Some quotes come up in the food-writing business all the time. Like,
“I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.” W.C. Fields
“Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” Mark Twain
“Cheese is milk’s leap toward immortality.” Clifton Fadiman
I think of the Fadiman phrase every time I eat fresh mozzarella, because this cheese is a failed leap toward immortality. Mozzarella is barely a step, hardly a leap, away from milk, and it’s highly perishable, hardly immortal.
The mozzarella made south of Naples from water buffalo milk is probably the best in the world. But since freshness is key, the mozzarella you just pulled from its water bath might be the best available—it will be made from cow’s milk and called fior de latte. More and more delis, groceries, specialty food shops and even restaurants in Salt Lake City make their own mozzarella, though, so always ask before you buy.
The mozzarella on most commercial pizza is different, it’s older and dryer, so it melts differently. Fresh mozzarella on pizza with fresh tomatoes and basil is a summer dream dish. But try it with other fresh herbs and with fruit. Mild and milky mozzarella is also a great breakfast cheese.
If you want to learn how to make mozzarella at home, keep an eye on Harmons’ stores’ cooking class schedule—mozzarella-making shows up from time to time. harmonsgrocery.com