Napoli is one of those beloved places for me, full of sunny memories and explosive tastes. Napolitan culture is saturated with sun and so are the people : they are emotional, expressive, loud, funny and warm, which makes them a great company. Same with the taste : everything you eat in that region seems to be a bit stronger, brighter, riper. I could sing an ode to The Fantastic-Napolitan-Tomatoes ! And where goes tomato… goes mozzarella.
So one day I asked the great Alfredo Mario Mazzone to bring us with a bunch of tango friends to a good mozzarella place. After hovering on the streets between washed underlinen, we got to the spot. It didn't even look like a shop, just a kind of counter in the middle of the wall. And only two things under the vitrine : prosciutto and mozzarella. The guy behind the counter was huge… and scary ! He was cutting the prosciutto with that biiig knife and telling us how he spent 20 years in prison for the murder… And then with his bare hands he gave me a piece of mozzarella – soft, moving, leaking. And there you are, standing awkwardly in the middle of that small street, keeping this thingy in your hangs, and there is this huge guy with the knife staring at you, and you have no choice, but to put your face in it… and you take a bite. And it is a moment of epiphany… Of pure beauty, of pure pleasure. When for a second there is nothing else, because that taste just brings you elsewhere… to a better place.
No wonder since then I've been searching for a good mozzarella in Paris! There are some people making it here, there are many people brining it from Italy, but rarely you find something roughly as good as what I've experienced in Naples.
So far my best reference : Mmmoza..! (Rue de Bretagne). The name talks for itself, these guys are mozza-pros :) You can just buy some mozza balls, or get a sandwich with excellent products.
And the second best is the one from Terroir d'Avenir – it's a little chain of épiceries of great quality, a bit pricey, but mostly worth it.
And if you haven't been to Napoli, you must. For the sake of experience!