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No matter what kind of pizza, it’s a given that it will include some kind (or kinds!) of cheese. While Mozzarella is synonymous with pizza, any mellow cheese that has a good melting capacity is a qualified candidate. Pizza makers don’t limit themselves, as they experiment with different kinds, styles, flavors and textures. It’s not a matter of what’s best. It’s just a matter of what you like.

• Unpasteurized cheese for sale in a range of flavors is never sliced until it is actually sold, as it starts to lose its subtle flavors and aromas once it is sliced and exposed to the air.

• Store cheese wrapped loosely in waxed paper to let the air circulate, and then place it in an oversized food bag, which keeps it from drying out. Avoid using cling-type plastic wrap to wrap real cheese, as the living organisms in the cheese actually need air to survive.

• Cold-stored cheese is more flavorful when warmed up a bit before serving. (Even the aroma develops as its temperature rises.) Under normal circumstances, allow cheese to sit at room temperature for 90 minutes to 2 hours before serving for optimum flavor and softer consistency.

• Never store cheese with other strong smelling foods (for example cauliflower, onions or fish). The cheese will absorb the other odors. But we all know onions and cheese are inseparable when paired atop our favorite styles of pizza. Is the cheese you’re storing destined for use on a pizza? Let it cuddle with the onions. They are SO good together!

• Cheese, an integral part of a healthy diet and a kitchen staple, appears in
thousands of recipes, and in every pizza selection from your favorite Pizza of the Month Club. Did you know it can be made from the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, horses, sheep and even camels?

1) CHICKEN FAJITA GOURMET PIZZA – Perfectly spiced chicken breast strips, fresh sliced red pepper strips and light Jalapeños are covered in mozzarella. Then it’s topped with our signature tomato-based pizza sauce. What’s in it? tomatoes, onions, salt, spices, garlic, Romano, oils, and Chablis wine, that’s what!

2) DAVE’S ALFREDO GOURMET PIZZA – Roasted bell peppers, Canadian bacon and mozzarella are all decked out in Dave’s special Alfredo Sauce. His recipe’s a secret, so don’t tell anybody it’s made with heavy cream, Romano cheese, butter, eggs, flour and spices. He’ll be mad if his recipe leaks out . . .

3) VEGGIE DELIGHT GOURMET PIZZA – The kids won’t argue about eating their vegetables when you serve them this way! Plum tomatoes and zucchini benefit from a blanket of mozzarella cheese and a slathering of your favorite Pizza of the Month Club’s signature tomato-based pizza sauce.

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Tracie Burket
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