz, be sure to slice it and drain it on paper towels for a couple hours before putting it on a pizza. Excess moisture in fresh mozz will render it into ricotta on a cooked pizza.

Hope that helps.

- Fio

texassourdough 12-13-2006 08:12 AM

Making Your Own Mutz
If you really want to up it a notch you can buy mozzarella curd (Polly-O is a big supplier) and make your own! It costs about $5 a pound and can be bought in 1 to 3 pound increments at various etailers but typically comes in 20 pound packages if you want a bunch. It only takes ten minutes to make it and it is better IMO than what you can buy at the store in the water. Also opens up the opportunity to do things like make a mozzarella log with proscuitto and pesto in the center!!! I haven't tried that as a topping yet but I will soon!

One last comment, curd freezes well and can be thawed with only minimal degradation from the fresh.

james 12-13-2006 11:58 AM

Do you have any photos of the Polly-O, or the process. I would like to see that. Can we put a photo journal together on how you make it. All we need is photos!

Living in the land of fresh mozzarella, it's hard to think about bad mozzarella. Ouch. :( I like a moist pizza, so I am happy to tear fresh mozzarella into pieces and put it right on my pizza. Our local restaurant lists a standard Margherita, a fior di latte Margherita, and a mozzarella di bufala Margherita. The waiter (who is great) says "normale o bufala". You can definitely taste the difference -- all other things being equal, and the oven is wood-fired, you can taste the stronger cheese.

Still, as Fio has noted -- these pizzas are lighter than NY-style pizza. Fio, what is a good NY-style Mozzella? How does it work in your oven for melting, moisture, etc.?

I am looking forward to hearing more about Polly-0 and good NY-style mozzarella.

tommy5 12-14-2006 07:41 AM

if you live in ny and want something that is right between polly o and fresh, there is a place on 187 th street in the bronx, ( arthur ave. ) called casa del mozzarella. they make a dried fresher mozzarella.

james 12-15-2006 09:26 AM

Homemade or imported?
Is their cheese imported or do they make it? Or have they found a good U.S. producer?

Living on the east coast, and a little more urban, has the advantage of having more Italian deli's. Definitely more than Sonoma country.


tommy5 12-15-2006 05:53 PM

they make it right there, you can watch thru the window. when i am there i always buy a hunk to eat as i walk the avenue

texassourdough 12-19-2006 07:26 AM

Making Mutz
Hi James and All!

I will put together some pictures. Making mutz from curd is pretty cool. Only takes about ten minutes and the result is REALLY good cows milk mutz (assuming you are using PollyO curd).

I first made mutz from curd at a cooking school in October where we formed sheets out of the hot cheese, put prosciutto on the sheet and covered that with pesto, rolled it into a log and chilled it. At the school we sliced it into rounds and put the rounds on our mesclun salad.

HOWEVER, I can't wait to make a log and use it in the place of mutz on a simple pizza - essentially a dressed up margharita. Imagine the possibilities!

I will probably make mutz next week and will put together photos and a general recipe/how to.

Happy Holidays!

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