Topping Your Pizza    

A pizza is great with just dough, sauce, and some cheese. But most times you want more on your pizza. Enter the toppings. It is true that what one person may find heavenly on a pizza might be completely unappetizing to another person. What tastes good on a pizza is a matter of personal preference.

There are, however, some basic guidelines that will help ensure you end up with a great tasting pizza. You should try to choose ingredients that will complement each other. For example, a strong flavor like anchovies, smoked salmon, or chorizo might not work well with a sweet flavor like pineapple or corn. But then, who's to say…to each his own! Complementary flavors tend to work well together, playing off the flavors of each other, and giving a nice feel and taste to your mouth. The earthiness of mushrooms blends well with meats on your pizza, spinach and tomatoes go great together, and marinated artichoke hearts play well off of feta cheese and kalamata olives.

One basic thing to remember, no matter which ingredients you choose, is to take care not to overload your pizza. In our house, the carnivores tend to load up the top of the pizza sky-high, making for a hearty, packed pizza. But, the trade-off is that is cannot be easily picked up and ends up being eaten with a fork. A better approach, if you like some balance to your pies, is to top it for flavor, not focusing only on substance. In other words, each bite should have a nice blending of the topping flavors on your pizza, with just enough coverage to give your pizza great flavor, while still being able to pick it up and handle it easily. You can still load it up with lots of toppings, but be sure to give it a little breathing room.

There is also the school of thought that the best pizzas have very little by way of toppings, letting the simplicity of flavors and a great crust and sauce shine through. I must admit, these types of pizzas, in their simple perfection are heavenly. If you are used to loading up your pizzas, give the minimalist approach a try sometime…you may be surprised at how much you enjoy your pizza.