When we think of pizza, we usually think of the classic mozzarella, but why stop there when there are so many other fantastic options? If you’re looking to change up your pizza experience, try one of these five cheeses for a delicious new taste.
Provolone is a smooth, versatile ingredient that’s often thought of a sandwich cheese. However, it’s just as good on a pizza. Its flavor ranges from piquant to sweet, which makes it a great base for all kinds of toppings. Tomato and basil are great provolone partners, giving a tasty twist to a traditional pizza combination.
Gouda is a mild, semi-hard cheese that is often smoked and used for a unique flavor profile. It’s a perfect partner for just about any pizza topping, but it pairs especially well with pulled pork for a juicy, outside-the-box result.
While some ingredients have limits to their smokiness, even pre-smoked gouda and pulled pork can be nicely enhanced with even more smoky flavor. This can be achieved naturally by cooking the pie in a traditional wood-burning pizza oven.
Goat cheese has a strong flavor and can range in texture from soft and spreadable to firm with a hard rind. Because it’s made from goat milk and is made through a natural process of curdling, it doesn’t melt in the same way as cheeses made with cow milk. This gives it a soft, viscous texture that works beautifully on a pizza.
The flavor of goat cheese fits nicely with things like caramelized onions, which are somewhat sweet and tangy. Infused with the flavor provided by wood smoke, this combination is a perfect backyard oven fare.
Gruyere is a hard cheese with a sweet-and-salty flavor that evolves as it ages. It’s extremely popular for melting and baking, as it’s savory and smooth in texture. This makes it a creamy, rich option for pizza, imparting lots of flavor even when there are few other toppings. Spinach makes for a great topper for gruyere pizza, especially with a nice crispy crust to support the soft ingredients.
Ricotta cheese is unlike other cheeses in that it’s made primarily from the whey of milk and contains only a small amount of curd. It’s also a very young, fresh cheese, which gives it lots of moisture and an incredibly fluffy texture. Its flavor is quite mild, and it is low-fat, which makes it a great simple base for heavier, more intense ingredients. As a pizza cheese, ricotta is a smooth-melting ingredient that pairs well with somewhat fattier toppings like sausage.
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