September 5th is National Cheese Pizza Day.
This probably casts visions of cheese softly bubbling within the oven, or a slice being slowly pulled away from the rest of the pie as the cheese seductively stretches in long strings known as the “cheese pull”.
Traditionalists say that authentic Italian pizza must be made with fresh buffalo mozzarella, but the possibilities are only limited by your imagination; almost every type of cheese can be used on pizza.
Mozzarella is the most common and is classified as a “pasta filata” style cheese, which in Italian means “spun paste” because of the stretching that the cheese undergoes in the cheese making process.
Fresh mozzarella can be made from either buffalo or cow milk, has a high moisture content and mild tangy taste. Typically found packaged in liquid to help retain its moisture and shape, fresh mozzarella is usually cut into thin slices when used on pizza, to avoid making the crust soggy. When used this way, you get large discs of delicious, oozy cheese topping your favorite pizza.
Low moisture mozzarella is saltier, denser and melts more smoothly than its fresh counterpart. This cheese is used most commonly on pizzas today and is what gives them the unctuous gooey stretch that you see in every pizzeria ad.
If just traditional mozzarella isn’t your thing, there’s also different cheese blends available, which usually mix low moisture mozzarella with other cheeses to create a variety of flavors. Provolone, cheddars, Romano and Parmesan are all commonly used to add different flavors to your favorite pie.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different cheeses on pizza. Tried tangy goat cheese on a thin crust? Burrata anyone?
Keep in mind that the current world record for “Greatest variety of cheese on a pizza” currently sits at a whopping 111! That is certainly a one-of-a-kind pizza experience!
So with all these options available, how will you celebrate National Cheese Pizza day? Happy experimenting!