Chances are that if you've ever visited revered Italian shops like Di Palo's or Joe's Dairy, you've seen bite-sized balls of fresh mozzarella resting in milky water like sunken ships, or on the counter wrapped in fist-sized lumps. New York is curd city when it comes to the stretchy cheese, and while demonstrations of mozzarella making are not too hard to come by, it seems as though everyone has a fresh mozzarella preference. Given that more than a few producers start with the same, pre-packaged mozzarella curd (as opposed to milk), it seems as though it's all about the post-bath stretch that results in slight differences of texture and taste. To that end, the all-cheese, all-the-time magazine Culture has a story in its most recent issue devoted to the behind-the-scenes at five of the city's most-respected mozzarella producers, including Lou Di Palo, who'll offer you free samples—you don't even have to ask. Photographer Michael Harlan Turkell's piece for Culture is not available online, but he's put a scan and a few outtakes online right here. Photo: Sweet Blog o' Mine