Pizza 103: Topping it Off
Pizza topping is the most important part of a pizza. It can make or break your entire meal – and there’s a lot more to it than just cheese! Some people like their crust burnt; others prefer theirs soft. Some enjoy vegetables on top while others want meat. The possibilities are endless when it comes to what you could put on your pizza. In this article, we’ll give you everything you need to know about how to pick out the perfect toppings for your next pizza creation.
Rules of Pizza Topping
Topping a pizza may seem like a beginner’s play, but there are some rules to follow.
Do not Overload!
The first rule is that you should not overload your pizza with toppings. If you put too many ingredients, it can lead the sauce and cheese from being able to penetrate the crust of the dough enough for flavor. A good pizza should be balanced. If you have too many toppings, they might weigh down the crust and make it soggy. But if you don’t put enough on, then what’s the point of putting any toppings on at all? Keep this in mind when deciding how much to add!
Add a Sauce Base
The second rule is that all pizzas need a sauce base – whether it’s red or white (or another color!), tomato basil, pesto, Alfredo, etc.
Use Careful Proportions
You can still top a pizza with lots and lots without going overboard – just use careful proportions. For example, two types of meat vs. four vegetables would work better than one meat vs. three vegetables or seven types of meat vs. zero veggies. The more carefully proportioned toppings there are, the better the pizza will taste!
Fresh Ingredients Always!
Use fresh ingredients whenever possible! There’s nothing better than eating something homemade and knowing exactly what went into it.
What are the Most Popular Pizza Toppings?
Pepperoni: It’s one of the most popular toppings because it is a versatile meat. You can get pepperoni that comes in slices, ground, or even bits!
Pepperoncini peppers: also an option if you want something spicy to spice up your pizza.
Pineapple: Fresh pineapple is a great option to add sweetness and a slight crunch to your pizza. When added with the right combination toppings, it can become your next favorite topping to opt for every time you crave pizza.
Onions: Red onions have a milder, sweeter taste that goes well with any type of pizza sauce or cheese!
Anchovies: If you’re not into seafood, then anchovy may not be an ideal option for you. Anchovies are small, slightly salty fish and a popular topping to pasta dishes like spaghetti alla puttanesca. If the anchovy itself doesn’t appeal to you, then using it in sauces is also an option!
Banana Peppers: These green peppers have a milder flavor than red or yellow pepper varieties, making them perfect as toppings on pizza with other more spicy ingredients such as jalapenos or hot sauce. You can also use banana peppers in your sautéed vegetables, making this versatile vegetable worth including when designing your favorite dish!
Broccoli Rabe: Broccoli rabe has some hearty leaves that provide texture atop of any pizza and pairs well with cheeses, so if those are two put together in a pizza, it may become your new favorite go to topping!
Mushroom: This ingredient is often used in toppings for pizza due to its earthy, meaty, and savory flavor. Mushrooms can be bought fresh or dry, with the dry version being more common, but either type will work well on a thin crust.
Artichoke Hearts: Artichokes are usually eaten raw as they have an incredibly tart taste that gets sweeter when cooked. This vegetable has many different uses, including topping pizzas!
There are so many other toppings that you can put on a pizza – like sausage, bacon, chicken, oregano, shrimp, olives, or meat. There’s no end to the possibilities! Your own creativity and imagination only limit the possibilities for topping your personal pizza.
What Are Some Good Combinations of Fruit with Meat?
Some popular fruit plus meat pizza topping combos include:
- apples (turkey),
- pears (ham)
- strawberries (bacon)
- pineapple (beef)
- fig goes well with just about anything
You could also use bananas as an alternative to pineapples in more traditional recipes. And if all else fails – go classic!
Here are some popular pizza choices:
- Pizza Margherita has a tomato sauce base topped with basil leaves and fresh mozzarella cheese.
- Mexican pizza has a tomato base topped with various toppings, such as sour cream, avocado, and ground beef.
- The classic American pizza is often topped with pepperoni or sausage- which will add some spice!
- White pizza is usually topped with an Alfredo sauce base and lots of mozzarella cheese.
- Hawaiian pizza is often topped with ham and pineapple.
What Are Some Good Combinations of Vegetables?
Some good vegetable combinations for topping your personal pizza include:
- olives and bacon,
- mushrooms and spicy chicken
- basil and tomato,
- onion and black olives
- bell peppers and pepperoni
- roasted squash and red onion.
It’s important not to mix vegetables that don’t go well together, like onions and tomatoes. Most people agree you should never put both on the same pizza- because they spoil each other’s flavor. But if you want to experiment, even more, try green peppers, black beans, and jalapenos for an extra kick!
What Kind of Cheeses Are Best on Pizzas?
Mozzarella Cheese: It melts the best, so you can use less (which will save you money), but if you’re not worried about calories, go ahead and pile it up! This type of cheese has great flavor as well.
Parmesan Cheese: The more traditional topping! You’ll find this saltier than some other types of cheeses due to its higher concentration levels of sodium, in addition to being delicious.
Blue Cheese: Blue cheese is a little more of a niche cheese. It’s usually stronger and has to be mixed with other cheeses to balance it out, but it is worth trying if you want something new!
Swiss Cheese: Swiss cheese also melts well, so try adding this one into your pizza as another option for melting power.
Mozzarella & Parmesan Cheese: If you’re looking for the classic Italian taste without going all-out, then combine mozzarella and parmesan on top of each slice for that extra punch of flavor.
Cheddar cheese: Cheddar cheese is a go-to for many people. It’s strong and nutty, so if you want that classic snack, then cheddar cheese should be your choice!
Feta Cheese: Feta cheese has a higher salt content than other cheeses, but it also comes with the added bonus of some healthy fats to help give you energy.
Pizza toppings aren’t just about cheese. Choosing the right toppings can make a huge difference in how your pizza tastes, and hopefully, this guide has helped you find some new flavors to try out!
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