Pizza Today - May 2020 - 33

T

HE BIRTH OF LOW
MOISTURE MOZZARELLA

In the 1930s,
Midwestern dairy
producers saw an
opportunity. Mozzarella had already
become a popular product but took
days to produce and lacked the shelf
life necessary for long distance shipping. The first step toward solving the
problem was achieved by increasing
the temperature at which the milk was
curdled, effectively drying the final
product. The Stella Cheese Company of Campbellsport, Wisconsin,
then developed a bacterial ratio that
decreased the curdling process from
three days to just one, which translated to major cost reduction. Compared with East Coast mozzarella, this
new variation was firmer, higher in fat
concentration and slightly yellow in
appearance. Cheese companies labeled
the new product Pizza Cheese, due
to its greatest source of demand, until
the FDA codified it as low moisture
mozzarella under its 1965 Standards
of Identity. Defined as a cheese with
no less than 45-percent milk fat and
between 45- and 52-percent moisture,
this is the mozzarella that accompanied pizza on its rise to popularity in
America.
While fresh mozzarella must be
torn or cut, low moisture mozzarella is
firm enough to be shredded, diced or
sliced. Each preparation lends itself to
specific uses in the pizzeria.
Shredded Mozzarella
The majority of American pizzerias
use shredded mozzarella because of
its convenience and consistency. Most
planetary dough mixers have built-in
attachment hubs for cheese shredders,
making it possible for operators to
convert a five-pound block into pizzaready shreds in seconds. The result is
easy to grab and distribute across the
pizza's surface.
According to Dr. Mali "The Cheese
King" Reddy, shredded mozzarella
provides the melt and pull characteris-

032_PIZ_0520_IKcheese.indd 33

tics we've come to expect from mainstream American pizza. Dr. Reddy has
consulted for the national chains, led
the research and development team
for Leprino Foods, writes for Cheese
Market News, and holds over 150 patents for his work in biology and dairy
science. He credits shredded mozzarella's interconnected casein network
for increasing stretch over other
preparation methods. As an added
benefit, shredded mozzarella produces
a more voluminous appearance than
its sliced counterpart because pieces
can interlink, leaving pockets of space
in between.
Those looking to save on prep
time and labor costs may opt for
pre-shredded mozzarella. The work is
already done and it even tends to be
more consistent than cheese shredded in-house. Since cheese purchased
pre-shredded is not used immediately
after processing, it often comes coated
in anti-caking agents. Starches and
cellulose are used to reduce clumping in the bag and to help the melted
cheese retain separation but may come
with side-effects like excess browning
and textural clutter. Some companies
have responded by developing preshredded products that don't contain
any anti-caking agents, instead using
gas to maintain each shred's independence.
"Pre-shredded cheese also tends to
be a younger cheese because the package it comes in is gas-flushed to slow
down the aging process," says Laura
Meyer, administrator and instructor at
the International School of Pizza in
San Francisco, California. "The block
is vacuum sealed (so it's) continuously
aging." She points out how aging
manifests itself visually, particularly at
slice shops where customers choose
by sight rather than item description.
"Younger cheese tends to not brown
quite as much. Having nice white
cheese that melts and re-melts well is
key."
Diced Mozzarella
Operators looking for an extreme

version of the benefits offered by
shredded mozzarella have the option
of diced mozzarella. Tiny beads of
cheese are even easier to spread and
provide operators with a degree of
control that's tough to achieve with
larger pieces. That control can lead
to huge savings in food cost. Audrey
Kelly, of Audrey Jane's Pizza Garage
in Boulder, Colorado, switched from
shredded to diced mozzarella after
noticing that her staff refused to use
portion control cups. "With the diced
(mozzarella), it is much harder to grab
with your hands so you are forced
to use the cups," she says. "You save
thousands of dollars a year by portioning out your cheese."
Diced and shredded mozzarella
part ways when it comes to melting characteristics. While shredded
mozzarella provides elasticity, diced
mozzarella does not. The small size of
diced mozzarella makes it unlikely to
fuse while melting, so it won't give you
the luxurious cheese pull exhibited by
shredded and sliced mozzarella.
If your operation is heavily
dependent on delivery, diced mozzarella may be your Holy Grail. As Dr.
Reddy points out, "diced mozzarella
is the best choice for delivery pizza,'"
because it allows for fast moisture
release, whereas other preparation
methods can prevent moisture from
escaping before being trapped inside a
pizza box.
Sliced Mozzarella
The pizza industry is seeing an
increase in demand for sliced mozzarella thanks to the rising popularity
of styles that apply sauce on top of
cheese. Grandma pizza, upside-down
Sicilian, Detroit style and Chicago
deep dish all benefit from a layer of
cheese to serve as a barrier between
crust and sauce. Many makers of these
styles prefer sliced mozzarella because
it provides a solid surface upon which
sauce can be easily spread. Some of
the most famous pizzerias in New
York City, such as John's of Bleecker
Street, Arturo's of Greenwich Vil-

4/6/20 9:18 AM



Pizza Today - May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - May 2020

Pizza Today - May 2020
Commentary
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Meet The Makers
Conversation
Man On The Street
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead To Know
Destinations
workplace violence
Mozz: slice, shred or dice
Build a pizza using the five tastes
The neapolitan way on any style
Ada online
New horizons
Product showcase
Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - May 2020 - CT1
Pizza Today - May 2020 - CT2
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Pizza Today - May 2020
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Cover2
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Commentary
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 4
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 5
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 6
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 7
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Contributors
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 9
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 11
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Meet The Makers
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 13
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Conversation
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 15
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Man On The Street
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 17
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 19
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Knead To Know
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 21
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 22
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 23
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Destinations
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 25
Pizza Today - May 2020 - workplace violence
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 27
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 28
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 29
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 30
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 31
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Mozz: slice, shred or dice
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 33
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 34
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 35
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Build a pizza using the five tastes
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 37
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 38
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 39
Pizza Today - May 2020 - The neapolitan way on any style
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 41
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 42
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 43
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Ada online
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 45
Pizza Today - May 2020 - New horizons
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 47
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 48
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 49
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Product showcase
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 51
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 53
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 54
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 55
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 56
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 57
Pizza Today - May 2020 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 59
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 60
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 61
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 62
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 63
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 64
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 65
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 66
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Cover4
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