There’s no danger of mozzarella losing its spot at No. 1 for pizza cheese, but with dozens of di;erent cheeses at your disposal, it could pay o; to experiment with blending and
baking a few other favorites into the mix.
You’ve probably noticed that younger, high-moisture cheeses,
such as mozzarella and Gruyère, melt easily, while aged cheeses
such as Parmesan stand their ground. “Fat content, acidity, stretch,
elasticity, moisture level and age are all factors that play a role in
how a cheese performs on a pizza,” says Rachel Kerr, director of
events and public relations at the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board,
based in Madison, Wisconsin.
Additional factors also play a role in how well a cheese will melt,
according to Mark “;e Cheese Dude” Todd, a chef and culinary
consultant with the California Milk Advisory Board. “;ere are
three factors in melting: fat to protein ratio (whole-milk cheeses
melt and flow better than part-skim), salt content and pH,” says
Todd. “Higher salt and lower pH (higher acidity) means less melting.” However, mixing and matching di;erent cheeses with your
favorite mozzarella can produce unique new flavor combinations
and boost the melt factor.
From feta to Gruyère, we explore the baking characteristics of
six crowd-pleasing pizza cheeses. By Liz Barrett