Top Pick Of The Week

October 31, 2006
Updated March 2009

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Texas Sampler
Mozzarella Company makes 35 artisan cheeses.The selection above, Smoked Scamorza, Basil Caciotta and Ancho Chile Caciotta, can be purchased as the Texas Sampler.
WHAT IT IS: Artisan Italian-style, Mexican and other cheeses, made in Dallas, Texas.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Classic styles with a fresh point-of-view and some innovative spins.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Palate-dazzling flavors that remain in memory years after the cheese has been tasted. It’s the reason these cheeses have been winning awards for 20 years.

Mozzarella Company:
Much More Than Mozzarella

CAPSULE REPORT: America has its great cheesemakers, but there is only one Paula Lambert. The story of how she started Mozzarella Company in 1982 and created the market for artisan Italian cheeses in Dallas is now legend in the specialty food industry. But before we knew about the lady or the legend, we happened to taste the cheeses and we knew one thing: they were like nothing else we had ever tasted. Each cheese is more eye-opening than the next. If a fine tailor is an artisan who makes a quality suit, then Paula Lambert is Dolce & Gabbana. Her cheeses are grounded in classic technique, but each has a special flare that makes it memorable.

Mozzarella Company’s cheeses have won awards at the annual American Cheese Society competition every year since they were first entered, in 1985, and are clamored-for by a national audience of fans. You can have them express-delivered; and Paula’s book on cooking with cheese is a must-have for any cheese-lover. Read the full review below.

Learn More About Cheese

Cheese-A Connoisseur's Guide French Cheese The Cheese Plate
Cheese: A Connoisseur’s Guide to The World’s Best, by Max McCalman. Maître Fromager McCalman profiles 200 of the world’s very best cheeses from A (Aarauer Bierdeckel) to Z (Zamorano). A wonderful book, complete with all the practical information and fascinating details a connoisseur could want. Click here for more information or to purchase. French Cheese, by D.K. Publishing. The French are perhaps more serious about their cheese than anyone—and they make 247 different ones. This highly informative reference provides the history and essential information on each, as well as advice on what wine to drink with it. The next time you look at a display of cheese, you’ll be able to call the French ones by name. Click here for more information or to purchase. The Cheese Plate, by Max McCalman. Dean of Curriculum and Maître Fromager at Artisanal Premium Cheese Center and School in New York City, McCalman has produced a wonderful book. It includes perhaps the best-published information about pairing cheese and wine. Click here for more information or to purchase.

Much More Than Mozzarella: Mozzarella Company


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How a world-class artisan cheese company ended up in Dallas—in an artists’ neighborhood known for its music clubs—is a journey. While vacationing in Italy 25 years ago, Paula Lambert grew so enamored of the fresh Mozzarella served to her that she knew the only way to enjoy it upon her return was to make it herself—there was no fresh Italian cheese in Dallas in 1981. She stayed in Italy to study Mozzarella-making with a local cheesemaker, found a university professor who taught cheesemaking to be her consultant, and returned to Dallas to wend her way through local and federal government regulations so she could open a small specialty cheese factory. She was convinced that if she could make a good product, she could create a market for it.

Soon, not just Mozzarella but Caciotta, Crescenza, Mascarpone, Ricotta and Scamorza were streaming forth. There were a few years of struggle in a marketplace that didn’t understand fine Italian cheeses...and then the national awards started to come in. Today in Deep Ellum, a neighborhood on the eastern edge of downtown Dallas that hosts music clubs and artists, Paula, her partners and a team of talented cheesemakers make beautiful music in Mozzarella and more.



The Magnificent Cheeses Of Mozzarella Company

The American artisan cheese movement is perhaps 40 years old: It started in drips and drabs with the hippie culture of the 1960s; the American Cheese Society was established in 1982. When you read that American cheeses are as good as any in the world, winning top awards at world competitions, besting cheeses that have been made and refined in their local villages for hundreds or thousands of years—it is because of the vision and dedication of people like Paula Lambert who loved cheese, learned the craft and worked hard to create a market for their products.

From a desire to make Mozzarella and a few other Italian cheeses, Mozzarella Company now makes 35 varieties of cheese and has won twice as many awards for them. From the original group of Italian cheeses, the repertoire expanded to Mexican cheeses (Dallas  serves a lot of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine), and the creative muse (and market demand) has grown to include Crème Fraîche, Feta and specialties like Fresh Texas Goat Cheese (traditional and flavored), Herbed Goat Logs and Deep Ellum Blue (a creamy blue cheese and a pun on the name of the neighborhood and the blues music called Deep Ellum Blues that it was known for in the 1920s). One can happily nibble away at them all, but to take it one day at a time (or six cheeses at a time), we’ll start with a few and save the rest for later.

Continue To Page 2: Caciotta & Montasio

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