Thinking of making pizza at home? Don’t just stick to the regular flavours. Play around and have fun to create flavour combinations you and your guests have never tried before (and may never try again!).
Firstly, the cheese. Try mixing cheese types such as cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, gorgonzola, or cream cheese. Older cheeses tend to have more flavour and younger cheese are smoother in taste. Cheese is useful to balance other flavours so a pizza with hot salami or peppers can have less bite with a cream cheese or a young cheddar and mozzarella.
Main Pizza Ingredient
An unusual topping doesn’t mean the pizza will taste strange. Experiment with prawns, scallops, fish roe, eel, eggplant, bok choy or other meats and vegetables you might not have used on pizza before. Some classic combinations that we don’t usually associate with pizza actually work well when placed on a thin crust of dough. Try crab and Camembert, fig with baked beetroot and goats cheese, or try the lamb with a minced spinach sag sauce – Naples meets Punjab!
Old Classics with a Twist
Modern chefs like taking traditional dishes and modernising them with new and interesting ingredients. For instance, a ham and pineapple pizza, usually made with tinned pineapple and luncheon ham can be transformed into a modern version with the use of fresh pineapple and pancetta or prosciutto. Cherry tomatoes are sweeter and generally have much more flavour than the traditional variety of tomatoes. For a modern take on a Margherita combine cherry tomatoes or other small colourful variety like Yellow Pear or Tomaccio with fresh basil and oregano.
Pick a Country
Once you have your cheese and the main ingredient in place. Consider how spices, herbs and sauces can help you create exotic, memorable flavours. Think of a national cuisine you like such as Spain, Morocco or Thailand. You can use its favoured seasonings to guide you in your choices. For instance, you might create an Indian curried egg pizza that uses coriander, chilli and garam masala, topped with mint yoghurt. Or a chicken pizza that fuses lemongrass, lime and other Thai flavours. The great thing about working with national cuisines is that you’re drawing on the flavour balancing experience of thousands of chefs who’ve experimented over generations. However, if inspiration takes you, don’t be afraid to try something new. A lychee, salmon and thyme pizzas might blow your mind!
So start Googling, come up with some interesting ideas and create your own pizza-de-resistance.