What’s the #1 Topping for Pizza Pie?
Mozzarella Cheese Takes the Cake
According to Technomic’s MenuMonitor, mozzarella cheese is the hands-down favorite pizza topping. Check out your local pizzeria, and chances are most of the pies are crowned with it. Here’s a list of the cheese varieties most often appearing on pizza menus in the United States:
As the early pizza makers in Naples discovered, cheese is a natural for pizza. Mozzarella and its cousin Provolone fall into the Pasta Filata cheese category which means that after the milk is turned into curds, the curds are dipped in hot water, then stretched and kneaded into parallel strands. This allows them to melt easily and gives the characteristic stretch that we look for on our pizza.
Enterprising pizza chefs have discovered scores of other cheese varieties that deliver big, bold flavors or just the right creamy comfort-food texture to their pies. The hundreds of hand-crafted artisanal cheeses being produced in the United States today can transform pizza from mundane to magnificent.
Consider trying and testing innovative pairing combinations with your staff. Just imagine:
- Appeal to your vegetarian patrons with wafer-thin fingerling potato and Roma tomato slices, fresh spinach chiffonade, minced fresh chives and a liberal sprinkling of Asiago cheese atop a whole wheat crust.
- Impress diners with an Eastern Indian-inspired pie. Top flatbread with chicken chunks laced with tikka masala spices, cilantro and Paneer cheese.
- Add delightful whimsy to your children’s menu. Start with individual rounds of dough; top with tomato sauce. Create clown faces, using sliced olives for eyes, a pepperoni slice as the nose, an upside-down green pepper slice as the frowning mouth and shredded Colby cheese for the hairdo.
- Take pizza upscale: Top dough with Wagyu beef tenderloin strips, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese.
- Tempt your guests with dessert pizza. Top a cookie crust with sweetened creamy Mascarpone cheese. Add a healthful arrangement of fresh fruits, such as sliced strawberries, blueberries and black raspberries. Sprinkle with crunchy pine nuts
Mozzarella’s name stems from the Italian verb “mozzare,” meaning “to cut off,” from the action of cutting the cheese curd into smaller, easier-to-use pieces.