Mozzarella Makes the Best Looking Pizza Because Science
A paper published in the Journal of Food Science called The Quantification of Pizza Baking Properties of Different Cheeses, and Their Correlation with Cheese Functionality examined how properties of different cheeses contributed to the appearance of pizza.
According to the author Bryony Joanne James, her research group is interested in”food micro-structure and food material science.”This sounds like the best research group ever, especially compared to the one that determined that inhaling farts might be good for you. Professor James has actually published several papers about pizza cheese. In the video above, James gives a drool-worthy explanation of exactly how cheese should blister and brown on a pizza and describes the study.
Elasticity and water content determine browning and bubbling during baking. The study found that cheddar browns well but doesn’t bubble due to lack of elasticity while Gruyere bubbles but does not brown because it is too oily. Low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella hits the sweet spot of both- as the stretchy mozzarella heats up, large gas bubbles form causing oil to slide down the sides. The exposed cheese then browns in those delicious caramel-colored patches.
So why are they doing this? By understanding chemical and structural properties at a micro level that make certain foods appealing, food scientists can apply those properties to other foods to improve the experience.
Source: NPR blog the salt