Home FACTS Pizza – The 3 Best Cheeses For Pizza

Pizza – The 3 Best Cheeses For Pizza

ca. 1998, Cancun, Mexico --- Lounge Chairs on Beach at Club Med --- Image by © Macduff Everton/CORBIS

While many people add cheese to their pizza because it seems strange to leave it out, the truth is cheese can make or break the pizza. Remember those slices of pizza when you were a kid? You would take a bite and long, stretchy strings of cheese would reach between your mouth and the slice held halfway across the table by your hand as you tried to get the strings to break. That was great cheese, was not it? You can do this at home and let your kids enjoy the same pizza experience.


Mozzarella is the pizza cheese of choice. Before you pick up just any block of mozzarella at the store, look at it. Most mozzarella you see at the store is low fat or skim. Look for whole milk mozzarella if you want that stretchy, creamy flavor. Mozzarella is a fresh cheese that is only aged less than a day. Get the freshest mozzarella you can find; it will be sold in a brine. Low moisture mozzarella can be kept for up to a month in the refrigerator, but it lacks some of the creaminess of fresh mozzarella.


Provolone cheese is also creamy and melts well. You can get it made plain or smoked. Choose the smoked if you want to add that extra little punch to your flavor. It has more flavor than mozzarella, yet it blends beautifully with it. Traditional provolone is aged a minimum of four months to develop its flavor.


Get a good chunk of real Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It should feel hard. Grate it yourself. Pre-grated parmesan cheese has nowhere near the flavor that this cheese has when you grate it yourself. The nutty, rich flavor adds depth to the mozzarella and provolone cheeses. Parmesan cheese should be aged between 2 to 3 years.

Blending these three cheeses produces a delicious pizza with stretchy cheese full of flavor. Herbs are traditionally sprinkled on to add seasoning. Good herbs for a cheese pizza include rosemary, oregano, thyme, basil, and sage. You can use fresh herbs or dried, but fresh herbs look nicer on the pizza. Chop them finely before sprinkling over the cheese to bake in the oven. If you want to add full basil leaves, add them after the pizza comes out of the oven.

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