Neapolitan pizza is known for its crispy yet chewy crust, tangy tomato sauce, and of course, its cheese.
But what is the best cheese for Neapolitan pizza?
The best cheese for Neapolitan pizza is Mozzarella. It has a creamy, slightly salty flavor that melts well and adds the perfect amount of richness to the pizza. Burrata, Pecorino Romano, and Provolone are all great options too!
With so many delicious options to choose from, it can be tough to decide which cheese will complement the pizza’s flavor profile the best.
In this article, we’ll explore the ten best cheeses for Neapolitan pizza and discuss what makes them unique.
Whether you’re a pizza enthusiast or a curious foodie, this article will give you a better understanding of the cheese options available and help you make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the perfect cheese for your Neapolitan pizza.
Read Also: The 15 Best Ooni Pizza Toppings
Characteristics of Neapolitan Pizza Cheese
When it comes to Neapolitan pizza, cheese is just as important as the crust and sauce. The right cheese will add a savory, creamy flavor to the pizza and complement the other ingredients.
Here are some key characteristics to look for in a cheese that is suitable for Neapolitan pizza:
- Moisture content: Neapolitan pizza is baked at a high temperature, which means that the cheese must be able to withstand the heat without drying out or burning. Cheeses with a higher moisture content, such as fresh mozzarella, are better suited for Neapolitan pizza.
- Melting point: The cheese should melt easily and spread evenly across the pizza. Cheeses with a low melting point, such as provolone and fontina, work well for Neapolitan pizza.
- Flavor profile: The cheese should complement the other ingredients and not overpower them. Cheeses with a mild, nutty flavor, such as Asiago and Parmigiano-Reggiano, are a good choice.
- Freshness: Freshness is key when it comes to Neapolitan pizza cheese. Look for cheeses that are made using traditional methods and are sold fresh, preferably the same day they were made.
The 10 Best Cheeses for Neapolitan Pizza
The classic Neapolitan pizza is made with a few simple ingredients, but the cheese you choose can make all the difference.
Here are ten of the best cheeses for Neapolitan pizzas to help you get that perfect flavor and texture:
- Mozzarella di Bufala Campana: This cheese, made from the milk of water buffaloes, is the traditional cheese used on Neapolitan pizza. It has a creamy texture and a tangy, slightly sweet flavor.
- Stracciatella: This cheese is made by shredding fresh mozzarella and mixing it with cream. It has a soft, stringy texture and a rich, buttery flavor.
- Burrata: Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. It has a soft, creamy texture and a delicate, milky flavor.
- Pecorino Romano: This sheep’s milk cheese is salty and tangy, with a hard texture that makes it ideal for grating over Neapolitan pizza.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano: Parmigiano-Reggiano, also known as Parmesan, is a hard, nutty cheese that is perfect for grating over Neapolitan pizza. It adds a salty, savory flavor to the pizza.
- Asiago: This cheese has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and a semi-firm texture. It melts well and adds a rich, savory flavor to Neapolitan pizza.
- Gorgonzola: This blue cheese has a creamy texture and a sharp, pungent flavor. It pairs well with toppings like caramelized onions and roasted mushrooms.
- Provolone: Provolone is a semi-hard cheese with a mild, slightly sweet flavor. It melts easily and adds a creamy texture to Neapolitan pizza.
- Scamorza: This cheese is similar to mozzarella but has a slightly smoky flavor. It melts well and adds a unique flavor to Neapolitan pizza.
- Caciocavallo: Caciocavallo is a semi-hard cheese with a tangy, slightly salty flavor. It melts well and adds a creamy texture to Neapolitan pizza.
Pairing Cheeses with Neapolitan Pizza Toppings
While the cheese is a crucial component of Neapolitan pizza, it’s not the only ingredient that matters. Toppings like tomato sauce, fresh basil, and meats can all add different flavors to the pizza.
Here are some cheese pairing suggestions for popular Neapolitan pizza toppings:
- Margherita: The classic Margherita pizza features tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil. This pizza pairs well with fresh mozzarella or burrata, which adds a creamy texture that complements the tangy tomato sauce.
- Pepperoni: Pepperoni pizza is a classic favorite, and it pairs well with provolone, which has a mild flavor that won’t overpower the spicy pepperoni.
- Mushroom: Mushrooms add an earthy flavor to Neapolitan pizza. Try pairing them with gorgonzola, which has a tangy, pungent flavor that complements the mushrooms.
- Sausage: Sausage is a hearty topping that pairs well with aged cheese like Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano. These hard cheeses add a salty, nutty flavor that balances the richness of the sausage.
- Vegetarian: If you’re making a vegetarian pizza, try using a combination of fresh mozzarella and Asiago. The fresh mozzarella adds a creamy texture, while the Asiago brings a nutty, slightly sweet flavor to the pizza.
In conclusion, the cheese is an essential ingredient in Neapolitan pizza, and choosing the right one can make all the difference.
So, what cheese is best for a Neapolitan pizza?
The best cheese for Neapolitan pizza is mozzarella. It melts well and adds a creamy texture to the dish. Burrata, a fresh Italian cheese, gives Neapolitan pizza an extra layer of creaminess and sweetness. Pecorino Romano adds salty flavor, while provolone offers nuttiness and mild richness.
By considering the characteristics of Neapolitan pizza cheese, such as moisture content and melting point, you can select the perfect cheese for your pizza. And by pairing your cheese with the right toppings, you can create a pizza that is delicious and satisfying. So, go ahead and experiment with different cheese and topping combinations, and enjoy the deliciousness of Neapolitan pizza.