Q Our customers occasionally complain about the cheese sliding off their pizzas when they take a bite. How do we
A Research has identified several factors responsible for the dreaded cheese slip. They include:
1. Too much sauce. In this case, the cheese is practically
floating on a sea of sauce, and when you consider the
“stretch” of the cheese, you can see how the cheese will
be pulled off as your customer bites into a slice. The
effect, however, varies from one type of cheese to another.
Shredded cheese is the worst performer. It has greater
integrity and greater thickness and is more likely to slide
off a heavily sauced crust in larger clumps. With diced
cheese, we found a slight reduction in cheese slip, due
to the more uniform application of the cheese as well as
some commingling of the cheese and sauce, making it
easier to bite through the pie without any slippage.
Finally, we looked at cheese that’s torn apart or cut into
large, irregular shapes and applied randomly over the
top of the pizza. In this case, we experienced very little
cheese slip—the larger cheese pieces tended to sink into
the sauce, allowing for a better grip on the crust. It also
helps that the customer probably doesn’t get cheese with
every bite on this type of pizza.
Cheese types aside, it’s important to remember that
the real problem here is too much sauce. When we cut
back on the sauce, we had no problems with cheese slip,
regardless of the form of mozzarella used.
2. Using thickened sauce. If you thicken your sauce
either through the addition of a thickener, such as a gum
material, or (unheated) onion or garlic, the sauce will
take on a slimy, jellylike texture, which leads to increased
cheese slip. A better approach is to thicken the sauce by
increasing the tomato-solids content, which won’t turn
into tomato jelly. If you’re trying to add flavor to your
How to Prevent
IN LEHMANN’S TERMS
Tom Lehmann was the longtime director of bakery assistance for the American Institute of
Baking (AIB). He is now an industry consultant dedicated to helping pizzeria operators make
more money. Need more dough advice? Visit the Dough Information Center at PMQ.com/dough.
If your cheese slides off the pizza with every bite,
it’s probably not the cheese’s fault—take a closer
look at your sauce. By Tom Lehmann