There are very few people who don’t like pizza. And, let’s be honest, that’s probably just because they haven’t had good pizza before. So, practically speaking, everybody loves pizza. Because there are so few foods everyone can get behind like pizza, the team at Luisa’s Pizza in Manchester, NH, decided to find out why. Why does (pretty much) everyone like pizza? The answer: science! No, really. Well, specifically chemistry.
Let’s take a closer look at why chemistry is the reason you want to order pizza in Manchester, NH, for dinner tonight.
The Perfect Combination
Humans are drawn to complex foods that are fatty, sweet, and rich. Pizza checks all of those boxes. Cheese is fatty, tomato sauce is sweet, and the toppings we usually choose—meats like pepperoni and sausage—are rich. When you combine all those flavors and textures, you create the perfect food for the human palate.All those foods also contain a compound called glutamate. Glutamate does a lot of things, but it’s what tells your brain to get excited when delicious things are nearby. It’s what makes your mouth water when you smell your food even before you can taste it.
There are more chemical reactions at play that make us love pizza. The first is caramelization. That’s what we call what happens when sugars turn brown and crispy when heated. Most foods contain sugar in one form or another. When the food reaches temperatures between 230 and 320 degrees Fahrenheit, the sugars begin to caramelize. When it comes to pizza, ingredients like tomatoes and onions caramelize when you bake them, making them sweet, rich, and flavorful. The pizza crust also caramelizes, which is what makes it crispy and delicious.
The Maillard Reaction
There is one other chemical reaction that turns food brown and crispy. That is the Maillard reaction, named after the French chemist Louis-Camille Maillard. This reaction occurs when amino acids in high-protein foods react with the sugar when heated. On pizza, this reaction happens in cheese and meats like pepperoni. So when you see bubbles in your cheese or crispy pepperoni with curled edges, that’s the Maillard reaction.
Get Pizza in Manchester, NH, at Luisa’s
Is all this science making you hungry? Well, that’s the point! Head to Luisa’s Pizza in Manchester, NH, for a delicious science experiment. Just kidding, we mean pizza. If you need a little extra motivation (as if you would), National Pepperoni Pizza Day is September 20th!