Mozzarella rolls from Mozzarella Company. The rolls are available in Basil Pesto, Green Olive, Jalapeño Chile, Prosciutto and Sundried Tomato. Photo courtesy of Mozzarella Company.
STEPHANIE ZONIS focuses on good foods and the people who produce them.
Updated September 2009
Page 5: Artisan Mozzarella Producers
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Well-made mozzarella is a joy. With just a bit of looking around, you can break free of the industrialized, boring pretender that goes by the same name, and try some of the genuine article. I promise you, it will be worth any extra effort.
American Artisan Producers/Vendors Of Mozzarella
The following is a list of mozzarella producers, suppliers, or supplies. This is a random national list, and it doesn’t take into account any local producers. I strongly urge you to look for such producers, especially if you live in or near a community with a large Italian population. Look at cheese stores, specialty food markets, and ask at your local Italian restaurants—they’ll know for sure who’s making mozzarella. A locally-made mozzarella will always be fresher (and therefore, better) than anything you purchase online.
I have not tried products from most of these companies, but where I have, that is so indicated.
- Bubalus Bubalis. This is the Latin name for the water buffalo. The firm is one of the two companies in the U.S. producing real mozzarella di bufala, as well as provoletta and scamorza.
- Ideal Cheese. This cheese store sells mozzarella di bufala and burrata (both imported from Italy), as well as fresh and smoked mozzarella produced in the U.S.
- IGourmet. The largest e-tailer of fine cheeses. Do a search for mozzarella; you’ll come up with a number of different choices.
- Maplebrook Mountain. The company makes mozzarella and a very limited amount of smoked mozzarella. The cheesemakers buy their curd from a supplier in Wisconsin. That’s enough to cause most purists to frown, but their attitude just means there will be more for me. Delicate, sweet, supple, a trifle briny, and good enough to bring tears of joy to my eyes. The product that made me decide I needed to write this article. At present, available only on the East Coast.
- Mozzarella Company. Headed by Paula Lambert, one of America’s most celebrated cheesemakers, the company sells delicious fresh mozzarella, mozzarella curd, smoked mozzarella, scamorza (defined by this company as an aged mozzarella that’s been smoked, with a denser and slightly firmer texture than fresh mozzarella), a mozzarella that’s a 50%-50% blend of cow’s and goat’s milk, and oaxaca. The company also makes mozzarella rolls (see photo at top of page). Mozzarella Company is a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week; read our full review.
- Mozzarella Fresca. This mozzarella is a NIBBLE Top Pick of the Week (read the review). The company makes fresh and smoked mozzarella (the water-packed is as close as you’ll get to fresh-made), divine ricotta and mascarpone, and a heavenly product called Dolce, which is mascarpone mixed with Caramel Sin. There’s no online ordering, but there’s a store locator on the website. The company private-labels for Trader Joe’s.
- Murray’s Cheese. This top New York City cheese shop sells fresh and smoked mozzarella, as well as domestic and imported varieties.
- Bufala Di Vermont. This company used to be called “Star Hill Dairy” and Woodstock Water Buffalo Company. It’s the other producer of authentic mozzarella di bufala in the U.S., though it can be hard to find. Better known for their very good buffalo milk yogurt. Read our review.
I am indebted to Tom Pedersen and especially to Carmine Chirico for their help with this article. Mr. Chirico has been making fresh mozzarella since he was a young teenager living in The Bronx (he insists that the real “Little Italy” in New York City is located in The Bronx, not in Lower Manhattan). He’s currently passing on his knowledge to the folks at Central Market in Austin, Texas. His next venture will be Harmoni Artisan Market in Orlando, Florida.
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