KEY POINTS:
* Less ingredients prior to cooking vs more afterwards can create a more memorable dining experience
* Cold ingredients added just prior to serving creates contrast in both flavour and temperature and adds interest to the palate
* This kind of sensory excitement is often what your customer will remember most about the meal
* Pizzas made with cold post-cooking sauce accompaniments are often inspired by traditional cuisine such as Greek and Indian dishes

ADDING PIZZA INGREDIENTS POST-COOKING can help create contrast and deliver a more memorable eating experience — especially by complementing the hot, cooked toppings with cold ones added once the pizza’s out of the oven.
“The way I like to describe it is that you construct a pizza just as you would any other kind of meal,” says Fonterra Foodservice Executive Chef Liam McLaughlin. “As a chef, you build up your meal with a base ingredient that’s typically a carbohydrate or starch, then you have your protein component, and you finish off with a sauce or garnish. That’s how you would construct a centre of plate meal and pizza is no different.”
In fact, Liam argues, the most memorable pizzas being prepared these days are those with less ingredients added prior to cooking and more applied afterwards.
“You can make a superb pizza which is simply your tomato sauce base, meat and cheese, then after cooking it’s finished off with herbs, spices and sauces. It’s a more creative and thoughtful approach than simply loading up your base with toppings and whacking it through the oven.”
Adding cold ingredients just prior to serving creates contrast in both temperature and flavour, and as Liam says, “anything that adds interest for the mouth is a good thing. When you’re preparing any meal the flavours have to work together, how it presents on the plate has to work, and then at the end there is texture and temperature to consider. A temperature variation can be just as important as a textural one — it can add excitement to the palate.”
“When there’s something to crunch, chew or pop that the customer is not expecting, that creates almost a fifth element of sensory perception and the potential of this is often under-appreciated. An ingredient that’s icy cold versus one that’s hot and flowing all adds to the experience. Those sorts of things create your point of difference — that little something that really amazes or wows the customer. That’s the one thing they’ll remember about the meal — even if everything else is average, they’ll happily tell their friends about that one flavour and temperature contrast that really made them take notice of what they were eating.”

Increasingly pizzas are being made with cold post-cooking sauce accompaniments, often inspired by traditional cuisine styles. Tzatziki sauce, made from yoghurt, cucumber and garlic, is the traditional Greek accompaniment to lamb, and as such is the ideal topping for a lamb pizza. To create an authentic Greek flavour profile, marinate the lamb overnight in rosemary, garlic and red wine, then lightly steam it so it finishes cooking as it passes through the pizza oven. Add your Perfect Italiano Mozzarella prior to cooking, but leave the application of the cold tzatziki until the pizza has come out of the oven. The result is a cool flavour burst that contrasts with the heat of the lamb and creates a pleasing mouthfeel.
Cold yoghurt is also proving popular as an accompaniment to Indian style pizzas, such as a tandoori lamb pizza topped with Perfect Italiano Mozzarella, then finished with rocket, yoghurt sauce and fresh mango chutney (served at room temperature on the pizza after cooking).
Another example is the use of Japanese-style kewpie mayonnaise — this is made from rice vinegar, malt vinegar, Japanese mustard powder, garlic, egg yolk, vegetable oil and hon-dashi (a dried seafood stock) and is the ideal accompaniment for seafood, evoking a distinctive oriental flavour with plenty of umami. It’s usually served at room temperature rather than chilled, and will add a contrasting rich, creamy flavour burst to accompany crab or lobster pizzas topped with such complementary flavours as kimchi or coriander.
“Even a freshly chilled apple and walnut coleslaw, which is simple to prepare, can provide a terrific flavour contrast when added to a cooked pizza with cured salami, ham or a topping as simple as barbecued pulled pork,” Liam suggests. “It’s all about finding ingredients which complement each other and come together to create a memorable experience for the customer.”
Cold sauce on hot pizza
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