Mushrooms on a pizza? Absolutely. While they are a more controversial topping than pepperoni or sausage, they are certainly not nearly as hated as pineapple or anchovies. Still, the type of mushroom you use can make all the difference in the overall taste of the pizza. For this month’s blog, we are going to discuss some of the different types of mushrooms typically used on pizza.
As we discussed in our October 2020 blog regarding where pizza comes from, (you can read it here: Where Did Pizza Come From?) pizza has been around for a really long time in one form or another. The addition of mushrooms isn’t quite as well documented. There are plenty of wild mushrooms in Italy as well as any other area primitive pizza can be traced. It is safe to say people have been eating mushrooms on pizza far longer than pepperoni. Pepperoni wasn’t even invented until the early 20th century (read more on that here.) However, the combination of pepperoni and mushrooms quickly became very popular. Some polls have rated it as the 5th most popular 2 topping pizza combination available.
But what types of mushrooms are good for pizza? There are several options, some better than others. But the most common mushrooms used on pizza are button, shitake, portabella, cremini, and morel mushrooms.
This is the most common type of mushroom and typically the first kind that comes to mind when one thinks of a mushroom. This small white mushroom when sautéed with garlic, salt, and olive oil goes quickly from ordinary to extraordinary.
A bit more complex thanks to a natural buttery flavor not found in other types. They also tend to carry a much smokier flavor when dried. A flavor that gets further amplified by the heat of a pizza oven. For some, that flavor becomes too strong.
Many people eat grilled portabella mushrooms are get the immediate thought that they need to eat them more often. They offer a much meatier texture not found in any other vegetable. Portabella mushrooms are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
The middle ground between button and portabella
Fun fact… portabella mushrooms are just button mushrooms that have been given much more time to mature. The middle point = cremini mushrooms.
Very fancy. Nutty, earthy deep flavor. Not very common to find these because they are much harder to come by. But if you can, they will change your life.
We have two types of mushrooms on our menu at Ultimate California Pizza. The first option is the more common button mushroom. This mushroom you will find on some of our Gnarly Creations like the Pasadena or the Kahuna. You can also find them on some of our Wicked Wheat Pizzas like the Berkeley, or The Lite Works. They add a mild flavor to the pizza and since that flavor intensifies as it cooks, it is a perfect mushroom for pizza. The other option is a marinated portabella mushroom. We slice them and then marinate them in-house. The benefit of a portabella mushroom is that chewy, meaty texture and a smoky, earthy flavor. When paired with the mild spice from pepperoni and creamy flavors of mozzarella cheese, they all combine for an extremely flavorful pizza we call the UCLA.
You can also find both types of mushrooms on our Build Your Own Pizza section of the menu. You could create any combination of pizza you want with as many mushrooms that you could desire!
At Ultimate California Pizza, we love mushrooms. We want to share them with you! What is your favorite mushroom combination?