Is Cheese a Pizza Topping? Find the PRO Answer

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If you’ve ever ordered a pizza, you’ve likely wondered, is cheese a pizza topping? or part of the pizza.

There’s some debate on the matter, with some saying that cheese isn’t considered a topping, while others claim it is debatable.

What do you think?

In either case, however, anyone who understands a pizza will know that anything other than the bread base “crust” is considered a topping.

But let’s look deeper to find why cheese is a topping.

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So let’s get cheesy!

Is Cheese a Pizza Topping?

Are you ready for the debate?

Here’s our take on the matter.

Cheese is a pizza topping. By definition, cheese goes on top of the crust, making it a topping, right?

Cheese pizza
Is Cheese a Pizza Topping?

Pizzas without cheese are available in many varieties, although they are uncommon in the United States.

Although most people consider tomato sauce and cheese to be essential components of pizza, we’ve had Italian pizzas without either of those ingredients.

An excellent example is the Marinara pizza, which is very popular in Italy and has no cheese.

Marinara Pizza
Marinara Pizza

Sometimes the distinction is hazy, and the pizza is covered with meats, veggies, various sauces, etc., to resemble a flatbread.

Another great example is when you order a pepperoni pizza (unless you say otherwise); cheese is part of the pizza by default, as is the crust and tomato sauce. You don’t need to say cheese and pepperoni with crust and tomato sauce.

The single word pepperoni produces the desired result.

However, if you just wanted a plain pizza with no toppings, most people would say “cheese pizza,” implying cheese is a topping.

This interpretation may be different based on where you are currently living. Some areas do consider it a topping, while others don’t.

You can order a “regular slice of pizza” in New York at a local pizzeria. It would be a slice with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.

At most New York pizzerias, they would list the additional toppings you can choose from on an overhead menu. The cheese is never listed as an additional topping.

Looking at the overhead menu of other pizzerias outside New York, you can note a big difference where cheese is listed as a topping.

Take Costco, for example, you can order a “Cheese pizza” or a “Pepperoni Pizza.”

Mozzarella Cheese as a Pizza Topping

Most of us associate mozzarella with pizza, and it does. Its ooey-gooey texture and neutral flavor make it an excellent choice for toppings on pizzas.

The mozzarella cheese was invented in Southern Italy during the first century A.D. Its earliest form was likely from sheep’s milk.

This cheese was discovered accidentally when some curds accidentally fell into hot water. Monks at the San Lorenzo di Capua monastery are recorded as handing out bread with Mozza cheese.

However, many people today associate mozzarella with pizza toppings.

It pairs well with both spicy and mild flavors.

Pizza cheese refers to various cheeses and dairy products produced and developed, particularly for use in pizza.

These include modified and processed cheeses like processed cheeses that resemble mozzarella and several varieties of mozzarella.

Different Kinds of Cheese for PIzza
Different Kinds of Cheeses for Pizza

Any form of cheese appropriate for use on pizza can also be referred to by this name. The most often used cheeses in making pizza are mozzarella (which makes up around 30%), provolone, cheddar, and parmesan.

Frequently used toppings include Emmental, Romano, and Ricotta, while processed pizza cheeses made exclusively for pizza are mass-produced.

However, if you are looking for creamy cheese, try substituting goat cheese. You can also add more cheese to your pizza if you like the taste of ricotta.

While fresh mozzarella is an excellent topping for pizza, you should first ensure it is completely dry before using it.

A cheese that is too wet will result in puddles of cheese water on your pizza, weakening the crust and muddling the sauce.

To prevent this, remove the cheese from its brine and dry it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

Then, slice the mozzarella into small pieces before putting it on your pizza.

While mozzarella is the most popular cheese topping on pizza, there are also several different types of mozzarella.

For homemade pizza, it is essential to combine fresh and low-moisture mozzarella. This will help it melt well but not leave excess water in the cheese. It will also taste good on the American-style pizza.

In summary, you should use fresh mozzarella whenever possible.

The Last Slice

While mozzarella cheese is the most common type of cheese used on pizza, other types of cheese can be used to enhance the flavor of your pizza.

Just make sure that the cheese melts appropriately and maintains a good consistency. You can add other cheese to your pizza, like cheddar or provolone.

It is up to you to experiment and decide what you like best!

And remember that if you want to use hard cheeses, be sure to add them after the pizza has been cooked.

So we hope that we answer the question is cheese a pizza topping. What do you think?

Do you agree?

Let us know in the comments we would love to know!

Here’s Where We Get Mozzarella Cheese

Best for Authentic Neapolitan Pizza
Fresh Mozzarella - Fior Di Latte

Fior Di Latte is an Italian-style cow's milk cheese made to order and delivered fresh as can be. With a name meaning "milk's flower," each ball-shaped cheese has an elastic texture and fresh, tangy taste thanks to the use of fresh cow's milk (as opposed to the buffalo's milk used in Mozzarella di Bufala). While fresh Mozzarella cheese can be enjoyed by itself, it works wonders spread over pizza or accompanied by salad.

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Additional Resources on Mozzarella


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