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And Lo, Man Hath Created 99-Cheese Pizza

Plain mozzarella pizza is a tried and true, safe choice for your melted cheese consumption. Three cheeses certainly ups the ante, and when you get to four cheeses (oh boy) things start to get interesting. But in a move that challenges our very notions of cheese creativity, Australian chef Johnny Di Francesco—grand champion of the 2014 Pizza World Championship—has crafted a 99-cheese pizza.

The “Why” may not be super intriguing: “No one has done this before. So I thought I would give it a go,” Di Francesco explains. We would chime in and say obviously more cheese is more better, and ninety-nine of them in a single dish indelibly expands the boundaries of human potential (we’re not biased or anything). But we’re also guessing the money behind the not-so-subtle Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles promotional tie-in had something to do with it…

Nonetheless, this is a crazy-awesome accomplishment, and the “How” deserves some worthy attention and admiration. The first 94 cheeses—including Brie, American, Camembert, chili cheddar, grated nacho cheese, pecorino, and mini Babybel, to name a few—are meticulously scraped, sliced, and grated into a giant melting pot, where they slowly congeal into a beautiful molten mass for over an hour. This foundation is layered over Di Francesco’s award-winning pizza dough and sprinkled with the remaining five cheeses: buffalo mozzarella, goat cheese, fior di latte, ricotta, and raspadura. The Aussie pops the pie in the oven, and in a couple of minutes—voilá, 99-cheese pizza. (For the curious, the AU Review lists every cheese that goes into the pizza.)

Check out this unintentionally hilarious video from an Australian morning show for the breakdown:

And now just try and stop saying “ninety-nine cheeses” in your bad impression of an Australian accent…

[Via Grub Street and the Guardian]

Photo Credit: Johannah Leggatt for the Guardian

Grant Bradley

Grant Bradley is culture's former web editor and never ceases to thank his nameless human ancestor who figured that leaving some milk around for a while and then eating it was probably a great idea. Raised on California’s Central Coast, educated in the Pacific Northwest, and transplanted to New England, Grant likes to write, edit, and code things.