Why This Cheese Pizza World Record May Never Be Broken

Some people's idea of a deluxe cheese pizza offers not just one but all of three varieties of cheese. One standard three-cheese pie would have mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan (via YouTube) — three classic Italian cheeses for one of Italy's more famous food exports. But you're not required to put only Italian cheese on a pizza. Nor are you limited to just three. In fact, French pizza maker Benoît Bruel wanted to show off the wide variety of cheeses that come from his country, so he took the trouble to bake 254 kinds of cheese inside a deep-dish crust in February 2020 (via New York Post).

Guinness World Records eventually acknowledged that the Lyon chef had set the world record for most varieties of cheese in one pizza. According to people who were on hand to try Bruel's pizza with extra cheese, it actually tasted pretty good. 

Most of the cheeses were indeed from France, but Bruel did add in some Swiss varieties, too. He broke the previous record by a lot: 100 more cheeses than an Australian restaurant had combined to make the world record pizza a year earlier. Perhaps Bruel thought his record was safe, but no — the newest cheese pizza world record, set in September, involved so many cheeses it may never be broken. Bruel can console himself with the knowledge that the Guinness World Record stays in France.

All 834 cheeses on the world record pizza came from France

When you think of France, wine might come to mind first. Terroir France says there are more than 100 distinct grape-growing regions, or terroirs. What you may not know is that France also has some 1,000 cheese terroirs, according to a press release from the French dairy sector. If that's the case, then France should be able to do better than 254 cheeses on one pizza.

Cheese expert François Robin, chef Julien Serri, and YouTuber Morgan Niquet set out to do just that on September 25 in Lyon — the same city where Benoît Bruel had built his 254-cheese pizza. The three Frenchmen combined 834 French cheeses into one pie, making sure to use the required 2 grams minimum of each cheese, according to a Guinness World Records statement. The finished product weighed at least 2 kilograms or roughly four and a half pounds.

Unless you're a French cheese expert, most of the varieties that ended up on the world record pizza will be unfamiliar to you. The French dairy sector released the full list, and some names ring a bell: several bleu cheeses, Munster from a region near the German border, some Camemberts from Normandy.

How hard would it be to break the new cheese pizza world record? If you bought every cheese available at Trader Joe's, you'd come home with 31 varieties according to Eat Like No One. How many stores would you need to visit to get the other 804?