Best cheese for pizza
For some, no pizza is complete without it, for others, it is a match to cravings of one of the all-time greats of comfort-food. Cheese has made its way to pizzas since the very first pies were served at open-air stalls by the markets in Naples and the two have been inseparable ever since. Loved by children and grown-ups alike, few can resist melted cheese atop a perfect pizza pie!
Whatever your penchant for flavour or texture, the world of cheese offers plenty of variations in both categories. Simple, complex or decadent, just pick to your liking and dive in! Making cheese cater to other ingredients allows for endless possibilities in combinations of flavour and contrasts, but some actually prefer letting the cheese shine on its own or even as a cheese quintet. Ranging from intense to mild and hard to soft, no cheese is unsuitable as pizza topping.
As a garnish or on its own, the demand for cheese-topped pizzas are in high demand and fromage favourites include Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Provolone, Chevré and Pecorino-Romano, all of which we will guide you through below.
Perhaps the most well-known and popular pizza topping of all-time, Mozzarella is cherished for its near perfect consistency and straightforward flavour. As a tasty browned top, flavours are mild and fresh with a creamy consistency that is sure to leave you wanting more. Sold in both fresh- and low-moisture variations, each offers unique characteristics that make them both worth experimenting with.
Opting for low-moisture Mozzarella means a longer shelf life, stronger flavours and easier melting, while fresh variants feel creamier and must be consumed within the first couple of days after having been made. Both work wonders for all types of styles and they mingle perfectly with other cheeses as well. Keep it simple with the favoured Pizza Margherita with fresh basil, sweet tomato sauce and Mozzarella.
One of the most popular kinds of fresh Mozzarella is Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, also known as Buffalo Mozzarella. Only being produced in certain areas of Italy, its traditional recipe dates back several centuries. Buffalo Mozzarella is a type of fresh Mozzarella and it finds uses both baked or enjoyed fresh. Sprinkle a few dollops across an already cooked pizza, or let it melt for that classic pizza feel.
Known for its sharp flavours and strong presence, cheddar is a great addition to any pizza recipe and with our Castello® Mature Cheddar, naturally formed salt crystals deliver added bite and nuance to flavour. Powerful, iconic and packed with character, this cherished classic goes well both mild and spicy ingredients, enhancing the flavours of all that it touches. Its deep flavours are great for recipes in need of something extra and it makes for a wonderful garnish as well.
Often a main ingredient to some of our favourite comfort foods, cheddar is a must-have on our recipe for Mac and Cheese Pizza. The ultimate gathering of comfort-foods, this is sure to satisfy cravings of all shapes and sizes.
Rich in flavour, smooth in texture and even better on pizza, Havarti ranks among some of the most popular cheeses of all – and for good reason. Originally hailing from the green pastures of Denmark, this delightful cheese has become a staple in recipes and cheeseboards alike because of its ease of use, clear flavours and savoury palate. Sharing close resemblance to cheddar, our Castello® Aged Havarti is an event of its own and offers heaps of unique nuances to your pizza.
Try letting it replace cheeses in traditional recipes for an exciting twist that is bound to make a lasting impression!
Intricate, creamy and aromatic – Gorgonzola is full-bodied in every sense. Made using milk from cows in the northern parts of Italy, this blue marbled cheese is a great addition to any pizza recipe. With mild tones of hazelnuts, flavours are sharp, becoming slightly more intense as it develops on your tongue without growing too strong. Soft and somewhat crumbly it melts easily and spreads evenly on all manner of pizzas. Being considered mild in its youth, flavours strengthen as it ages.
Pairing this Lombardian classic on pizza with Prosciutto and caramelised onions proves to be a simple, yet mesmerising use of some of the best parts of Italy.
Matured for up to 36 months at a time, Parmigiano-Reggiano offers a strong profile of flavour and a fragrant aroma to follow. Produced from cow’s milk in the northern parts of Italy near the river Po, this hard cheese enjoys tones of roasted hazelnuts, browned butter and sparks of salt to finish. Its savoury umami taste serves as a perfect garnish to pizzas both melted or freshly grated, and it is obvious as to why it is considered royalty among cheeses. Strong, vibrant and nuanced, Parmigiano-Reggiano most certainly deserves a spot in your roster of pizza cheeses.
Grate Parmigiano-Reggiano atop any of your favourite pizza recipes for added depth to your flavours.
Closely related to Mozzarella, Provolone is semi-hard Italian cheese often used in conjunction with both Parmigiano-Reggiano and Mozzarella. In its youth, flavours are sweet and mild, sharpening as it ages, with its texture becoming crumblier due to the forming of salt crystals in its body. Often enjoyed on its own, its somewhat mild flavours translate beautifully to all types of pizza styles and it can be used both as garnish or as the only cheese.
Try coupling it with fresh tomatoes and basil as a simple but flavourful pizza that is guaranteed to impress pizza lovers of all ages!
Not one to melt like other types of cheese, goat cheese offers a unique angle on classic pizza flavour and works as a great way of keeping things fresh and exciting. Known for its tart flavours and creamy texture, goat cheese lingers on your palate like that of a dry white wine. Tangy, elegant and almost refreshing, it pairs wonderfully with milder vegetables and aromatic herbs. Try your hand at Chevré or other white goat cheeses.
Try letting it replace cheeses in other recipes for a tart twist you are sure to fall in love with.
Not too distant from Parmigiano-Reggiano in name, origin or flavour, Pecorino-Romano is an Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk near Lazio. Its flavours are strong, sharp and slightly spicy with tones of toasted hazelnuts and browned butter. Having aged anywhere between 8 and 12 months, this hard cheese often sports salt crystals which help give it its distinct texture and flavour. Try letting it replace pizzas where you would normally have used Parmigiano-Reggiano as a way of keeping things fresh.
The ultimate cheese pizza
Sometimes, the simpler you go, the better it gets – Pizza Quattro Formaggi is most definitely one of those times. Meaning simply four cheese pizza, this classic recipe calls for a combination of your favourite cheeses atop red tomato sauce and a light crust. The ingredients being entirely up to you, our take combines the ultimate in both rich decadence and nuanced flavour.
Starring a base of either fresh or low-moisture Mozzarella, dashes of crumbled Gorgonzola and shredded Havarti enjoy plentiful shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Strong, vibrant and oh-so good, its flavours nestle against each other in a one-of-a-kind marriage of contrasts and aromas that keeps you coming back for more. For even more character, try replacing the latter for Pecorino-Romano instead.