The Best Mozzarella for Pizza

We worked our way through pounds and pounds of mozzarella for this issue, including authentic mozzarella di bufala from Italy; the milky, creamy fior di latte praised by pizzaioli in Naples; and cows’ milk mozzarellas made in the U.S. Some were sturdy and smoky; others ethereal globes in saltwater brine. All brought wonderful textures and flavors to our pizzas. Here are 12 of our favorites.

Galbani Mozzarella Fresca

Supremely oozy, smooth, and elastic when melted, this salty cheese is perfect for calzones. Galbani Mozzarella Fresca, $6 a pound contact Lactalis Deli, Inc. at 800/699-2701

Via Roma Fresh Mozzarella

Ball Heavy cream makes this cows’ milk mozzarella a decadent pizza topping. Via Roma Mozzarella Ball, $7 a pound at

Polly-O Whole Milk Mozzarella

A semifirm aged mozzarella, perfect for shredding. Melts with a chewy snap. Polly-O Whole Milk Mozzarella, $6 a pound at

Lioni Latticini Fresh Mozzarella

This cows’ milk cheese has a briny tang that shines atop pizza margherita. Lioni Latticini Fresh Mozzarella, $9 a pound, contact Lioni Latticini, Inc. at

Caseificio Andriese Fiordilatte

Textbook cows’ milk mozzarella from Italy has a mild flavor and even melt. Caseificio Andriese Fiordilatte $19 for a 250-gram 2-pack at

Ovoli Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese

A luscious foundation for rich toppings like pistachio pesto and mortadella. Ovoli Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese, contact Anna Sodano at Orlando Food Service 201/368-9197,

Lioni Latticini Natural Smoked Mozzarella

Subtle, and smoky, it’s perfect in frittatine, creamy pasta fritters. Whole Foods Lioni Smoked Mozzarella from Whole Foods Market, $10 a pound at

Whole Foods Market Fresh Mozzarella Ball

Drier than most, this dependable cheese melts into even, gooey strands. Fresh mozzarella from Whole Foods Markets across the country, $10 a pound at

Calabro Whole Milk Mozzarella

Semifirm aged mozzarella that shreds easily and boasts an elastic stretch. Calabro Whole Milk Mozzarella, $7 a pound, contact Calabro Cheese to find a retailer near you at 203/469-1311

BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella

Fresh and mild with a clean, grassy flavor; a versatile topping for all kinds of pizzas. BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella, $12 a pound at

Antichi Sapori Mozzarella di Bufala Campana

This Italian import has a custardy body and melts like a dream atop a pie. Antichi Sapori Buffalo Mozzarella, $18 a pound at

Agricola Casearia Lupara SRL Smoked Buffalo Mozzarella

A meaty, smoky cheese; great on the Montanara Starita pizza. Agricola Casearia Lupara Smoked Buffalo Mozzarella, contact Anna Sodano at Orlando Food Service 201/368-9197,

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