Pizza Toppings

The most popular toppings for pizza are pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. This combination can be found in most standard buffet or quick serve pizza restaurants. Pepperoni is similar to a spicy Italian sausage called salamino piccante. It is generally very thinly sliced.

Artichoke Pizza

Meats placed on a pizza should always be precooked. Pepperoni can be eaten directly from the stick or package. Prepared meats, such as ham or other sausages can also be used. Hamburger, chicken and some sausages should be fried before topping the pizza. This is because when a pizza is baked it might not sufficiently heat raw meats to make them safe for consumption. Anchovies are another common meat topping for pizza. It need not be cooked before use if taken from a can.

Vegetables comprise a common topping on pizza. Onions, peppers, and tomatoes are the most likely. Though mushrooms are not a vegetable they are also a common topping. Artichoke hearts, black olives, and sun-dried tomatoes are also possibilities. However, common salad vegetables such as lettuce, cucumbers, and cabbage are not often used. Except for specialty pizzas (such as dessert pizzas) fruits are seldom seen on pizza, with the possible exception of pineapple which is often found in combination with ham.

The traditional pizza cheese as it is made in the U.S. and Canada is mozzarella. Nevertheless, other cheeses may be used especially in combination with mozzarella. Cheddar is the most likely, with Swiss another possibility. Parmesan may be put on the pizza before or after baking. Cheeses like "velveta" do not generally make good pizza toppings as they do not have the consistency to hold together when the pizza is served warm.

The order in which toppings are placed on a pizza can make a difference. Generally the sauce is put on the crust first, then vegetable ingredients, then meats, and finally the cheese (usually grated) is added. This insures the vegetables get properly cooked and the cheese holds the toppings together on top of the crust as it is passed out and eaten.

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