As one of the most popular dairy products, cheese has seen its use in cakes, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, pizza, and many more. There are many forms of cheese, depending on the processes that go into producing and aging them.
In this article, we will go through the various cheese varieties used for making pizza and how you can choose one depending on the type of pizza you want. You can also go through our top ten recommendations that follow the buying guide and buy the best cheese for making the pizza of your choice. This article is reviewed by a professional food blogger/reviewer, Arsh Deol; keep reading as he shares some amazing tips followed by a recipe.
Arsh is a professional food blogger and is currently pursuing a master's in Hospitality and Catering Technology. He did a bachelor's in Hotel Management and Catering Technology and has worked with ITC Windsor Bengaluru in the front office department.
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Table of Contents
When choosing cheese for pizza, there are various factors to consider, including flavor, meltability, stretchability, and shelf life. Read through our buying guide below to find out how different cheese varieties influence your finished pizza.
The flavor of a cheese variety depends on the milk used, moisture content, and how long it has been aged by storing them on shelves in a controlled environment. The aging process is responsible for the development of the distinct flavors and aroma of various cheeses.
You should also know that the cheese you buy may be made from cow's milk or buffalo's milk or a mixture of both unless specified otherwise. We will discuss the most common cheese varieties used in pizza, like mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, gouda, gorgonzola, gruyere, ricotta, and goat cheese.
Parmesan is a dry cheese variety since it is aged for at least one year with a slightly fruity/ nutty flavor. It is best used as a garnish on pizzas since exposing to heat or baking can ruin its savory flavor.
If you buy slices, you can make sandwiches and burgers, while diced ones can be sprinkled on the pizza faster. The amount of protein per ounce of mozzarella and cheddar is 6 and 7 grams, while parmesan has 10 grams.
Cheddar & mozzarella cheese are the most famous cheeses in the world. Cheddar is originated in the U.K and is made of pasteurized cow's milk. Mozzarella is originated in Italy and is made up of buffalo's milk. Cheddar contains many essential nutrients such as zinc, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and Vitamin A.
Whereas mozzarella is lower in sodium & calories as compared to other cheeses. Parmesan is the hard cheese that originated in Italy but is widely used all over the world now. It is usually used as a topping for pasta and pizzas and as a main ingredient in preparing some sauces. Also, it is a dense source of high-quality protein.
A cheese variety known for its milky and sweet flavor is ricotta cheese. It is a typical ingredient in cheese sauce pizzas and can also be blended with mozzarella and cheddar. Gruyere gives a special experience starting with sweetness and changes to a nutty and earthy flavor in your mouth.
Gouda cheese has a rich and smooth texture and gives a caramel-like flavor. It is a great addition to pork or barbeque chicken as it goes well with these flavors. Goat cheese doesn't melt easily like mozzarella, but offers a tart flavor with a creamy texture.
The calories present in 1 ounce of ricotta, gruyere, gouda, and goat cheese are 49, 117, 101, and 103 respectively. Try to reduce the amount of cheese or other ingredients that add calories if you are watching your weight.
Gruyere is a sweet, nutty flavoured cheese with a firm but flexible texture made year-round with unpasteurized milk. This famous Swiss cheese is great for making fondue. Ricotta is an Italian whey cheese made from sheep, cow, or goat.
It is mainly used in the preparation of desserts such as cheesecake and cannoli. Gouda cheese will have a more mild, soft, and sweet taste and texture in the beginning age. The older the gouda cheese, the harder, stronger, and darker it becomes, taking on a buttery and nutty flavor.
The meltability of a cheese decides how long the pizza has to stay in the oven before it can be taken out. A pizza with hard cheese inside it will not give a good experience, as the flavors cannot be enjoyed until it melts completely.
Cheese varieties like mozzarella, cheddar, gouda, and gorgonzola melt easily, thus requiring less cooking time. The long strands of cheese hanging from a slice improve the overall experience of having a pizza.
To get an amazing cheese pull, try mozzarella, cheddar, gouda, or gruyere. While many factors affect how easily a cheese melts or stretches, the moisture content also plays a major role. So, go for a cheese variety that is fresh as it contains more moisture and melts and stretches easily, for example, mozzarella.
