Everyone knows the basic cheeses for pizza, like traditional Mozzarella or even Cheddar – but what about the more exotic types of cheese for pizza that rarely get a look in? You’ll be amazed at the variety of flavours and textures that can add excitement to your pizza toppings, so I’ve saved you the trouble of a monster google search and laid down a fresh list of my favourite exotic pizza cheeses:)
An Italian cow’s-milk cheese, Scamorza is a stretched-curd cheese that’s quite similar to Mozzarella, so it will give your pizza that nice, stringy texture. It has a pale-white colour and actually melts really well, so it’s a great cheese for pizza without an overwhelming flavour (go for a smoked Scamorza if you want a bit more flavour).
Buffalo Mozzarella is made from (no prizes for guessing:) Buffalo milk. Leaving aside the question of who decided to milk a buffalo, it’s a mild, fresh stretched-curd cheese with a great texture when melted, making it a great cheese for pizza. Buffalo Mozzarella is creamy & soft and has more flavour than regular Mozzarella cheese.
An Italian cow’s-milk cheese with a sharp flavour & crumbly texture, Asiago works really well in combination with other cheeses for Pizza, such as mixed with Mozzarella and Romano. It can be bought fresh or aged, although when choosing a cheese for Pizza I’d suggest the aged as it has a bit more bite.
Fontina is a really interesting Pizza cheese, as it is an Italian cow’s-milk cheese with a fat content of around 45%. Authentic Fontina cheese has a strong aroma and a really intense flavour, so when choosing to use this cheese for Pizza keep in mind that it can dominate the other ingredients, and look for a young Fontina as it has a smoother texture.
Grana Padano Cheese
Grana Padano is a type of parmesan cheese with a really hard, grainy texture and a sharp flavour. Because of these characteristics Grana Padano is best used in combination with a lighter, softer cheese for Pizza like Buffalo Mozzarella which will add some bite to go with a stringy topping.
Feta comes in a lot of varieties, varying between very creamy, soft textures to quite firm and crumbly. When choosing a cheese for pizza, select a Feta based upon the other ingredients – if you want the cheese to compliment the other pizza toppings then go for a French or Bulgarian Feta, whereas if you’re looking for a stronger flavour then top your Pizza with an authentic Greek Feta which is saltier and has more punch.
If you’ve ever wondered what the difference between Feta and Goat Cheese is, you’re in luck; no more than 30% of a feta cheese can be Goat Cheese, with the rest being Sheep’s Milk, while Goat Cheese is 100% Goat. It is generally aged less than Feta, and will have a soft, creamy texture which makes it a perfect cheese for Pizza with chicken, salmon or roast vegetables.
Gorgonzola is an aged Italian blue-veined cheese that can be changed from cow’s or goat’s milk. It has a creamy texture with sharp flavours in the blue veins. It has a strong aroma and can overpower other flavours, but when used sparingly with carefully selected ingredients it can make a surprisingly fantastic Pizza cheese.
I hope that gives you some great ideas for your next Pizza adventures!