Tuesday, November 22, 2016

350 slices of pizza a second

Yup--that is how much Americans consume. For 15% of the country, this is the top comfort food.

In the November issue of Food Technology, assoc editor Melanie Zanoza Bartelme outlines eight things about pizza:

--58% of US pizza eaters say they would buy more frozen pizza if it had more gourmet ingredients.

--76% of consumers have eaten at a pizza restaurant in the past year.

--Pizzas are trending toward thinner crusts--but hand tossed is Number One is restaurants.

--Gluten-free trust is also trending. Launches of gluten-free pies increased 58% between 2012 and 2015.

--Tomato-based red sauce remains the most common topping, but ranch, alfredo, and white sauce are gaining.

--Mozzarella is the most common cheese, ricotta and Parmesan a distant second. But also look for comers like gorgonzola, fontina, goat, Romano, asiago, provolone, feta and pepper jack. Even gouda is popping up. (Or being popped on top.)

--Sausage and pepperoni are still the top meats--but bacon is also widely available now as is chicken breast. Other meats include prosciutto (up 27% since 2010), meatballs, salami, and anchovies.

--Onions, tomato, mushroom and peppers are on 73% of restaurant menus.

We like artichokes and of course, I invented Black Pizza--anchovies and black olives. Some people at your table may recoil.

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