Customers love personalizing their pizzas with fun toppings – and for restaurants, offering a range of cheeses is a great way to make a dish feel elevated. To help you decide which varieties are best for your menu, here are our experts’ insights on Canada’s most popular cheeses, inspired by Technomic’s report*.
Pizza Mozzarella cheese: a pizza’s best friend
As its name suggests, Pizza Mozzarella cheese was specifically developed for pizza. It provides great stretch, has a nice mild flavour that doesn’t overwhelm other toppings, and can be baked in any type of oven (450-475°F is the optimal temperature).
When choosing a Pizza Mozzarella cheese, consider its milk fat percentage. The higher it is, the better its stretch and blistering will be. Check out this article for a deep dive into different mozzarella cheeses!
Cheddar cheese: big on flavour
Ever-popular Cheddar cheese is best known for its satisfyingly savoury flavour. On pizza, it’s often served alongside a milder Pizza Mozzarella cheese (at a ratio of 70% Pizza Mozzarella to 30% Cheddar), since Cheddar cheese is too oily for full coverage.
Cheddar cheese performs well in any type of oven at around 450-475°F. Its oil content reduces blistering, which can be helpful for restaurants that bake pizzas at very high temperatures. Its adaptable flavour can be paired with almost any topping, and it’s great for themed pizzas, like this Cheeseburger Pizza inspiration.
Feta cheese: a salty, savoury favourite
Customers love feta cheese’s fresh saltiness and crumbly texture. It’s a great pick for Mediterranean inspired recipes and pairs especially well with summery ingredients (though it’s well-loved year-round).
On a pizza, all you need is a little feta cheese to make a big impression. It can be added before or after cooking depending on what result you want (whether it’s a toasted or fresh look), and it performs well in any type of oven.
If you’re new to using feta cheese as a topping, start with our Mediterranean pizza inspiration! It’s also great for adding variety to your side dish offering: try jazzing up your Caesar salad with feta cheese. It can even be priced at a premium!
Parmesan cheese: an authentic stapleParmesan cheese serves up bold flavours and a wonderful contrast. It’s often mixed with other cheeses – like in this breakfast pizza inspiration – and its authentic Italian vibe is a real crowd-pleaser.
Unless it’s being used to season the crust, it’s best to add Parmesan cheese to pizza after it has finished cooking. You can also sprinkle Parmesan cheese on salads, use it to season garlic knots, or add it on top of stuffed crusts and cheesy bread.
Goat cheese: bold, creamy goodness
Goat cheese’s creamy texture and tangy flavour are one of a kind. It immediately makes a pizza feel elevated, and as a bonus, it has a lower lactose content (be sure to promote that benefit). Goat cheese pairs great with both sweet and salty toppings, like in this pear and prosciutto inspiration.
This cheese is an excellent option for adding bold flavour to vegetarian pizzas, and can be used as a salad topping as well.
Fior di Latte cheese: simply luxurious
Fior di Latte cheese can effortlessly elevate simple ingredients with its high-end authentic vibe, making it perfect for recipes like Margherita pizza. This fresh cheese has a mild milky taste and has been developed specifically to perform well at a high temperature, whether you use a Neapolitan, stone, or deck oven.
While many other cheeses work great as a combo, Fior di Latte cheese is typically used on its own. Aside from pizza, it’s delicious in a caprese salad – a simple yet upscale dish that uses ingredients you most likely already have!
Market cheese as a premium add-on
Of all the cheeses we discussed in this article, Pizza Mozzarella cheese is the most affordable. Keep in mind, though, that customers expect to pay extra for unique cheeses: all of the above options can be priced as a premium add-on. Varieties that are viewed as “specialty” – like feta and Parmesan cheeses – might cost more, while classics like Cheddar and Pizza Mozzarella cheeses would cost a bit less. So, even if you’re paying more for premium cheeses, you can offset your expenses by charging an extra.
When it comes to variety, there’s no need to go overboard: even a few extra options will help you stand out. Start with a couple of different cheeses, experiment with limited-time offerings, and ask your Saputo Foodservice representatives about which ones will work best for your menu!
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Source: Technomic Q3 2019 - Q3 2020 report