What’s the Deal with Mozzarella Sticks?


Sometimes at Endless Simmer, we discuss only the most important, pressing issues facing the food world. This is one of those times.

I’m here today to discuss a problem that has been gnawing at my soul for some time. When I have raised this dilemma at numerous venerable eating establishments, I have found substantial support for my position.

Mozzarella Sticks: undeniably one of America’s great culinary inventions. Bread crumbs, cheese, hot oil, bam! – the perfect bar snack. But what’s up with the portion size? Why do they always come in such a small number, usually six to a plate? For a similar price, any bar menu in America will serve you a heaping platter of calamari, a generous serving of onion rings, plump and juicy chicken fingers, or a giganto plate of nachos. But never am I ever served a giant plate of mozzarella sticks.

This presents the eater with a dastardly dilemma. To ensure enough mozz. sticks to satisfy a grease-craving, alcohol-soaked group of munchers, you’d have to get three orders at least – and who is willing to spend 25 bucks on mozz. sticks? Of course, you can always go the, “these are just for me, guys” route, but then not only do you look like a douche, you inevitably get the “oh, can I just have a half?” requests, and even in a small group of friends, you end of with something like 3 and 1/2 sticks to eat yourself. Not quite meal-worthy. So I quite often put my fried cheese craving to the side and forget it altogether.

So what the hell is going on here? The big portions thing is something you usually excel at, America. I want 10 to 12 mozz. sticks per plate. And don’t tell me they are more expensive to make than the other appetizers, because it’s not like they’re stuffing them with Mozzarella di Bufala Camapana or something – that shit is Polly-O at best.

So can someone please explain to me, what’s the deal with mozzarella sticks? Is there some secret reason why the servings have to be so small? Is there any action we can take to change this accepted social norm? A petition, protest, or sit-in perhaps? The time is now, dear readers. I humbly await your advice.

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  • 80 Proof December 14, 2007  

    You absolutely nailed it BS. Greatest problem in our world today is the Mozzarella Stick Gap (MSG).

    You mean, I can get a plate full of nachos with chips, sour cream, cheese, beef/chicken, jalapeños, olives, etc, but I can’t get more than 5, maybe, 6 fried cheese sticks!!

    Someone has to be behind this sinister plot.

  • gansie December 14, 2007  

    wow. you totally read my mind. actually, we probably drunkenly discussed this before. never mind.

  • chl December 15, 2007  

    hmm. the solution is to feast at home. I go through 8lb boxes of mozzarella sticks from Costco with somewhat frightening regularity.

    I despair to see my next cholestorol report.

  • VA Hostage December 15, 2007  

    As with everything in retail, it’s about the bottom dollar. Not that these cost so much more to make, but folks are willing to pay the high price. This makes for a great profit margin. And there you have it. Greedy money-grubbing Gremlins!!!!

  • Corey December 15, 2007  

    I think it has something to do with the fact that if they give you more than 6 at a time, then they’re legally required to have a doctor come in an sit next to you in preparation for that heart attack.

  • JoeHoya December 15, 2007  

    There are several other considerations at work here:

    1. The load-baring capacity of your average barstool
    2. The width of your typical bar’s doorway.
    3. The fact that mozzarella sticks’ appeal is directly proportional to the level of intoxication.
    3a. The fact that a person’s ability to rationally assess value is inversely proporational to the level of intoxication.

    There’s a sciency graph just waiting to happen in 3 and 3a…

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  • danie June 1, 2009  

    My theory: They get cold too quickly.

    If you had 10 sticks, the last 5 would be cold enough to leave you with just crispy string cheese. They’d all be like that one stick left when everyone is too dainty to eat the last one. The stick that (once you do eat it) is so icky it replaces all of your recent melted cheese memories.

    I think 6 sticks is the maximum for hot sticks throughout your binge.

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  • Matt Rocks Your Mom's Socks June 10, 2012  

    But what he’s saying here Danie is that he’s not ordering a 46 pc plate of mozzarella sticks to dominate on his own. He’s saying when he goes to a restaraunt with his drunken buddies he wants to be able to get a big ass plate. Not too unlike a big ass plate of wings. You can order 100 wings but all I can get is 6 cheese sticks. Bullshit.

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