Saturday, June 11, 2011

When Bad Things Happen to Good Pizza

Part One: It Pays to Cut the Cheese

There are many ways to ruin a pizza, but I made a cardinal mistake last Sunday. I used the wrong cheese.
"I don't know what six cheeses they blended, but together they just taste like a foot." - Rachel
 We went camping over Memorial Day weekend. We don't camp often, but when we do, one staple food is the campfire pie (or "hobo pie"...Hi Mom!). Since I'm a pizza nut, pizza sandwiches are the standard. We bring some sandwich bread, some homemade sauce, some pepperoni, and some cheese.

Rather than bring cheese to shred, we bought some pre-shredded. Campfire pizza pies aren't made for perfection, just good enough, so the cheese was fine. We picked up some 6-cheese italian store brand and ran with it. The campfire pies were great and fed 7 of us. However, we had a package and a half left over when we got home.

Last week, I was running a little behind in the whole pizza production, and didn't know when I'd have the occasion to use the 6-cheese blend, so I reached for it. Big. Mistake.

What I hoped for was a reasonable substitute, but what I got was plastic.
"The toppings, sauce, and top of the crust are entombed in plastic cheese, so the moisture has nowhere to go." - Rachel
The end result was a crispy crust on the bottom, plastic cheese on the top, and mush in the middle.

I also made some breadsticks from the same dough batch that were outstanding, so I can say with confidence that this otherwise great pizza was completely ruined by bad cheese.

I wasn't even going to take pictures until we started eating and realized how bad it was. When we decided it was good blog fodder, I took out the iPhone and snapped a couple close-ups.

The lesson here, kids, is to always make time to cut the cheese.