Nearly everyone can agree that pizza is delicious. That might be the only thing pizza lovers can agree on. Debates rage over whether pineapple is an acceptable pizza topping, if the crust should be stiff or soggy, and even how to put that pizza in your mouth. Do you “taco” your slice or eat its crust first?
Now, there’s a new pizza option to consider – how to slice the pizza. Gone are the days of the simple, pointed pie slice. Now, you can have a square-cut pizza, no-cut pizza, and double-cut pizza. The newest addition to the list is “clean cut pizza.”
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What is Clean Cut Pizza?
Clean cut pizza doesn’t mean your pizza has a close shave, a tidy haircut, and a tucked-in shirt. So, what is clean cut pizza? When you order a clean cut pizza, it means the cook who removes your pizza from the oven will use a clean cutter to slice it.
It takes about 12 minutes for a typical pizza to complete a trip through a commercial pizza oven. Unless your pizza is fired in a brick oven, it’s cooked on a conveyor. That conveyor pulls your pizza into the oven at one end and takes it on a short journey. By the time it reaches the other side, the cheese is nice and stretchy, and the sauce bubbles.
A cook with an oversized wooden spatula called a peel takes the pizza out of the oven, puts it in a box or tray, and slices it with a rotary blade. They can also use a rocker blade to cut it. Either way, this blade is likely the same one they used on the pizza right before it. It will be used on the pizza that comes out of the oven next.
On a typical weekend night, one pizza restaurant can cook and deliver hundreds of pizzas. They must get those pizzas out the door while they’re still fresh and hot. So, there are many tools and tricks in the pizza kitchen to help the cooks make that happen.
Pre-folding takeout pizza boxes, pre-measuring dough, and pre-chopping the ingredients all save time when there’s a rush of orders. The cooks can put together a pizza assembly-line style, with one person stretching the dough, the next adding sauce, and so on.
It might seem like cutting corners, but you’ll appreciate these time savers when your intense craving for pepperoni has you hungry for a slice ASAP. In the long run, prep work helps customers fill their stomachs faster, helping businesses satisfy the high demand.
One of those time-saving measures is to use the same cutter pizza after pizza. Cutters get sticky and cheesy quickly, making them a pain to wash. A typical pizza shop has several cutters on hand but not enough to use a new one for each fresh pizza.
Because of high customer demand, clean cut pizza is now an option. Instead of reusing the cutter from the previous pizza on your pizza, the cook will clean off the blade or use a fresh blade to cut it.
Why is it Important?
Why have customers started requesting clean cut pizza?
There are a few reasons some people might want that extra step taken with their pizza order. For the most part, it’s a matter of personal preference. However, In some cases, transferring food from one pizza to another is a serious health concern.
Cleanliness is on everyone’s minds lately. Hand washing and sanitizing are at an all-time high. Stores and other public places are taking steps to make sure their establishments are safe places to visit.
A clean cut pizza is one more precaution a restaurant can take to prevent germs from spreading. Nobody wants to get sick from their favorite slice of pizza.
Oven temperatures that are hot enough to cook a pizza are also hot enough to kill the most harmful bacteria. As long as the pizza restaurant is following health guidelines, your pizza should be safe to eat. However, it never hurts to take an extra measure of precaution.
Allergies are a grave concern for people who have them. In some cases, an allergy can be life-threatening. But that doesn’t mean people with allergies shouldn’t be able to enjoy a fresh-cooked pizza from their favorite place.
The heat that kills bacteria won’t help allergy sufferers. Nuts and dairy are common allergens. A relatively new allergy, called Alpha-Gal, makes people allergic to red meat. In some cases, accidental exposure to meat can cause anaphylactic shock and even death. At best, it can cause hives and stomach discomfort.
A clean cut pizza is one way to ensure that meat, nuts, cheese, or other allergens don’t get transferred from one pizza to another.
People who don’t have a food allergy might have faith-based reasons for wanting to keep certain foods from landing on their pizza. Several major religions forbid the consumption of meat or specific kinds of meat. In many cultures, this is a very important part of living a spiritual life.
In general, Buddhists don’t eat any meat, the Jewish don’t consume pork, and the Jain abstain from root vegetables, honey, and other foods. There are exceptions, of course, but the idea is that food is key in many religions. Everyone deserves a delicious slice of pizza just the way they like it!
Any Way You Slice It
The next time someone asks you, “What is clean cut pizza?” you can tell them all about it! Even if clean cut isn’t your personal preference, it helps to know what all of your options are when it comes to pizza.
If you have friends or family who have stayed away from ordering pizza because of allergies or faith, now they can enjoy a slice with you. Just as gluten-free crusts and non-dairy cheeses swept the pizza world, clean cut pizza is another new way to bring in happy customers.