These six versatile cheeses will boost your pizza’s flavor profile while keeping food costs down. – PMQ Pizza Magazine

There ’ s a cheese for every taste and every occasion. While mozzarella, with its adaptable season and gooey texture, predominate sovereign in pizza applications, many customers crave more adventurous alternatives, and the fresh pizza godhead is always experimenting with a variety of cheeses in search of that arrant touch recipe. If you ’ re looking to offer your customers more artisanal options, these six versatile cheeses—recommended by chef Mark “ The tall mallow Dude ” Todd from the California Milk Advisory Board—will boost your pizza ’ sulfur spirit profile while keeping food costs down.

1. Aged Asiago: Keep Behind the Counter

In its american interpretation, this whole-milk cheese is a hard, grating cheese, a far cry from its fresh and lissome italian ancestor. Asiago can be compared to Parmesan as a crumbly, dry cheese perfect for finishing off a pizza, pasta or practically any italian dish. Asiago differs from Parmesan, however, in its texture, which is creamier and similar to an aged cheddar. And, unlike Parmesan, it ’ s not a cheese you ’ d leave out on tables ; Asiago ’ s higher fatty message prevents it from ever getting difficult and dry enough to stay in shakers without gumming up, and it ’ s not cheap. You ’ ll want to use Asiago meagerly behind the antagonistic and make certain it doesn ’ t have to compete with other flavors. Sprinkle a little aged Asiago on a pizza just after the pie is fully cooked to add a unique aromatic and textural quality .

2. Blue Cheese: A Little Dab’ll Do Ya

Blue cheese presently ranks as the one-fifth most common cow-milk tall mallow on pizzeria menus in the United States, according to Technomic ’ s MenuMonitor. Its potent smell and periodic alien spell ( bleu ) reminds one of France, its area of origin. Blue is a sister cheese to Gorgonzola, whose signature blasphemous mold primitively spawned from bread yeast that transferred to the tall mallow through the air travel. In Italy, Gorgonzola developed from wheat bread yeast, while rye bread, which is much more common in France, yielded aristocratic cheese. Blue cheese ’ s most identify feature today is its sharp potency, as opposed to the earthy, creamier Gorgonzola. Both pair well with gratifying and salty ingredients such as fruit, nuts and cured ham .
Chef Mark Todd ( besides known as The Cheese Dude ) from the California Milk Advisory Board suggests using blue tall mallow in a spread. “ Mix it with whatever cream you have in lineage, ” he says. “ You can even add a small extra blue cheese to your blue tall mallow dress. Keep in mind, though, that you must use mozzarella on top to keep everything in place. Dressing will have a tendency to run, and you very only need a small measure to get the relish you want. ” For topping a gloomy cheese pizza al-qaeda, Todd suggests a hearty kernel, such as sausage or beef ; nuts or salad greens ; or seasonal worker fruits for an innovative dessert pizza .

3. Ricotta: All About the Texture

low-cost and plentiful, ricotta is a super-soft, fresh cheese historically produced from leftover whey after mozzarella tall mallow product. The texture can be compared to cottage tall mallow, with smaller curds and a sugared, milkier smack. Ricotta is found throughout italian cuisine and comes in three varieties : whole-milk, part-skim and nonfat. The whole-milk variety is excellent for a lasagna or cannelloni, while part-skim is used primarily for ravioli to keep the cheese from running. Fat-free, meanwhile, can be used to crumble onto salads. unfortunately, the nonfat variety doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate mellow, so it doesn ’ thymine look as great on a pizza. But ricotta isn ’ thymine about appearance—it ’ south about texture, and it carries flavors wonderfully. Mix it with chives, garlic or strategic arms limitation talks to transmit a burst of creamy relish. There ’ sulfur one caveat : Ricotta is a damp tall mallow, so it can make your pizza crust drooping. It typically works best on a pizza that doesn ’ t have a tomato sauce base. Try applying your mix with a pastry sleeve to keep portions little and reproducible .

4. Feta: Bang for Your Buck

sanely priced and loaded with relish, feta goes a long way on pizza and in salads. It ’ s most normally known as an exotic, pungent Greek cheese, but it is, in fact, the same stuff as your basic bland farmer ’ s cheese. The key difference is the function of an accelerant called lipase, which speeds up the aging serve. Lipase gives feta its defining crisp taste. ever faithful to its heritage, this cheese is normally used on Greek or Mediterranean pizza and appetizers. If you ’ rhenium spirit adventurous, take stock of your Mediterranean toppings—such as roast peppers, olives, pepperoncini and crimson onions—and combine them with feta. Chef Todd suggests combining feta with green olives and julienned prosciutto ( which is more low-cost than prosciutto in big slices ). He besides recommends a convulse watermelon, feta and mint salad topped with crack black pepper for a summer treat. The ingredients are abundant and brassy in season, Todd notes, and make a novel dish .

5. Aged Provolone: The Perfect Blend

Aged provolone is a firm, elastic, fairly difficult cheese that ’ south perfective for function in a cheese blend with mozzarella. It ’ second dry but high in fat, which makes it great for melting as a 5 %, 10 % or 15 % blend with standard pizza cheese. Its relish morsel comes from the summation of lipase, which gets stronger as the tall mallow ages. One or two years of aging is standard with aged provolone—you probably don ’ t want to long time it for more than three years. It ’ second besides shreddable and has an extended shelf life. Best of all, it packs a flavorful punch and livens up any mozzarella dish.

6. Monterey Jack: America’s Fastest-Growing Cheese

frequently overlooked, Monterey Jack is the fastest-growing cheese in America, finding a locate on menus in quick-service and fast-casual restaurants alike. Monterey Jack doesn ’ thyroxine have a firm season of its own, but it carries other flavors beautifully in varieties such as pepper jack, rosemary jack or evening habanero laborer. It has a creamy, buttery, mellow spirit with no bite border. It ’ s a uncontroversial short cheese that ’ s palatable to about everyone. Since the american palate is turning toward blue flavors, according to the California Milk Advisory Board, pepper jack is a fine direction to add a little heat to your pizza. Pepper jack can be used for a Mexican-style pizza or on salads. It ’ mho great in a blend, excessively, because its high fat content allows the tall mallow to melt and flow beautifully on a pizza without browning. Missy Green is PMQ ’ s external correspondent .