The third of the First Ladies of Cheese whom I met at the Fancy Food Show in San Diego last week was the Paula Lambert, esteemed in the craft of mozzarella-making.
Never will you meet someone so positive, so cheerful and so experienced, all rolled up into one. Despite the fast-paced environment filled with throngs of people (thousands to be not-so-exact), I wanted to linger at her booth, noshing on cheese and listening her talk about just about anything.
Paula's Mozzarella Company was started in 1982 upon her return from time in Perugia, Italy, when she realized she couldn't get the same luscious mozzarella in the states that she had fallen in love with during her time abroad.
And to some extent, this is still true. Very little of the mozzarella available in the US is true, fresh mozzarella. The good stuff is extremely perishable, which is why Paula's cheeses aren't for sale at every corner shop. Click here for a list of stores, mostly in Texas (but a few elsewhere including New York and California), carrying Mozzarella Company cheeses.
The company's website lists many recipes for
use with their cheeses, although I wouldn't hesitate to try any you can get your hands on straight up. The Mozzarella Company branched out from pure, unadulterated mozzarella years ago, and now features other fresh cheeses like fromage blanc, herbed goat cheese logs, and ricotta, to name just a few.
If you can't find her cheeses, you can start infusing yourself with her spirit by watching Paula wax poetic on YouTube, and by checking out one of her books: the classic The Cheese Lover's Cookbook and Guide, or her new book Cheese, Glorious Cheese.