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Oct 1, 2012 04:05 PM

Mozzarella for pizza

I may have to give up making pizza for lack of cheese. It seems like in the olden days any mozzarella would give you a good stretchy and tasty cheese. Everything we get now is like pale Velveeta. The latest try was Cacique which turns out to be a Mexican cheese... Per their website it has "great string", not only would I say not great, I would say NONE.

Are there any national brands better than others? We live in the sticks and have little choice.

This was last nights dinner, I thought it came out nice and would have been very good if not for the sucky cheese.

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  1. We use Poly-O (or Sorrento if we must). Poly-O goes on sale here for 1/2 price every once in a while.
    Got 6 # s in the freezer now that Pizza season is here.

    4 Replies
    1. re: wavywok

      If I have to resort to supermarket cheese I use Polly-o. Whole milk please. Toss some coarsely grated parm on top before going into oven...

      1. re: King of Northern Blvd

        yesyesyes...WHOLE MILK only, I totally agree!

        1. re: King of Northern Blvd

          Here in the tri-state area (NY/NJ/CT) Poly-O and Sorrento seem to be the big name ones in pretty much all the stores. I use Poly-o on pizze as it DOES melt and gives me enough oven time so it doesn't brown (I really don't like browned -top pizza). I've tried using fresh, but the (yes, I'll say it) more rubbery Poly-O retains it's flavor better. Agreed +1 to whole milk!

        2. re: wavywok

          JOOC, how does the POLY-O freeze? I've never done it but at the prices stores are getting for it, I didn't want to ruin a whole pound.

        3. I think that Cook's Illustrated liked Kraft among supermarket mozzarellas.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Bada Bing

            ew, kraft? ~~ no way. they don't even make decent other cheeses.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              Kraft bought out Polly-o many years back, which is when it turned to garbage. Do they still make mozz under their own name too?

              1. re: coll

                my family used polly-o when i was a kid and it was pretty good. it's flavorless rubber now. it never occurred to me to buy kraft mozz -- i didn't even know they made it. their cheddar and stuff is so sub-par i don't bother wasting the money.

                am lucky to have access to italian markets and good cheese shops so i go there for most things.

                1. re: coll

                  I noticed that the quality of Polly-O declined into more like fake, tasteless cheese at some point many years ago. I couldn't put my finger on it and thought that it was just my imagination.

                  Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

                2. re: hotoynoodle

                  Yeah, I was surprised, too.

                  CI's favorite cheese was Sorrento Whole Milk, which is marketed as "Precious" out West, it says. Unfortunately for me, it is apparently not available in Northern Indiana supermarkets.

                  Kraft Part-Skim was second up, even beating out Sorrento's park-skim version. The only one not recommended was Sargento.

                  1. re: Bada Bing

                    um, ok, fwiw, sorrento sux. who is judging these cheeses for ci?

                    and anyway -- who puts mozz on pizza? really? i mean at home maybe, but not from a pizzeria...

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      ? What do your pizzerias put on pizza?

                      1. re: coll

                        sorry, got back too late -- i meant buffalo mozz. that's not a pizzeria thing.

                3. re: Bada Bing

                  CI bought Kraft mozzarella in block form and grated it, not the shredded stuff in the bags.

                  Kengk might want to try the block mozzarella in the deli case and break out the box grater.

                  If you're feeling deep you can buy the mozzarella in ball form that is found in gourmet groceries andethnicc markets. Its worth it for pizza Margherita but if you make American style pizza the other ingredients will overwhelm the cheese's delicate flavor.

                4. I live in the dairy state, so I can't imagine not having access to good cheese. Try something from Trader Joe's or Aldis's. Kraft would be on the bottom of my list.

                  1. Use whole milk mozz. For extra flavor and chewiness, mix half and half with muenster - the secret pizza weapon.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: sandylc

                      or provalone. costco sells a great local brand around here... (the shredded blend)

                      1. re: Chowrin

                        I feel vindicated - I thought my dad was the only person who did that!

                        1. re: happybaker

                          the moz/provalone blend is fab. I can't stand provalone straight (the northern italian style).

                          1. re: Chowrin


                            I have never tried a blend of the two. Definitely something to try for the next time!

                          2. re: happybaker

                            I think there's a St. Louis or maybe Quad-Cities style of pizza where Provolone is mandatory.

                            1. re: Bada Bing

                              In St. Louis it's something called Provel, which is some sort of hybridized cheese - a mix of cheddar, swiss, and provolone. I understand that you either LOVE it or HATE it.

                                1. re: sandylc

                                  OMG Provel is HORRIBLE - it's a processed, Cheddar-Swiss-Provolone FLAVORED cheese. It's soft like Monterey Jack but melts like Velveeta or American and is vaguely sweet and smoky. Truly awful, but Mr. Bionda (who is from St. Louis) LOVES it on STL style pizza.

                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                    I've heard this. Never tried it, myself!

                        2. Try cacciocavollo cheese, not smoked. It looks like a little Buddha and has a fantastic taste, similar to mozzarella.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: avallance

                            I wish I could find some without driving 30 miles! I have heard it described as similar to provolone