Cheeses that are cooked and pressed but not have been aged contain more moisture and should be considered while buying your cheese. Because it makes your food look more fascinating and enhances the taste of your dish—for example, mozzarella is one of the most widely sold cheese in this category. It is mainly used as a pizza topping because of its stretchability, reliability, and credibility.
You may purchase cheese to make pizza or any dish of your choice, but the shelf life of a cheese variety depends on the treatment it goes through. Mozzarella is a type of cheese that tastes best when fresh and aged too. But fresh mozzarella only has a shelf life of 1 to 5 days, however, the extra processing and aging can extend the shelf life up to one year.
Traditionally, the various processes involved in making different types of cheese determine the shelf life. Since the invention of preservation processes, the shelf life of every cheese has gone up significantly. Check the packaging to find out how long the cheese will last so you can purchase enough and use it before it expires.
Each category of cheese has a different shelf life. The shelf life of fresh cheese is just a few days; for soft cheese, it's 1 week; semi-soft cheese is for 2 to 3 weeks; and for hard cheese, it's 10 months.
The shelf life of cheese is influenced by various factors, such as the type of cheese, the processing method, packaging date, its exposure to heat, and how the cheese is stored.
In vegan cheese making, the milk of nuts and seeds is used instead of animal milk, and oil or thickeners are added for attaining regular cheese-like consistency. The most commonly used nuts and seeds for making plant-based cheese are cashews, almonds, peanuts, soy, coconut, white beans, and sesame seeds.
However, they don't taste the same as animal milk cheese. Also, there is a lot of processing involved in making vegan cheese. Oil increases the consistency and the amount of saturated fat present in them, causing blood cholesterol levels to go up, contributing to heart diseases.
Vegan cheese is the best substitute for people who are lactose intolerant. Vegan cheese is made from various plant-based ingredients and comes in a wide selection of styles and flavors. So basically, the nuts or seeds are soaked, blended, and fermented with the same types of bacteria used to make dairy cheese. Other ingredients like salt, nutritional yeast, or herbs are used to add flavor.
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Pizza Cheese - Mozzarella
Minimally Processed Creamy Cheese
Cheese With Sharp Flavors
Parmesan Gran Spico Cheese
Aged Cheese Best for Garnishing
Pizza Cheese - Mozzarella & Cheddar
Cheese Blend for Perfect Meltability and Stretchability
Buttery and Crumbly Cheese Variety
Fresh Goat Cheese
Cheese With a Tart and Tangy Flavor
Semi-Hard Dutch Cheese With a Smooth Texture
Easily Melting Cheese With a Savory Flavor
Cheese With Low Fat Content
Plant-Based Parmesan Cheeze
Vegan Cheese for the Lactose Intolerant
Amul's mozzarella cheese is known for its superb stretchability that forms strings when you pull a slice from a whole pizza. Since it is dipped in brine, which is saltwater, to increase shelf life and prevent bacteria growth, the cheese will have a slightly salty taste.
There are 260 calories per 100 grams of this cheese, and it has got a shelf life of six months. You can bake mozzarella cheese along with the other ingredients on a pizza or garnish it on top. Customer reviews show that the quality and quantity is much better than the mozzarella cheeses of other brands in the market.
Milky mist cheddar cheese is made from cow's milk and has very little moisture content, making it dry, crumbly, and difficult to melt. You can bake cheddar with other ingredients like olives, tomatoes, and jalapenos to make delicious veg or non-veg pizzas.
The product has a got a tangy, salty, and nutty flavor to it. Make sure to keep the product under refrigeration to prevent any mold growth on it. The number of calories is 364 per 100 grams, and the shelf life is 12 months.
Fresho Signature's parmesan cheese is aged to enhance its fruity/nutty flavor. It is available as a block, grated or diced. Parmesan is best used as a garnish on top of pizza since exposure to heat may destroy its savory flavor.
You can garnish parmesan on top of pepperoni or chicken pizza or use it to make pizza sauce for baking. There is a total of 398 calories per 100 grams of this cheese, and it has a shelf life of five days.
MOOZ's mozzarella and cheddar pizza cheese blend gives the perfect meltability and stretchability you desire. The cheese will combine well with other ingredients when you bake the pizza and give you long strands when you pull a slice from it.
Make sure not to add too much salt to your pizza dough or sauce since the cheese already has salt in it from the processing it has gone through to increase its shelf life. You don't have to buy mozzarella and cheddar separately since this pizza cheese provides the qualities of both.
