Why does everyone like Pizza? As foodservice operators, we must understand the reason for such a big success, and it turns out there is a Science behind.
There is no doubt that Pizza is one of the most loved food on the planet In the United States alone, according to a report by the Department of Agriculture, one American in eight eats Pizza every day. If we refer to children between 6 and 19, the percentage is even 26%
Surprising as it sounds, Italians are not the greedier pizza eater on Earth, in fact, Americans and French do better and British fall just short behind.
Half of the Italian population see a slice or “trancio” of Pizza for lunch as a better option when compared to pasta or salad.
But why does everyone like Pizza?
Before we get into the chemistry and physics, here are four “emotional” reasons that could explain our passion for this dish!
- Because it makes you happy, have you ever been in a bad mood after a bad day? Surely yes… Then you find yourself in front of a hot Pizza on your plate, and suddenly everything disappears! In short, Pizza is a real comfort food!
- Because it means “sharing”. How many times have we suggested to a friend to meet us for a Pizza? Because sharing a pizza is also spending great times together and conviviality. The round shape and the wide variety of toppings makes it easy to share and swap slices.
- Because it’s versatile. There is not just one type of Pizza, far from it. Pizza comes in different ways, with a variety of toppings and using creative combinations. We may feel ready to taste a new topping, or we throw ourselves on what we already know to be our favourite. And every time we can choose differently without ever getting tired.
- Because you can eat it anywhere. Pizza is the most classic of street food, and at the same time, it can be a “fancy” a dinner. A slice on the go, during lunch break, or a full pizza seated in a pizzeria.
Now, let’s get some of the science involved…
Scientists have identified the cause of this greedy addiction for Pizza: it is in the perfect mix of dough, cheese, tomato and condiments, how they interact both chemically and mechanically in our mouth, in our nostrils and our digestive system.
PIZZA DEPENDENCE: A QUESTION OF INGREDIENTS
The dough is rich in carbohydrates which, during cooking, go through the Maillard reaction, triggering an aromatic scent responsible for stimulating appetite. Furthermore, carbohydrates are a macronutrient that are very pleasing to the palate and the brain, and thanks to their extreme digestibility, they promote an “addiction” effect. The fats coming from the cheese also amplifies such effect.
Cheese is also chock-full of casein, an excellent protein of high nutritional value that, once digested, releases casomorphine: a smaller, benevolent protein that stimulates the “mu” and “k” receptors, responsible for regulating status of pleasure in our brain. As a consequence, an abundance of casomorphine, triggers these receptors, giving unparalleled feelings of happiness, joy and well-being, as we savour a slice of Pizza with melting cheese.
To complete the picture, tomato! Yes, tomato, that contributes to the flavour profile, covering all five established basic tastes: sour, sweet, bitter, salty and umami.
The latter being the least definable of all, but we know that it connected with glutamate, that makes food irresistible. “Umami”, in fact, in Japanese means “tasty”.
If one tablespoon of Parmesan cheese contains about 75 milligrams of glutamate, on average, there are 140 milligrams of glutamate on a pizza from approximately three tablespoons of tomato
Now you understand, Pizza is a concentrate of science ready to tickle your brain.
PRO TIP: do you want to unleash the true potential of Pizza like never before? , Order a classic pizza and add 2-3 teaspoons of Parmesan Cheese…
PIZZA CURIOSITY IN MATHS: Let’s talk about mathematics. Have you ever wondered if you spend less buying a pizza for four people or four pizzas from one person?
As you certainly remember, the surface of a circle, and therefore of a pizza, is given by the formula:
A = π r2
Where π is pi (3.14), and “r” is the radius. For a medium pizza, the radius is 4 inches, so the surface is about 50 square inches. If the radius doubles, however, the surface does not double: with an 8-inch radius, in fact, it is approximately 201 square inches. So four times greater. Considering that a “big” pizza generally costs twice as much, it’s definitely cheaper, given that it’s worth four.
That was totally unnecessary, I know, but next time you are with your friends, you can impress them with this!
Would you like to making the most of your pizza offer? Perhaps a fresh new pizza selection?
And also, maintain consistency? Reduce overheads?
Get in touch now, and our development chefs will assist in making your pizza menu the ultimate experience for your guests!