• Joseph Ruffino
    3
    Why do people love to eat pizza? Some people say because it's comfort food. Others say because there are so many different combinations satisfying Meat Lovers to Vegetarians. Most would agree it's probably the best fast food you can get to fuel your body.
    But in an article that appeared in the Washington Post last year by Jeffrey Miller he says "The answer is chemistry." He states in the article that in the United States alone, 350 slices are eaten every second, while 40% of Americans eat pizza at least once a week maybe more since Covid19. He goes on to say the reason pizzas so popular is because humans are drawn to foods that are fatty, sweet, rich and complex. Pizza has all these components.
    Pizza toppings are also packed with a compound called glutamate. This can be found in tomatoes, cheese, pepperoni and sausage. When glutamate hits are tongues it tells our brains to get excited and to crave more of it. The compound actually causes our mouth to water in anticipation of the next bite.
    Then there are combinations of ingredients or perfect pairing like cheese and tomato sauce. On their own they taste pretty good but according to culinary scientists they contain flavor compounds that taste even better when eaten together.
    Another quality of pizza that makes it so delicious, its ingredients become browned while cooking in the oven. Food turns brown and crispy when they cook because of two chemical reactions. The first is called caramelization, which happens when sugars in the food become brown. Some ingredients such as onions and tomatoes become browned during baking making them rich, sweet and flavorful. The brown and crispy crust is also of the result of the dough caramelizing.
    The other chemical mystery is with meat and cheese on your pizza getting brown due to a process called "Maillard reaction" which is named after the French chemist Louis Camille Maillard. The Maillard reaction occurs when the amino acids in high-protein foods such as cheese and pepperoni, react with the sugar in those foods when heated. Pepperoni that becomes crispy with curled edges and cheese that browns and bubbles are examples of the Maillard reaction.
    With bread, cheese and tomato sauce as its base, pizza might seem like a simple food. It isn't. And the next time you're about to devour a slice, you'll be able to appreciate all the elements of pizza that excites your brain, thrills our taste buds and causes our mouths to water.
    Thank you Mr. Miller for this insightful information. Special thanks to our good friend Stanley Levinson who brought this article to my attention and has been waiting patiently for me to get my act together and blog. Visit our website for more stories at www.pizzaguy.mx . Thank you! Joe & Ana Ruffino of PIZZAGUY
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