Many people enjoy a takeaway pizza every so often. It hits a special spot that nothing else quite can.
It is no surprise then, that the average American eats 46 slices of pizza, or 23 pounds of pizza, annually.
With this deeply entrenched love for pizza, it may come as a surprise that many people are confused about the term ‘clean cut’.
It is one of a number of different options that you can choose when ordering a pizza, but what makes it better than the others?
Read on and we’ll tell you everything that you need to know about clean-cut pizzas.
What Is A Clean Cut Pizza?
This does not have anything to do with the production process of your pizza. Whatever cut of pizza you order will be made in exactly the same way.
The only difference is how the pizza is sliced before being packaged and sent out to the customer. You can order a clean-cut pizza in any size, style, or flavor.
When you order a clean-cut pizza, the kitchen is sent a notification alongside your order.
This alerts them to the fact that they must use a cleaned pizza cutter to slice into your pizza, rather than reusing a cutter from a previous pizza.
The use of a clean pizza cutter reduces the risk of cross-contamination with the sauces, crust, and toppings. We will go into more detail about this later.
Many pizza stores will reuse the same pizza cutter across a number of different pizzas without cleaning it in between unless otherwise instructed.
This is because it saves a lot of time and also water. Pizza parlors will typically have more than one pizza cutter, but they are unlikely to have enough to use a fresh one for each individual pizza.
If you order a clean-cut pizza, the crusts should be cut perfectly with little to no cracking.
The slices should be sharp and even and the slices should pull apart with ease. There will also be a greatly reduced risk of cross-contamination.
Why Order A Clean Cut Pizza?
There are a number of different reasons why you may choose to order a clean-cut pizza.
Some people simply prefer it, whereas others have more legitimate reasons. These could include allergies, cross-contamination risks, or religious reasons.
There are a number of different food allergies that people suffer from. The most common ones include cow’s milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, wheat (celiac), soy, fish, lupins, and celery.
Most of these allergens are commonly found in pizza parlors and used as pizza toppings. Allergies can range massively in their severity, from a mild stomach ache all the way to being fatal.
A food establishment should never ever take risks when it comes to consumer allergies and should take every precaution necessary to ensure no one suffers from an allergic reaction.
Most pizza parlors are likely to have a number of pizza cutters, each with a specific purpose. This is one of the best ways to avoid allergen issues.
It is likely that there will be a designated pizza cutter for gluten-free pizzas, one for shellfish, etc.
This makes it very difficult for allergens to get passed between pizzas and makes the risk of allergic reactions much lower.
Cross-contamination is the process where bacteria and microorganisms are unintentionally transferred between 2 surfaces, often with a dangerous or harmful effect.
This is the same term used when referring to allergen transmission, however, in this instance, we are discussing cross-contamination without the potential for allergic reactions.
This could be something like a vegan pizza containing traces of meat or dairy products. A vegan is someone who avoids animal products in all areas of their life.
This means that they cannot consume meat, dairy, fish, eggs, or honey.
Cross-contamination of their pizza with any of these products goes against their moral and ethical beliefs, and should not be allowed to occur.
As with allergies, there are likely to be separate pizza cutters designated for use on pizzas for vegans and vegetarians.
Another reason to ask for a clean-cut pizza is if you follow a religion with specific dietary guidelines. Some examples of this include Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and Hinduism.
Jewish people generally do not eat pork and follow a kosher diet. This means that the food must follow a specific production process involving certain rituals and following a number of different rules.
The word kosher means clean or pure, and refers to the way the food is prepared and produced.
Jewish people do not eat pork as the Torah only allows them to eat animals that chew their cud and have cloven hooves.
Buddhists tend to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. This is because of the belief in rebirth and enlightenment.
In Buddhism, you can be reborn as an animal, and animals can too attain enlightenment This means that if you kill them, you are removing this option from them and the karmic cycle will turn on you.
Buddhism is also hugely focused on the ideas of love and compassion for all beings, which most Buddhists believe eating meat flies in the face of.
Jainists have a number of food rules. One such rule is that they do not consume root vegetables (think potatoes, roots, tubers, and onions) as they are considered to be ananthkay.
This means one body, but infinite lives, and consuming these foods is believed to contribute to unnecessary violence against plants.
Muslim people can only consume halal meat. Halal in Arabic translates to permissible, and refers to the foods suitable for consumption, as dictated by the Qur’an.
This typically involves slaughtering animals via a cut to the jugular vein in the throat as a tasmiya or shahada is recited.
Muslims also do not consume pork, alongside a number of other meats considered haram (forbidden). In the Qur’an, Allah prohibits the consumption of pork as it is a sin and an impiety.
Hindu people tend to be Lacto-vegetarian (meaning that they do not eat meat or eggs).
All Hindus will avoid eating beef as the cow is a holy animal in this religion. Typically, Hindus will consume dairy products.
What Are The Types Of Pizza Cuts?
This is the classic style of pizza cut, into small triangular slices. This ensures an equal size on each slice, perfect for if you wanted to share the pizza with a crowd.
