In my neck of the woods it's always been either the oil based fake mozzarella on commercial pizzas or the supposed version sold at the grocery store. Those blocks sold at the store are hard, without texture, filled with added mystery ingredients and tasteless. I believe the most important aspect most folks here want to see out that cheese is the string quality, not the taste or ingredient quality.
How about those scary fried cheese sticks provided for free with any order of stuffed crust cheese pizza? Yes, let's order a cheese pizza, with even the crust stuffed with cheese and then gorge on a box filled with fried cheese sticks. Oh wait! It's not cheese really, it's a processed petroleum product. Yum... Hold on. I need to take some aspirin and a couple of Lipitors first. Let me down those pills with the liter of cola that came with the pizza order.
Where was I going with this? It's been a while since I've had a quality rant. Sorry.
I was actually headed in a more positive direction. Chris had to work last Saturday and just happened to be near our favorite food store - Whole Foods. I had mentioned that I wanted to make some pizzas and he thought it would be great to pick up some fresh made Buffalo Mozzarella while he was there.
It was a brilliant idea! The cheese was locally made, all wrapped up in a ball and tasted dreamy. It had a great texture too. We couldn't believe the difference in taste and quality. I decided to attempt a Margherita pizza. It ended up being the best tasting pizza I have made so far. Funny thing being it had the least ingredients. I admit I did cheat on the crust. I purchased pre made pizza dough (Janet, you have my permission to slap me next time I see you), let it rest an hour, shaped it, then topped it with some simple red sauce I made. The sauce was 4 cloves of garlic chopped and then heated in a little olive oil, added some crushed tomatoes and a little dried oregano and simmered for a bit.
For the pizza I rubbed the outside crust with olive oil, spooned on the sauce, placed four large slices of cheese (about 1/4 inch thick) on the pizza and baked. Once done I sprinkled on some fresh basil. This pizza was what dreams are made of. The cheese tasted great uncooked, but had an incredible flavor cooked. An awakening in flavor. Totally a universe apart from regular grocery store purchased shredded mozzarella. You have to make it yourself to understand.I will never forget the look on Chris's face after his first taste.
Makes me wonder what else are we are missing out on? I learned what good olive oil was supposed to taste like, good balsamic vinegar and now this. I can't wait to find out what else we can learn about in the food world.Bella enjoyed some homemade pizza too. She made her own. She likes just plain cheese pizza.
Happy Mr. Picky here still won't try pizza. We've tried, nothing yet. He'll figure it out someday.