As a professional pizzamaker trying to keep one step ahead of the competition, you know how important it is to present your customers with terrific tasting meals.
And when it comes to pizza, there’s one key ingredient you can’t do without — the cheese.
In other articles on Club Perfect we’ve examined the benefits of choosing a good quality pre-shredded mozzarella like Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Shred to ensure consistent melt, stretch, cheese flow and blistering.
A cheese of this quality will help hold the ingredients of your pizza together, as well as giving an attractive presentation without being too oily.
One important point to bear in mind is that mozzarella has quite a subtle flavour. This helps to ensure it doesn’t overpower the taste of your other ingredients.
It also means you needn’t be shy about adding other types of cheese to further enhance the overall pizza flavour. Many other cheese types have a flavour which will complement the mozzarella without making the pizza taste too ‘cheesy’.
For example, Club Perfect Ambassador Simon Best of Augello’s restaurant in Mooloolaba is fond of using parmesan, feta and even blue cheese atop some of his pizzas.
Simon uses blue cheese to complement rocket, pear, walnuts and figs atop prosciutto — with all the ingredients balancing each other to create a distinctive and memorable taste.
“The mozzarella is perfect for the pizza because it gives the other flavours a chance to shine,” Simon explains. “It holds everything together and gives it stretch, but it’s a subtle flavour whereas something like blue cheese is quite strong.”
The main consideration is to ensure that all the ingredients you choose will complement each other flavour-wise. “I typically wouldn’t use more than two different varieties of cheese per pizza,” Simon says, “but even that gives you a lot of scope.
“We use bocconcini on our magherita pizza to give a distinctively subtle taste, and a goat’s cheese feta on a few others. Goat’s cheese has a slightly different flavour than cow’s cheese and again, it’s all about selecting the flavour that goes best with that particular combo of ingredients. So you need to take time experimenting with different alternatives until you come up with what tastes best.”
Other types of cheese you might consider include:
* Provolone — this is a semi-hard Italian cheese with a nutty taste and a soft creamy texture which varies according to how long it’s been aged.
* Parmigiano Reggiano — this is a certified PDO (protected designation of origin) product from Parma, Italy which means it has to be made there to bear the official name. It is similar to parmesan but with a different texture, stronger flavour and less salt.
* Grana Padano — another PDO cheese from Italy which is produced over a broader region, rendering its pricing a little cheaper than that of Parmigiano Reggiano.
* Pecorino Romano — a PDO cheese from Tuscany, Italy made from sheep’s milk which imparts a distinctive flavour.
All the above are aged hard cheeses which won’t respond well to heating and are therefore best added to the pizza after it has left the oven. Shred, shave or grate them over the pizza to add that extra flavour which will help make your meals unique.