Late summer is a great time of year, tomatoes are in abundance and they’re bursting with flavor. For lunch, I dream of a large plate of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and a good olive oil. But have you noticed that not all mozzarella is the same? Some are just tasteless.
I’m lucky, I’ve been going to Red Horse Market in East Hampton, where Chef Pasquale Langella makes mozzarella fresh every day.
People line up to buy the mozzarella while it’s still warm. When you cut this mozzarella, milky cream oozes all over the cutting board. The flavor is intense;and there’s a tang that will make your heart sing.
Why is this mozzarella so good? It’s a combination of ingredients and technique. Chef Pasquale grew up outside Naples, and has been making mozzarella for 41 years. As he works the cheese, you can see the steam rising from the bowl. Note that the temperature of the liquid reaches 150 degrees, compared to many recipes that only go to 105. The chef says this is where experience helps, because if the liquid gets too hot it will ruin the mozzarella.
Stretching the Mozzarella
But don’t worry, you don’t need to burn your hands making mozzarella, just drive down Montauk Highway and pick some up from Chef Pasquale.