Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 8:12AM
Today we bring you a comparison review. Since it is still pizza month and we like to stress using fresh ingredients on pizza, we bring you a review and comparison of three hunks of mozz (muzz) from three different places.
From left to right we have pictured mozzarella from:
1. Fiore's Deli in Hoboken, NJ
2. Eataly in New York City's Flatiron District
3. Lisa's Deli in Hoboken, NJ
First, we would like to say that this is obviously not an exhaustive list of possible places to purchase fresh mozz. What about the Bronx? What about Little Italy? And so on....We will just say this: we know. We thought we'd start small. An intro, if you will, into the world of comparison tasting, with a few easily accessible candidates.
So, without further ado, here are our thoughts:
1. Fiore's: This rendition was very tasty. It was lightly salted, which gave the cheese more flavor overall. It was not overpowering, but just right. Compared to the other two, it was a denser cheese. The color was also darker, an off-white instead of a bright white. I'm not really sure what that means, but I just thought it should be noted. This would be a great cheese to put on a Margherita pizza, as you wouldn't have to add any salt. The flavor from the mozzarella would be all the seasoning you would need (excepting basil).
2. Eataly: This version was fairly bland in taste. It was unsalted. The texture was milkier, and it was definitely the softest of the bunch. This may have been because, while the other two were removed from their watery holding pens when I purchased them (many times fresh mozzarella is packed in water until it is ready to be used), this one came with its own little portable aquarium (tupperware container filled with water). We liked this softer texture, but weren't blown away by flavor. This would be an excellent cheese to use on a pizza that had flavor from other toppings - pancetta or a similar meat for example.
3. Lisa's Deli: This little one was also unsalted, and had a texutre somewhere in the middle of the other two in terms of softness....not too soft, not too firm, but juuuuuuust right. However, it didn't pack a whole lot of punch in terms of flavor. This would be a nice mozzarella to use for a Caprese salad: sliced tomatoes placed on top of slices of cheese, crowned with a few basil leaves, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.
So instead of declaring a winner from these three, we feel like they all have their strengths and are appropriate for different uses. We are going to keep looking for THE mozzarella, though, so if you have a suggestion for one you would like us to try, please leave it in the comments section. Also, if any of you would like some mozzarella, I have a TON of it in my fridge right now. I think I was a little overzealous in my cheese purchasing.
* Disclaimer: The funny faces drawn on the cheeses in no way represent any real or actual person. I just thought it would be funny to give cheese faces that kind of look like gangsters. But not real gangsters. Just imaginary cheesey ones.