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Author Topic: Finishing cheese for NY pizzas  (Read 644 times)

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Offline RHawthorne

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Finishing cheese for NY pizzas
« on: August 11, 2020, 06:49:14 PM »
Is it standard for NY pizzerias to use a finishing cheese on their pizzas or not? I've never been there, but I've watched a ton of videos from NY pizzerias, and it seems like only some of them finish their pizzas with Parmesan or Romano, or whatever. A good many of the pictures of NY pies that I see also look like they don't have any kind of finishing cheese on them, either. What's the story? Is that considered 'fancy', something that's only used by the more upscale pizzerias, or what? Are the ones that don't have it considered inferior by the NY pizza lover's scene? I'm just curious. After all the years of making pizza at home and professionally, I'm still on the fence about whether a finishing cheese is really necessary at all. I like it, but sometimes, when I really love the mozz I'm using, I think a finishing cheese is actually just kind of distracting. I'm also kind of surprised that I've never seen this question posted here before. We'll see where this goes.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2020, 08:39:37 PM by RHawthorne »
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Online Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Finishing cheese for NY pizzas
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2020, 07:27:38 PM »
Back in my youthful days in NY, never saw anyone add a cheese post bake other than the ubiquitous jars of crappy Parmesan that were available to the customer. We always added that along with oregano & garlic because we wanted the free extra's.

What they do now is unknown to me as I haven't been back in a long time.

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Finishing cheese for NY pizzas
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2020, 07:39:07 PM »
Back in my youthful days in NY, never saw anyone add a cheese post bake other than the ubiquitous jars of crappy Parmesan that were available to the customer. We always added that along with oregano & garlic because we wanted the free extra's.

What they do now is unknown to me as I haven't been back in a long time.
Ah yes, the "Parmesan" that comes in a green can. It never ceases to amaze me that some "gourmet" pizzerias continue to use that crap. Call me a snob, but for my money, I'll either buy the real thing or skip it altogether. Or use something else
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Online hammettjr

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Re: Finishing cheese for NY pizzas
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2020, 07:54:16 PM »
I don't think there is a standard. Some do it one way, some another.

That said, for me, I dont think of finishing cheese as part of what I expect in a NY slice. What I think may have been more common was a romano layer on top of the sauce (under the mozz). I suspect that for cost considerations that's less common now. (One of Norma's videos with Frank has him commenting that the pizzerias should never have stopped adding the romano on top of the sauce.)

As to what you do for your pies, that's up to you. And you may vary it based on your mood. I've gone through stretches or romano, sometimes parm, some times both. But for the last year, I've preferred it without any hard cheese.
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Offline PizzAmateur

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Re: Finishing cheese for NY pizzas
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2020, 10:53:08 PM »
Call me a heretic, but I grew up using the "green" can of Parmesan cheese and I still like it for some things.   Yeah, I know about the cellulose and other things that are added...

However, let's just say it falls into the category of "comfort foods".

Hey, they STILL use "cheese whiz" on beef sandwiches somewhere and many claim those are the best in the world!  (chuckle)

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Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Finishing cheese for NY pizzas
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2020, 11:27:07 PM »
Call me a heretic, but I grew up using the "green" can of Parmesan cheese and I still like it for some things.   Yeah, I know about the cellulose and other things that are added...

However, let's just say it falls into the category of "comfort foods".

Hey, they STILL use "cheese whiz" on beef sandwiches somewhere and many claim those are the best in the world!  (chuckle)
Fair enough. Most of us grew up with the fake Parmesan. It's not like it's awful; it just doesn't taste anything like the real thing, and it takes a ton of it to really make an impact.
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Offline PizzAmateur

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Re: Finishing cheese for NY pizzas
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2020, 12:28:13 AM »
Fair enough. Most of us grew up with the fake Parmesan. It's not like it's awful; it just doesn't taste anything like the real thing, and it takes a ton of it to really make an impact.


Neither does "cheese whiz".  (chuckle)

To each their own.   Sometimes what one grows up with becomes a "comfort", whether it is "good" or "bad" according to others.  ;D

Online Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Finishing cheese for NY pizzas
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2020, 01:12:28 AM »
Just to clarify, no NY pizza shop I was ever in had the green can of cheese. It was always a glass jar, which just might have been filled in the back with something from a big green can or not.  :-D

Also forgot the crushed red pepper jar as well.

Online Jackitup

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Re: Finishing cheese for NY pizzas
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2020, 02:39:15 AM »
I think often it is a nostalgic thing, evokes memories of what we grew up with! Yes, we like and prefer the better  more pure thing but may WANT that cheaper version just to get that taste memory back for a moment, however fleeting.......🙂
Jon

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Offline PizzAmateur

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Re: Finishing cheese for NY pizzas
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2020, 03:13:19 AM »
I think often it is a nostalgic thing, evokes memories of what we grew up with! Yes, we like and prefer the better  more pure thing but may WANT that cheaper version just to get that taste memory back for a moment, however fleeting.......🙂


As I said before. "comfort food"... 8) ;D


I hate to link to wikipedia, but sometimes it just fits...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_food


I will also call "toasted" and "grilled cheese" sandwiches "comfort food".

Creamed potatoes, stove top macaroni and cheese (from scratch), home made pizzas (when done right), honey and white bread... let the honey soak in for at least 10 minutes as it changes the texture of the bread...

Pinto beans with cornbread, sweet onions and jalapenos.  Turnip greens (preferably after a good frost), spinach/egg "muffins",  hot pepper "juice" and saltine crackers.

Cinnamon toast...


Anyway, you get my drift...  (smile)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2020, 03:21:32 AM by PizzAmateur »

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Offline 02ebz06

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Re: Finishing cheese for NY pizzas
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2020, 11:44:41 AM »
Getting back on track...
If the first pizza you ever ate had finishing cheese on top, you would likely expect it on every other pizza after.
If it didn't, just the opposite.
Then, if all you had was pizza without, and you tried with, you would either like it because it was something different or not like it because it was not what you are used to.

I put crushed red peppers on mine most every time.
Occasionally sprinkle some Oregano on, or grind some Pecorino Romano on.

Boils down to whatever floats your boat.

JMO
Bruce here... My toys --> FGM 800-B Pizza Oven, Pellet Grill, Pellet Smoker, Propane Griddle, Propane Grill

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: Finishing cheese for NY pizzas
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2020, 10:10:29 PM »
what's the difference how it's done in nyc, what's important is what you enjoy. Personally, I like to build layers of flavor, so I'll use one hard cheese over the sauce pre-bake and a different cheese post-bake.

I'd be surprised if this hasn't been discussed, search the forum for "hard cheese" instead of finishing cheese and I believe you'll find a lot of posts...

enjoy!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2020, 10:13:38 PM by quietdesperation »
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Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Finishing cheese for NY pizzas
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2020, 12:42:43 AM »
what's the difference how it's done in nyc,
I'm pretty sure I clarified myself when I said "I'm just curious". Definitely not a make or break thing here.
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