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More Cheese, Please! An In-Depth Look at Pizza Cheeses

Cheesy Pizza
Great cheese makes for a great pizza. But how much time have you spent thinking about the different types of cheese used on pizza? Each cheese has its own unique qualities and lends something sensational to your favorite pie. Read on for an in-depth look at five common pizza cheeses.

Mozzarella

When it comes to pizza cheeses, mozzarella is the king of them all. You can make an excellent pizza with just mozzarella cheese. When other cheeses are used, they are typically blended with mozzarella.

People chose mozzarella happens to have the perfect properties for melting on top of pizza. The oils do not separate from it easily, which minimizes the greasy puddles your pizza develops. Mozzarella browns nicely and also has a satisfying, gooey, stringy texture when melted.

Not surprisingly, mozzarella is an Italian cheese. It was originally made with buffalo milk, but today, most mozzarella is made from cow's milk. Fresh mozzarella is known for its soft texture and mild flavor.

While a classic ingredient on Margherita pizza, fresh mozzarella is too wet to be used in excess on more heavily cheesed, American-style pizzas. Instead, low-moisture mozzarella, a variety from which some of the liquid has been removed, is the pizzeria favorite.

Provolone

Another pale, Italian cheese, provolone has a bit more sharpness than mozzarella and is often blended with mozzarella to give pizza more depth of flavor.

Provolone comes in two types. Provolone dolce is only aged for two months and has a mild, sweet flavor. Provolone piccante is aged longer and has a sharper taste, making it a more popular choice for pizza. This cheese is named after the Po valley, a region in Italy where most provolone is produced. 

Cheddar

Cheddar is too oily to be used alone on pizza, but when combined with mozzarella, cheddar creates a flavorful cheese blend. The longer a cheddar is aged, the sharper its flavor. Natural cheddar is white or pale yellow in color, but some companies add annatto seed to their cheddar to give it a distinct orange color. Although cheddar originated in England, today it is made all over the world.

Parmesan

When you think of Parmesan, you might think of the granulated cheese that comes in a can. While this type of Parmesan is delicious in its own way, natural Parmesan is a hard, sharp Italian cheese with a decidedly rich flavor. A few tablespoons of grated Parmesan sprinkled over a pizza will transform its flavor and add a whole extra layer of richness.

Parmigiano-Reggiano is the best-known, highest-quality Parmesan cheese. It hails from the Parma region in Italy and is known for its granular texture and hint of sweetness. Many other great Parmesans add similar flavor to pizza at a fraction of the cost of authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Feta

Feta may not be the most classic of pizza cheeses, but feta is an increasingly popular choice on specialty Greek pizzas and the like. Feta is white in color with a crumbly texture and decidedly salty flavor. This cheese holds its shape as it melts. 

Traditionally, feta cheese was made in Greece from goat's milk. Today, feta cheese is also made in Australia, the United States, Italy, and several other countries. Most feta sold in the United States is made from cow's milk, and although it is a bit less robust than goat's milk feta, a small amount still adds loads of flavor to your pizza.

A crisp crust, rich sauce, and gooey cheese: these are the makings of a great pizza. If all of this cheese talk has you craving pizza, stop by Camden House of Pizza. In our old-fashioned pizza parlor, we serve a variety of pizzas, and we promise not to skimp on the cheese. 

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