Good Taste: Mozzarella magic

Valley Shepherd Creamery's fresh mozzarella. DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer
Valley Shepherd Creamery's fresh mozzarella. DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer
Posted: January 31, 2013

Valley Shepherd Creamery's recent arrival in the Reading Terminal Market is cause for celebration for lovers of the Central Jersey farm's cave-aged sheep and cow's milk cheeses (Valley Thunder, Crema de Blue), not to mention the indulgent grilled cheeses from its Meltkraft sandwich counter.

But the greatest reason to visit so far is the fresh mozzarella cheesemaker Jamie Png crafts twice daily. Made from shredded curds that are melted, pulled and braided, it's a revelation to anyone who's only tasted bouncy store-bought mozza.

The texture has a distinctive snap, and there is a sublime sweetness from the butterfat of a just-made cheese that dulls the minute it hits refrigeration. So these braids are brined, never chilled. And I'm betting you'll devour this cheese before it ever reaches your fridge.

- Craig LaBan

Fresh mozzarella, $8.99 a pound, Valley Shepherd Creamery, Reading Terminal Market, 267-639-3309.

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