Why Is Mozzarella the Perfect Cheese for Pizza? Because Science

Friday Sep 23, 2016

This just in. Important research – complete with charts, diagrams, calculations, graphs, and footnotes – that proves that mozzarella is the perfect cheese for pizza. The study’s goal was to quantify properties, such as browning and blistering of different cheeses, and to then investigate the correlation of properties such as rheology (flow of matter for you non-chemists), free oil, water activity, and transition temperature. Not that we really need research to prove that mozzarella is the perfect cheese for pizza, but it’s nice to know there is research to prove it.

The cheeses examined were mozzarella, Colby, cheddar, Emmental, Edam, gruyere and provolone. Previous studies have been made on the properties such as blistering and browning of mozzarella; this study examined many cheeses to determine if there is a better choice for pizza than mozzarella. Very important research. And just to be sure that the findings were correct, the tests were done in triplicate.

Browning Is a Good Thing

Strictly following the scientific method, the mozzarella, Colby, cheddar, Emmental, Edam, and gruyere were purchased from a local supermarket and the provolone was purchased from a local delicatessen. After conducting their tests, which consisted of making and baking pizzas, the researchers determined that gruyere and Edam had the least amount of browning, and Colby and Emmental were next. Browning is a good thing in these instances. However, mozzarella, provolone, and cheddar had much higher browning areas. In addition, browning spots for mozzarella, provolone, and gruyere were relatively evenly distribution over the test pies. The other cheeses browned mostly around the edges. Emmental had big bubbles with only slight browning, while mozzarella had extremely high, even browning.

Mozzarella’s Pizza Baking Performance

The research determined that mozzarella’s pizza baking performance differed significantly from the baking performance of the rest of the cheeses. Mozzarella’s high water activity, elasticity, and most importantly, its unique stretchability, make it a commonly used cheese for topping pizza. Often, other cheeses are used in combination with mozzarella on gourmet pizzas. If you want your pizza to have a less burnt look due to the free oil mozzarella produces, adding a low elasticity cheese such as Colby can create a more uniform appearance.

What does this mean for pizza lovers everywhere? We now have proof that mozzarella is the perfect cheese for pizza in terms of browning, blistering, and stretchability. But, if you want to get fancy with it, you can add a little cheddar, Colby, Emmental, Edam, or gruyere to add a gourmet twist to your usual pizza ingredients.

Thank you, science.

 

Resource

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1750-3841.12540/full