Even the word — mozzarella — is delicious. Just roll it around your mouth, let it dance about your tongue and finally just say it out loud. Pretty great, right? Of course, this word-play doesn’t replace the act of eating mozzarella. HG refers, of course, to fresh mozzarella (we won’t even discuss the highly processed Polly O type of packaged mozzarella). It is usually packed in water and best when made that day, but Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s actually sell pretty good mozzarella. TJ also sells buratta — a type of mozzarella with a liquid, creamy center. And, TJ also stocks the best — buffala mozzarella; a mozzarella made from water buffalo milk and imported from Italy. Pricey, but worth it for an occasional treat. HG has never liked smoked mozzarella. But, there’s an exception — the smoked mozzarella made at Joe’s Dairy at 150 Sullivan Street on the northern edge New York’s SOHO. Hand made fresh daily, this smoked mozzarella is smoky on the outside and deliciousy creamy on the inside. HG was introduced to this treat by HG’s distinguished son-in-law, Profesore/Dottore Massimo R. He placed the large, dun colored mozzarella on HG/BSK’s New Jersey kitchen counter. He suggested a taste (the intention was to serve it with lush Jersey tomatoes as a dinner appetizer). It was just too good. It was gone in a flash.
Another great place for fresh, hand made mozzarella is Belgiovine’s Italian Delicatessen on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, New Jersey. HG remembers with great joy, driving home with the warmth of a freshly made Belgiovine’s mozzerella radiating through the shopping bag and knowing that sun warmed Jersey tomatos and basil would be there on arrival. Belgiovine’s is also a source for outstanding Italian sausage, bread, ham, fresh and dried pasta. In Rome, HG and BSK discovered a restaurant that served only mozzarella. Awfully good cheese — but not better than Joe’s Dairy or Belgiovine’s.