Mashed Asks: What's The Best Secondary Cheese For A Pizza? - Exclusive Survey

At its most basic, pizza consists of three basic components: crust, tomato sauce, and melted cheese. People have long been swapping out the bottom element for tortillas, English muffins, French bread, and even cauliflower, while sauces like barbecue, buffalo, and Alfredo frequently take the place of marinara. Why, then, is nearly every pizza still made with mozzarella? The reason generally given for why mozzarella is always the right cheese choice for pizza is that it has the perfect degree of meltiness, stretchiness, gooeyness, et cetera, but how is this determined? Probably by comparing it to what we're used to, which is pizza made with mozzarella. It's kind of a cyclical thing.

While some brave pizza makers will occasionally break the cycle by using something daring like cheddar, most aren't willing to buck the trend to such an extent. Instead, they'll keep the basic mozzarella base and layer on a secondary cheese for additional flavor. Mashed polled 601 people and gave them a choice of five different supplemental pizza cheeses: blue, feta, gouda, goat, and ricotta. After counting the votes, we found the winning cheese to be one that's soft and creamy but doesn't necessarily pack much of a flavor punch.

Ricotta came out on top

The leading vote-getter, popular with nearly 38% of pollees, was ricotta, a cheese that can imbue your pizza with notes of lasagna. Nothing wrong with that, but ricotta's even more fun if you use it to recreate a culinary "Crime Scene" like that infamous pizza seen on "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." It also tends to show up in white pizzas since it's color-appropriate, plus it may help to take the place of the missing pizza sauce there.

In second place with 23% of the vote was feta, which is de rigueur for pizzas with gyro toppings and also plays well with most vegetables. Gouda, not too far back with 19%, is more of an out-of-the-pizza-box choice, but its slightly sweet, nutty flavor pairs nicely with ham and Canadian bacon. While blue cheese only pulled 10% of the vote, it's a must for any proper Buffalo chicken pizza. Goat cheese, which fell just short of 10%, may no longer be as trendy as it was back in the '80s, as its last-place finish proves. At least it still has a big fan in Aldi, though. The German grocery chain adds goat cheese to a range of pizzas including a Halloween-themed pumpkin pizza one, a goat cheese-spinach pie, and various other goat-y offerings that rotate their way in and out of the frozen foods Aisle of Shame.