This is an excellent informational page about all of the cheeses related to pizza. I don’t know of any better, more concise, but essentially complete resource.
http://www.correllconcepts.com/Encyclop … c533730609
MILKFAT CONTENT. Mozzarella varies widely in milkfat content. For example, the amount of fat in low-moisture, part-skim can range from 30 to 45 percent milkfat-in-solids.
To confuse matters, the label on part-skim mozzaÂrella often indicates the type of milk used in making the cheese. Examples would be â€œ1-1/2 percent part-skim mozÂzarellaâ€ and â€œ2 percent part-skim mozzaÂrella.â€ Logically, a buyer would assume that the product labeled â€œ2 percentâ€ would have more fat than that labeled â€œ1-1/2 percent,â€ since 2 percent skim milk has more fat than 1-1/2 percent skim. But thatâ€™s not necessarily true. The reason is, a cheese-maker might start with milk containing 2 percent milkfat and then skim it down to 1-1/2 percent during the cheese-making process, or might even add milkfat for purposes of reducing product cost. So instead of focusing on whether the label says â€œpart-skimâ€ or â€œwhole milk,â€ itâ€™s better to be concerned with the percent of milkfat in the cheese. To accurately compare two brands of mozzarÂella, get the specification sheet for the product and donâ€™t go by the brand or whatâ€™s written on the label.
Even within a given brand, the percent of milkfat might vary over time as the economics of cheese-making change. For example, years ago there was strong government price support for butter. This resulted in a dairy being able to sell butter at a higher price than mozzarella. So to maximize profitability cheese-makers would skim as much fat from the milk as allowed by the spec before making the milk into cheese. This resulted in part-skim mozzarella having a fat content at the low end of the allowable specification. For instance, if the spec called for a milkfat-in-solids range of 33 to 39 percent, the cheese-maker produced cheese with close to 33 percent fat.
Today, however, with lower price support by the government, butter sells for less than mozzarella. So a cheese-maker can earn more profit by keeping the milkÂfat in the cheese rather than by skimming it off and sellÂing it for butter. Using the previous example, the manuÂfacturer would now produce a mozzarella with milkfat at the upper end of the specification, or 39 percent fat. A cheese with 39 percent fat will bake up differently than one with 33 percent. Of course, the product label would be the same, so the pizzeria owner would have no way of knowing that the product is changing. Again, obtain a spec sheet for the product and, when comparing brands of mozzarella, find out exactly what the moisture and milkfat percents are. Otherwise you might end up comparing â€œapples to oranges,â€ as the saying goes.
In summary, higher fat mozzarella has a soft, pasty texture in both unbaked and baked forms. It oils-off excessively during baking and has poor stretch. It tends to blend with the sauce, forming â€œsauce holes,â€ or spots where the sauce oozes through the cheese. Finally, when it cools on the pizza it takes on a transparent look, which many pizza-eaters equate with â€œcold, dried out pizza.â€
Whole Milk vs. Part-Skim
REMEMBER: When we speak of mozzarella in this chapter weâ€™re referring to the low-moisture types even though we may not include the words â€œlow-moisture.â€
A long-time debate in pizza circles concerns the merits of low-moisture whole milk mozzarella vs. low-moisÂture part-skim. Thereâ€™s no one right answer to the debate. Each of the two types has advanÂtages and drawbacks. You should select the one that best fits your situation and priorities. In summary, hereâ€™s how they compare.
PRICE. At one time part-skim was cheaper than whole milk mozzarella. This was during a time of strong government price support for butterâ€”which enabled a dairy to sell milkfat (i.e., butterfat) at a higher price than mozzarella. Skimming the fat from milk and sellÂing it to the government enabled cheese-makers to sell part-skim mozzarella at a lower price than whole milk cheese. Today, however, with dropping government price support the part-skim variety enjoys little or no price advantage.
CURING SPEED. The higher the milkfat content, the faster the rate of curing. So whole milk mozzaÂrella tends to age more quickly than does part-skim. This results in a shorter usage window, or shorter time when cheese quality is at its optimum. When it over-ages it becomes mushy and diffÂicult to shred or chop.
MELT. Whole milk mozzarella might melt a little more quickly than does part-skim but, basically, given cheese of similar moisture content and age, there might not be a large difference.
BROWNING. Some experts say that whole milk mozzaÂrella browns a little more than does part-skim. Others say that part-skim browns more than does whole milk. To conÂfuse matters even more, a university test showed little difference. The authorâ€™s experience is that, everyÂthing else being equal, the lower fat (i.e., part-skim) cheese will brown more than the higher fat cheese.
However, other factors affect browning more than fat level. The main factor affecting browning is the lactose (i.e., milk sugar) level of the cheese and also, to a lesser extent, the protein content. The more lactose and proÂtein, the greater the browning. Other factors are age and salt content. Under-aged or young mozzarella doesnâ€™t melt well and browns with a dry appearance. Some people say that over-age mozzaÂrella browns less but, once again, the same university test showed little differÂence in browning with cheese age. Also, when salt conÂtent is too high, cheese tends to form little black burnt spots. Finally, freezing block cheese in a pizzeria can cause excesÂsive browning in baking.
Itâ€™s worth noting that the desire for cheese browning varies among pizzerias. In a survey done several years ago, 55 percent of pizzeria operators wanted cheese to brown slightly, while 45 percent wanted no browning.
STRETCH. Stretch is a function of milk protein and how it was developed (i.e., kneaded) during cheese manufacture. Since protein content is similar thereâ€™s little difference in stretch between whole milk and part-skim. However, if pressed to find a difference, part-skim probably has a little more stretch.
TEXTURE. Because of its higher oil content, whole milk mozzarella has a softer texture. Conversely, part-skim has a chewier texture.
FLAVOR. Because of the greater amount of milkfat, whole milk mozzarella will have a slightly creamier flavor. Also, it develops a stronger flavor during aging.
â€œCOVERAGE.â€ The ability of cheese to provide a full, yellow color after baking is referred to as â€œcoverage.â€ Because of its higher oil content, whole milk mozzarella has a more transparent appearance on baked pizza. For that reason some pizzeria owners feel they need to use more of it to achieve coverage. In short, part-skim mozzarella provides slightly better coverage than does whole milk.
HOLDING ABILITY. For pizzerias that deliver pizza or hold it in a warming cabinet, how baked cheese holds up under warm conditions is important. Whole milk mozÂzarella, because of its higher fat content, will stay gooey just slightly longer than part-skim. However it tends to take on a transparÂent look more quickly than part-skim. For this reason, carry-out and delivery operÂations, as well as pizza buffets, often opt for part-skim because it retains a full, yellow color for a longer time.
Also important to holding ability is the age of the cheese. Under-age cheese congeals very quickly in a warmer, or hot holding cabinet. Other imporÂtant factors are baking time and temÂperature, amount of cheese used, and temperature and humidity of the holding cabinet.
OIL-OFF. Because of its higher fat content, whole milk mozzarella will oil-off more than part-skim. Oiling-off increases with the age of cheese. Oily appearÂance is also a function of fatty toppings.
PROCESSABILITY. An important aspect of mozzaÂrella is how easily it slices, shreds, or chops. The firmer it is, the easier it is to process. Generally speaking, whole milk mozzarella is softer than part-skim, so itâ€™s often a bit more difficult to process. Also, because whole milk cheese ages faster it gets mushier faster than does part-skim.
If that does not answer your question, please click the link for much more details.
This is just a tiny part of some very well written material. I strongly suggest that anyone who has questions about cheese used on pizza read this first. If anyone is aware of an even better resource, I hope you can share the link with us all here.
Hope it helps!