You can cut your pizza into any number of slices, although they tend to range from about 8 slices on a medium pizza to 12 slices on an extra-large pizza.
Cutting your pizza in this way means that you can use the crusts to hold it and avoid getting sauce and toppings all over your hands.
This style of pizza cut is typically reserved for pizzas baked in a square or rectangular shape.
This allows for equal pizza slices for each person, which may not be possible if you attempted to cut the pizza into triangles.
You will commonly find this style of pizza cut in buffet-style pizzas and for catering. This is because the cuts are easier to do.
If you have a knife or pizza scissors at home, you may wish to order your pizza uncut. This means that it will arrive all in one piece.
If you have a severe food allergy, this might be a safer way to order your pizza as it cuts down on the risk of cross-contamination. This also allows you to cut your pizza into however many slices you wish.
This is not a standard option at most pizza parlors or restaurants, however, you will never know unless you ask. A custom cut is where the pizza is cut into an unusual shape or irregularly sized pieces.
For many people, this is not the most useful or convenient option, but some people prefer something unique.
This is more commonly offered with custom-created pizzas, however, you can ask for this type of cut on any pizza.
How To Perfectly Cut Your Pizza At Home
There are a number of different ways to cut your pizza at home. These include a rocker cutter, a pizza wheel, pizza scissors, or a long knife.
A rocker cutter is the most similar to the type that would be used in a commercial pizza parlor. It is a long, curved blade with a flat handle running across the upper edge.
These are commonly the same diameter as the pizza and are rocked from side to side to cut through the pizza and turn it into slices. This cutter can be used on any type of pizza.
A great example is the Checkered Chef Premium Pizza Cutter and Cutting Board Set available for $26.95 on Amazon.
A pizza wheel is what you typically associate with cutting pizzas. They consist of a circular blade attached to a handle that is then rolled across the surface of the pizza.
There are 2 main styles, a circular blade with a long handle, or a circular wheel with a similarly shaped handle. These are very easy to use and very difficult to injure yourself with.
An example of the handled pizza wheel is the KitchenAid Classic 9-inch Pizza Wheel, available on Amazon for $10.99.
If you are keener on the pizza wheel with a circular handle, the Kitchy Pizza Cutter Wheel is a great choice, available for $9.99 on Amazon.
Pizza scissors and a long knife are other options. Scissors are a great choice if you are not the most dextrous, or if you are trying to include children in the preparation process.
They are hard to injure yourself with and make cutting pizza a breeze. The Asdirne Pizza Scissors are only $9.99 on Amazon and come with a tray to support the newly cut slice of pizza.
The most important thing when cutting pizzas at home is to use a clean and sharp blade. Whatever cutting implement you have opted for, you must ensure that the blade has recently been sharpened.
This will help it to cut more cleanly through the pizza, with much less effort required.
The time at which you cut your pizza also influences the quality of the cut. If you are using a very sharp blade then it is recommended that you slice the pizza as soon as it is removed from the oven.
This will result in the best cut. If you are using a knife instead, allow the pizza to cool for a few minutes before cutting into it.
This will allow the toppings to solidify a little, making it less likely that your pizza will suffer any damages.
If you cut the pizza immediately from the oven then the oils from the cheese are likely to seep into the crust and make it soggy.
When using a knife to slice your pizza, the technique is important. Use a non-serrated knife to press firmly down into the pizza.
Once you have selected the cut location, rock the blade backward and forward to cleanly cut through the toppings and dough.
We recommend using a sheet of kitchen paper to wipe the blade in between cuts. This will remove any congealed toppings from the knife surface, making for a much cleaner cut.
What Happens In Italy?
Pizza is a dish native to Italy and it originated as street food for poor people on the go.
They were never intended to be consumed while sitting, meaning that there was no need to cut and serve the pizza slices.
Instead, pizzas were folded up and wrapped in paper so that they could be eaten while going about your daily business.
Even today, you will be served a complete pizza in Italy and expected to cut it into appropriate portions yourself.
Another reason for not cutting pizza before serving is that it allows the dish to cool down a lot faster. Leaving it as a whole pizza will allow it to retain the heat much more efficiently.
There are a number of different reasons for requesting a clean-cut pizza when ordering.
These could be due to food allergies, a religious reason, or a dietary choice that could mean cross-contamination is a much bigger deal for you.
As standard, most pizza parlors and restaurants will not automatically clean cut your pizza, and it must be specified during the ordering process.
This is because it can take a long time to clean a pizza cutter correctly, which is not always something that workers have, especially during busy periods.
At this time, they will reuse the same pizza cutter for a number of different pizzas to save time.
It is likely that there will be multiple pizza cutters, with specific categories of use, to ensure that cross-contamination is limited as far as possible.
There are also a number of different pizza cutting styles. These include clean-cut, square cut, regular cut, and custom cut.
Each style of cut comes with its own set of pros and cons. Ultimately it makes little difference which cut style you choose, as it is all a matter of personal preference.