Revealed: Why does leftover or refrigerated pizza taste so good!
If there is one question that’s always puzzled pizza connoisseurs is why refrigerated or leftover pizza tastes so delicious. Well, we talk to experts who help solve this mystery for us.more lifestyle Updated: Apr 10, 2018 11:31 IST
A man’s best friend, apart from a dog, is pizza. No matter what time of the day it is and what kind of day you are having, a slice of pizza is always a phone call away. However, for pizza lovers across the world, if there is one thing that baffles and divides opinion is why does leftover or refrigerated pizza taste so awesome? Some may even argue that it’s even better than a hot piping pizza. To get to the bottom of this, we got in touch with experts who explained the science behind the juicy taste of a leftover or a refrigerated pizza.
Who decoded it?
In early 2000’s, Scottish scientist Dr Maureen Cooper — a chemistry lecturer from Stirling University — decided to investigate the matter and solved the puzzle. In an interview with the BBC, she explained, “The traditional pizza base has fibres that trap water, preventing it from seeping through to the cooked dough and making it soggy. And since fat and water don’t mix, the melted cheese topping then sits nicely above the puree. We all see the grease on plates that causes washing-up liquid to float on the top. That is because oil and water do not mix. That same phenomenon can be applied to cold pizzas. Since the fat does not go through to the base, the pizza itself tastes so much better.”
What does it mean?
The taste of leftover food depends on it’s structural properties. “For example, a dish like sushi, which consists of fish and rice, should be consumed within 10 hours or so. When the fish dies, bacteria starts to attack it, which means its taste deteriorates with time. And this also makes it unhealthy. However, this is not the case with dishes such as pizza or curries,” says chef Vaibhav Bhargav. “Aromatics such as garlic, onion and herbs along with cheese infuse brilliantly over a period of time and release their flavour. And if you put your pizza in the fridge, the combination of aromatics and cheese gets time to calm down, making the pizza even better,” he adds.
However, apart from aromatics, tomato puree also plays a big role in influencing the taste of a pizza. “The tomato puree gets oxidised with time. And this is the real secret behind the feel good taste of a leftover pizza,” says chef Harangad Singh.
What’s the catch?
We’ve established that refrigerated pizza tastes awesome. However, the question is, is it healthy? “If the pizza base is Chicago-style (deep dish pizza dough) or deep-pan, then you can refrigerate the pizza. The base is strong enough to hold the ingredients. However, if the base is thin crust, it will crumble. Also, if you are using sea food then better to have fresh pizza. While refrigerating, stick to classics such as Margherita or pepperoni,” says chef Sabyasachi Gorai.
The base of the pizza isn’t the only point of concern. “Cheese like mozzarella gets gooey after a period of time. Refrigerated cheese can cause you an upset stomach. For leftover pizza, always opt for soft cheeses such as goat and mascarpone,” says chef Vaibhav Bhargav.
How do you refrigerate and heat up the leftover pizza
“In the summers, pizza can be kept out in the open for maximum 1 ½ hours. After that, you have to refrigerate it. The temperature in the refrigerator should be 0-3 degree Celsius. The ideal time to microwave a pizza is for 40-60 seconds,” says chef Harangad Singh. However, for those, who feel microwaving the pizza is not healthy, you can heat it, too. “Use a non-stick pan to heat the pizza. Heat it for 60-90 seconds,” says chef Sabyasachi Gorai.