Food & Drink

Science confirms this is the best cheese for pizza

galleria umbero pizza boston
Sonya Highfield Photography

The best cheese for pizza? Turns out it's not Provel, people from St. Louis. And it's not sharp cheddar, people from Wisconsin/Vermont. And it's not "whatever's in the fridge", person reading this while making a pizza out of a two-week-old corn tortilla.

It's exactly what pizza-smiths have been using ever since everyone's favorite vegetable was invented: mozzarella.

A team of heroic scientists at New Zealand's University of Auckland recently published the findings of a study they conducted, wherein the researchers tested a bunch of different cheeses on top of pizzas to evaluate which one was the best to sprinkle on top of some dough. Mozzarella was tested against cheddar, Colby, Edam, Emmental, Gruyere, and provolone in what had to have been the easiest competition in the history of cheese studies. Just check out some of this science:

The study, published in the Journal of Food Science, reveals that mozzarella is the ideal pizza cheese for a myriad of reasons: it blisters (browns) well in an oven, is elastic enough that it bubbles under high heat, and isn't too oily that the entire surface of the cheese becomes a charred mess.

Also, the team evaluated the color of the cheese after baking and saw that mozzarella had the most uniform color patterns, and was therefore also really, really nice to look at.

Of course, all of this might be moot because the pies used in the study didn't have any sauce on them, due to the fact that the researchers wanted to limit the number of variables involved. So is it possible that the ideal pizza cheese has yet to be discovered? Not really. But keep searching, world.

Adam Lapetina is a Food/Drink staff writer for Thrillist, and thinks crumbled Parmesan comes in at a close second. Read his musings at @adamlapetina.