One of our all-time favorite comfort foods is never quite complete without this ingredient. Cheese has been a part of pizzas ever since the very first pies were sold more than a hundred years ago in Italy. That was a time when pizza wasn’t even close to the varied food that it is today.
Pizza has its classics in the form of all-cheese pizzas, meat-lovers, Hawaiian, and other variations. In particular, pure cheese pizzas are divided into several sub-categories, depending on the cheese used in them. That brings us to the “best cheese” question.
What cheese is perfect for pizza? Your answers to this may differ, but here’s The Kitchen Warriors’ take on this matter.
Different Types of Cheese for Pizza
To get to the bottom of the question, we will first analyze the different kinds of cheese usually found on pizzas.
Some call this the god of all pizza cheeses. To many pizza lovers, that’s not far off the mark. After all, mozzarella has been branded as the people’s favorite and most loved pizza cheese of all time. It is perfectly consistent and straightforward in terms of taste, which is perhaps the biggest reason for its lasting popularity.
When some think of pizza, it’s always mozzarella that comes to mind. Perfectly browned, it gives a mild and fresh flavor with just the right consistency. It is this particular quality of mozzarella that leaves you wanting more even after already having several slices.
And then there’s cheddar cheese. Cheddar stands out in any type of pizza because of its sharp flavor and obvious presence. If you’ve been eating pizza for a while now, there’s almost no way you can mistake cheddar for another kind of cheese.
Cheddar adds nuance to any pizza flavor. Described as addictive, powerful, and natural, this cheese type blends with mild and spicy sauces alike. It also enhances any kind of topping it touches. If a specific pizza recipe isn’t particularly memorable, you will do well to mix in some cheddar cheese to spice things up.
Provolone is popular for cheese blending because it goes with almost any type of cheese. It is semi-hard and has a lot of variety, especially when aged properly. You want to combine shorter-aged provolone with a pizza recipe to add sweetness to the flavor and cream to the texture. On the other hand, a longer-aged one would be great for giving your pizza a more striking taste.
This is one of the harder and longer-aged Italian cheeses out there, and it tastes pretty amazing on pizza, too. You can shave or shred it on top of the pizza as soon as it’s out of the oven. Don’t ever bake this type of cheese, though, as it could ruin its “umami” taste, which is one reason for its popularity. In small amounts, parmesan can also be used purely as a garnish since it can’t really do much to alter the pizza flavor.
Known for its unique and rich flavor, Gouda is a Dutch cheese typically combined with barbecue-chicken and pulled-pork pizzas. It is the kind of cheese that enhances the flavors of meat. You can buy it in either the smoked or straight version, depending on which appeals to you better.
Havarti is already a marvel on its own, but it becomes even more spectacular when used as a pizza topping. There’s a good reason people can’t get enough of this type of cheese on their pizza.
Originating from Denmark, this wonderfully delightful cheese is a staple in a variety of pizzas all over the world. It offers a clear and savory flavor closely resembling that of cheddar and also adds different kinds of nuances to pizza.
Creamy, delightful, and intricate—these are three words embodied in the perfect gorgonzola cheese. This blue-marbled cheese came from the milk of cows in Italy’s northern regions. It has a slightly sharp flavor with undertones of hazelnut that only intensify the longer it stays in your mouth.
Nevertheless, it never gets to a point where the flavors become too sharp or strong. The gorgonzola melts and spreads easily, so you’ll have no trouble using it on all kinds of pizzas. This cheese tastes better with age, too. Hence, don’t worry about not having the perfect recipe for it just yet.
This is another Italian cheese made from the sheep of Lazio. It is characterized by strong, sharp flavors with spicy undertones of caramelized butter and hazelnuts. When aged close to a year, this cheese begins to sprout crystals that make its flavor even more distinct.
So, What’s the Best Cheese for Pizza?
When it comes to pizzas, the best cheese is normally the one you’re most used to. Eating pizza is all about what’s comfortable to you, which could mean using the most distinctive-tasting cheese or the most common cheddar cheese.
What’s great about this day and age is that there’s no shortage of options on cheese toppings. You can even whip up something at home if you are tired of commercial options.