Westland's gorgonzola is a blue-veined cheese made from cow's whole milk. The addition of Penicillium, which is a type of fungi, during the cheese-making process causes mold growth, creating blue veins on the cheese. This mold type doesn't cause any health problems, so you don't have to worry about it.
You can use this cheese on your pizza to give it mild hints of hazelnut. The aging process makes it crumbly but melts evenly, and the flavors intensify as you eat the pizza. A 100 grams of Westland's gorgonzola cheese has 368 calories and shelf life of four weeks.
Glac goat cheese may not melt as easily as other cheese varieties, but the tangy flavor surely adds a unique twist to the classic pepperoni and chicken pizzas. You can sprinkle tiny blobs of goat cheese on top of your pizza to give it a random savory flavor with every bite.
It goes well with milder vegetables like peppers and aromatic seasonings like oregano and paprika. Since the flavors of goat cheese can stay on your mouth, it is best to use it in moderation on your pizza.
Arla's gouda cheese makes your pulled pork or barbeque pizza delicious. Since it comes as slices, you can even use it in your sandwich and burger if you are not baking pizza. The buttery sweet flavor gives your pizza a unique taste, whether it's veg or non-veg.
One of the main ingredients in this cheese is salt that increases its shelf life, so adjust the amount of salt you add to other ingredients appropriately. The shelf life of this product is nine months with 530 calories per 150 grams pack.
Fresho Signature swiss gruyere cheese melts easily and gives a savory flavor to your pizza. The pizza will have a sweet flavor at the beginning that changes to a slightly nutty/earthy flavor as the cheese lingers in your mouth.
You can combine other cheese varieties like mozzarella and cheddar to get a stretchy pizza with gruyere's unique flavors. It also goes well with baked vegetables, meat, and cheese pizza sauces. The calorie count is 399 per 100 grams, and the shelf life is five days.
MOOZ's ricotta cheese is a soft cheese with a granular texture. It is a popular ingredient in white pizza sauces as a substitute for tomatoes. The semi-sweet, nutty flavor goes well when blended with other cheese varieties like mozzarella, gruyere, and gorgonzola.
The flavors of ricotta go well with chicken, shrimp, and vegetables. You can make delicious spinach, garlic, and broccoli pizza with ricotta cheese as one of the base ingredients. The product has a shelf life of 45 days with 184 calories per 150 grams pack.
Compared to other cheese types, ricotta has the least amount of protein in it. If you are trying to bake a healthy, low-calorie pizza, ricotta cheese may not be the one you want.
Urban Platter's vegan parmesan cheese suits best for the lactose intolerant and vegans. The animal milk substitute used in this product is cashew milk with coconut oil acting as a thickener to achieve cheese-like consistency.
It may not taste like parmesan cheese made with dairy milk, and the saturated fats present in coconut oil can increase blood cholesterol levels leading to heart diseases. Two key ingredients in this cheese are potato starch and corn starch that digests easily and causes sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. So if you are diabetic, you may have to stay away from this product.
Whether you want to make pizza at home or serve it at your restaurant, here is a video for you explaining seven Indian pizza recipes. They are easy to prepare, delicious, and don't require you to be a professional chef. Watch this video to learn how to make:
Cheese is one of the most universal food choices; hence, it can be combined with various other food items to enhance their taste. One such food product is nachos!
Follow the steps:
Dairy products like butter, ghee, and yogurt have prominent places in Indian cuisine and dishes. Below are links to articles that will help you choose the best kinds of butter, ghee, and yogurts in India. Click on the links to read the buying guides and shop from our recommendations section.
To sum up, cheese is a dairy product with many health benefits and one of the many popular dishes it has found its way into is pizza. Depending on your preferences for a pizza, you can choose from a variety of cheese types. Make sure to use it in moderation, as it is also high in calories. Also, keep your cheese under refrigeration so it has a longer shelf life.
Author - Arun F Xaviour
No. 1: Amul | Pizza Cheese - Mozzarella
No. 2: Milky Mist | Cheddar Cheese
No. 3: Fresho Signature | Parmesan Gran Spico Cheese
No. 4: MOOZ | Pizza Cheese - Mozzarella & Cheddar
No. 5: Westland | Gorgonzola Cheese
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