There’s no such thing as bad pepperoni pizza, but slices with “pepperoni cups” have a special place in our hearts.
For the uninitiated, the term refers to the delightful curl that pepperoni pieces often achieve when baked atop a pie.
So, what causes pepperoni to curl? And why are pepperoni cups so sought after? We’re glad you asked:
Why is curled pepperoni on a pizza so awesome?
When pepperoni blossoms into a cup shape, it develops a crispy edge around the ring that gives each bite an addictive little crunch. The best part, arguably, is that the newly-formed pepperoni basin keeps its prized oil on the pizza, just where it ought to be. When the pepperoni is flat, the oil is likely to wind up on your plate instead of in your mouth, and no one wants that.
Also, the configuration of curled pepperoni allows it to stand out from the cheese, rather than completely meld in on the same layer. With curled pepperoni, you get to savor every bit of the meat’s salt, spice, oiliness, and crispiness.
Pepperoni cups are just downright beautiful.
Flavor, texture, and portability may rank as the three most important criteria when judging a pizza, but aesthetics also count. And, there’s no question about it, ‘roni cups are more visually pleasing than thin flattened discs of pepperoni.
Why does pepperoni curl on a pizza?
This seems like a simple question with a simple answer, right? Well, it took a lot of hard research to get to the bottom of the pepperoni cup, and there are a myriad of factors in play.
J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats tested several different types of pepperoni, various cooking methods, and even busted out calipers to answer one of science’s greatest mysteries. The entire article is worth checking out, but we’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version.
The heat differential between the top and the bottom of the slice during cooking is responsible for the curling of the pepperoni. This can only be achieved with thicker slices, though a slice that is thicker than .25 inches may be too stiff to curl.
The casing also matters – if the ‘roni is not stuffed into a natural or collagen casing, it’s likely to come out flat. Interestingly, pepperoni slices still curl even if the casing is not in tact during the cooking process.
I want a cupped pepperoni slice, and I want it now!
Order a pizza for pickup or delivery on Slice today to get the crisped pepperoni pieces you crave.