Fly, Mozzarella, Fly!
Even the curds are saying Go Birds! this week at South Philly’s Pastificio Deli, which has a history of making intricately molded mozzarella shapes.
“Our pope mozzarella did so well [during the pontiff’s visit in 2015], we decided to release an Eagle-shaped mozzarella,” co-owner Anthony Messina said. “We changed the cheese game in Philly.”
Well, they’ve at least changed the prospects of cheese at the game with an impressive work of dairy art, pressing the mozzarella into the custom-made mold of an Eagles logo when the fresh-stretched cheese is still soft and warm. It’s detailed down to the beak and eyes. Even more impressive: when it’s still fresh, this special order-ahead cheese still has the taste of sweet butterfat. Or does this “mutz” (as Messina proudly calls it in his South Philly slang) have the taste of sweet Super Bowl victory?
— Craig LaBan
Eagles mozzarella, $20 per 14-ounce cheese (must order by Saturday), Pastificio Deli, 1528 Packer Ave., 215-467-1111; pastificiophilly.com
Underdogs on a roll
The hot dog game, like the Super Bowl, might favor the big names. But going with the fresh handmade artisan franks appropriately dubbed “Underdogs” by Nick Macri at La Divisa Meats in the Reading Terminal Market will be a definite upgrade to your party food lineup. They’re made with grass-fed beef and pasture-raised pork from local Wyebrook Farm and tinged with subtle seasonings of garlic, paprika, and coriander. They also come in natural casings that, after being lightly poached for 10 minutes then griddled to a crisp, snap when you take a bite. Hut! Hut! Underdogs for the win.
Underdogs, $7.99 a pound at La Divisa Meats (available starting Thursday), Reading Terminal Market, 215-627-2100; ladivisameats.com
Fresh “Underdogs” are made with beef and pork at La Divisa Meats at Reading Terminal Market.