I currently use Grande Whole Milk Mozzarella Cheese but, through my current vendor, the cost has been around $3.25/per pound.
I am looking around, both in house and at other vendors, at ways of saving costs across the board. One of the most significant changes I found was moving my business over to PFG which everything is significantly cheaper (about 5 to 8 percent across the board).
They of course have not carried Grande for some time, but he is swearing by their Bacio cheese product which is about .70 per pound cheaper than my Grande. There are of course other options to look at, such as a Leprino QLC, and other whole milk, or whole milk part skim, products.
My questions does anyone use Bacio, or even better has anyone switched between Bacio and or Grande, and what were your thoughts?
You should just tell PFG that having a cheese that you feal works well for you product is incredibly important and that they need to give you a sample of cheese so you can do some taste testing. I have food reps coming in quite frequently trying to get me to switch cheeses and I usually do blind taste tests with my employees and cut the new cheese vs my current cheese. See what people think without any outside influence. As long as you or your guys can’t tell how Grande cooks then it should work for you.
We use Grande. Restaurant Depot built a warehouse near us and will not sell Grande. Salesman gave me a block of cheese to take and test. Claimed they taste tested and found no difference.
I walked into the shop one day and asked what was wrong with a pizza they had sitting on the table because didn’t look the best. They told me to try it, believe me it tasted horrible. It was Restaurant Depot cheese.
We recently switched away from our distributors private label after it had been cheapened and burnt every pizza. It was fine for years too. I’ve never had Grande but I can’t seem to find a reason why their pricing is such an outlier to others. We shred our own with a cheese hog and the block price we recently had was $1.80/LB. Its comparable to Sorrento Whole Milk Mozz. Grande for $3.25? No thanks
We use sorrento whole milk mixed with part skim. Tried grande 10x and can’t justify the cost difference. I can barley taste the difference. But bacio is nothing to rave about. Would rather use sorrento.
I started out wanting to use Grande. But found out PFG does not carry it. PFG is 2 miles from my store. I figured my first few months I would not be very good at ordering food, so I decided to go with PFG since I could just drive there and pick up what I was short. Which meant I had to start with Bacio. And turns out, I love it and so do my customers. Its creamy and does not burn or turn orange even though they cannot legally call it mozzarella (pizza Cheese). Now adays i also use US foods because of the price of boxes and stanislaus stuff. I decide to try a case of Grande and did not like it as much as Bacio. Me and my crew like the taste of Grande better raw but like Bacio better on pizza. Also Grande has 30 day shelf life, and Bacio has 90 day. The Grande USFoods sent me had 2 days left.
Can you get US Foods were you are, because Grande in Richmond Va through USF is only 2.32. Bacio is 2.41 but you get .07 back on a gift card.
Grande is a cheese that if youve used for some time everything else will seem inferior, They seem to be doing a great job making owners feel that way, I bought grande in the begining, then we switched to a 50/40/10 blen mozz,prov,cheddar. That im more satisfied with than Grande or Bacio. If youre getting samples defintly give that blend a shot
I grew up a few miles outside NYC in NJ and Grande has always been the staple. If you want to make an authentic NY pie it is the one. Mixing cheeses is more a Midwest/west thing. One thing about Grande is the cheese melt coverage is far superior to other cheeses and with a NY pie the toppings are sparse and a light amount of cheese will cover the pie so in the long run Grande can be as cheap or cheaper than other brands. It also resists browning when spread very thin. Walter
Regarding Walter’s comment above… Spoke with a dough guy this am and I mentioned what Walter said (though told to me by the Grande rep) regarding less cheese, better coverage, etc.
His reply (this morning) was “but why spend $1 to put 16 oz of cheese when you can spend .80 and put on 20 oz?”
His point (those are just representative numbers, by the way) was simply that he’d prefer to put more cheese on the pizza.
Not sure if/how taste factors into his argument.
I recently heard from John Arena of Metro Pizza, LV that it is now the direct competitor to Grande. I’ve tried it several times now and it is a great cheese. Melt, stretch and flavor are almost identical. Combine that with a light dusting of a sharp pecorino romano, applied before toppings, and it can’t be beat. Price per pound is around $2.25 right now.
I am big fan of blind taste test but I do not use employees. They are too familiar with the product. When we do blind tests we invite employees from the businesses around us to come in for free pizza. We generally can get at least 20 to come in. If testing cheese we only test plain cheese pies. Dough, sauce, cheese. No other toppings.
Over 19 years we have blind taste tested Grande three times. For an extra $40 per CASE I would have to have about 80% of taste testers prefer it! We generally test three cheeses at a time to see if there really is a dominant preference. The last time we did it was probably 4-5 years ago. Grande did not come in first and had less than 1/3 of the votes. Case closed for me.
Yeah, the only times Grande was anywhere was anywhere near being the winner in our tests was on a plain cheese pizza, as soon as topping were added it was all over the place.
Maybe if you have room you could have Grande for your plain cheese pizzas, and something less expensive for topped pizzas.
We did tests yesterday.
All cheese pies and the Grande Prov/Mozz did well.
But here’s my issue (add it to the others)… The Grande guy said with Grande the oz/pie is 1/2 the diameter, so an 18" pie would get 9 oz.
That seems odd to me- NINE oz on an 18" pizza? I don’t care how it melts.
Am I crazy?
The difference between shredded and diced make the amount of cheese you can/want to use very different. When we switched from diced to shredded we could easily have dropped about 3 to 4 oz per size and get the same look.
When people order Lite Cheese, i use half of the regular amount, when it comes out of the oven i can not tell until i cut the pizza. Because shredded melts more evenly over the pie, had we still be using diced you could quite easily tell.
*now i am assuming you are used to diced cheese and not shredded, but i haven’t worked at dominos for 20 years so they may have changed to shredded at some point