Beyond Mozzarella: 11 Other Cheeses for Your Pizza

Add extra flavor to your pizza by combining mozzarella cheese with cheeses that have fruit, smoky, and grassy notes
Buffalo Wing Pizza

Craig Priebe, author and chef, creates a Buffalo Wing Pizza using hot sauce, celery, and chunks of a chicken breast.

Beyond Mozzarella: 11 Other Cheeses for Your Pizza

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Pecorino is the sharper, saltier kin to Parmigiano-Reggiano, and delivers lots of umami flavor. 

People feel passionately about their pizza. They argue over pizza styleChicago or New York. They argue over toppings — sauce or no sauce. But very seldom do you hear people battle over the cheese.

Click here for the Beyond Mozzarella: 11 Other Cheeses for Your Pizza slideshow.

It seems the standard to live by is mozzarella. It shows up on almost every style of pizza (except pizza bianca), but if you only top your pizza with this classic are you missing out on other cheesy, mind-blowing flavor profiles?

Some pizza-obsessed folks at the Institute of Food Technologists cared enough to quantify which cheese is best for topping your pizza. To determine the ultimate cheesy pizza topping, the scientists examined specific properties of numerous cheeses, including elasticity, free oil, and browning ability to determine what most of us didn’t need a study to know: Mozzarella is king.

Science says mozzarella is the best — but we say the best can be boring, and what is perfect on paper doesn’t always meet our flavor needs.

Mozzarella aside, there are plenty of other cheeses that work well on pizza. While science may consider them second-best, we deem these other cheeses delicious, flavorful, and just plain great as pizza topping options.

If you want a saltier bite to accompany your pizza topped with sweet caramelized onions, try swapping the typical mozzarella for creamy gorgonzola. Additionally, don’t be afraid to blend flavors and cheeses to optimize meltability and taste. Mix mozzarella with pecorino, Gruyère, or fontina, which will ensure proper browning (thank you, mozzarella), but with an additional kick of flavor that mild-mannered mozzarella just doesn’t have.

The Daily Meal shares 12 cheeses you should consider topping your homemade pizza with. after you make your fresh pizza dough.

Chandoka

Chandoka

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Chandoka is a mild, white cheese.

Made with a mix of cow and goat milk, this cheese is mild and sweet with subtle tangy hints. An American cheese that is aged for one year, Chandoka goes well with salty toppings, for instance those called for by Craig Priebe’s Darkwing Duck Pizza recipe.

Cheddar

Cheddar

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Cheddar cheese's flavor can range from mild to sharp.

Cheddar cheese ranges from mild to sharp in flavor, with subtle fruity and tangy notes. When it comes to choosing Cheddar, the sharper the cheese the less meltable, so stick with mild Cheddars if you want to add some of this classic American-style cheese to your pizza. We suggest grating Cheddar in addition to the pecorino on top of this breakfast pizza.
 


Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.

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