At 11 Inch Pizza, we often get asked the question, “What is the difference between a gourmet pizza restaurant and regular pizza chains?” Usually, our response is to give the questioner one of our pizzas so that they can taste the difference for themselves. But since that’s not always possible, here is what makes gourmet pizza restaurants, like 11 Inch Pizza, different from regular pizza chains.
One of the key markers of something being gourmet is the quality and freshness of the ingredients used to make it. In the case of pizza, this means using high quality flour, olive oil, tomato sauce, cheeses, and other toppings. A gourmet pizza restaurant will go to great lengths in order to ensure they are getting the best ingredients possible for their pizzas. This means establishing and maintaining relationships with local grocers to be able to get these ingredients. While these ingredients may cost more, their deliciousness is definitely worth it.
Pizza chains, on the other hand, will generally use ingredients that they have bought in bulk and are full of preservatives so that they can store them for as long as possible. Since pizza chains’ main goal is to make a profit, they will usually get the cheapest ingredients possible, which is evident from how they taste. Moreover, a lot of the ingredients used have been frozen for a long time before being put on the pizza, whereas all the ingredients used at a gourmet pizza restaurant are extremely fresh and have usually been hand-picked that very day.
While some people think that the freshness of ingredients is insignificant to the overall taste of the pizza, you would be surprised what a dramatic difference it can make. Fresh, gourmet ingredients are also generally a lot healthier for you since they don’t contain as many preservatives and are able to retain their original nutrients.
Probably the most obvious difference between gourmet Italian-style pizza and the pizzas produced by pizza chains is the pizza dough. You’ll notice that authentic pizza dough is a lot thinner and crispier than the bases at pizza chains. Even if you order a thin base from a pizza chain, it is generally still quite dense and stiff, and able to hold a lot of toppings. These toppings are generally loaded on to hide the carboard-like texture of the pizza base. Gourmet pizza bases, on the other hand, are made in the classic Neapolitan style and are characterised by their light and chewy taste and texture.
The differences in these pizza doughs is a result of the techniques and ingredients used. Pizza chains will often just use flour, water and a bit of salt to create their pizza dough. Gourmet pizza restaurants, however, put yeast in their dough, knead it a lot to form gluten, and allow the dough to rise. This gourmet method takes a lot more time and effort but produces an incredible pizza base in the end. Pizza chains forego these steps in order to save time and money and the result is a brittle and tasteless pizza base.
While it may be intangible, one of the biggest differences between a gourmet pizza restaurant and a regular pizza chain is their philosophies. Regular pizza chains exist for pretty much one reason only: to make a profit. They will do everything possible to cut costs and this usually comes at the expense of the taste and quality of the pizza.
Gourmet pizza restaurants, on the other hand, are committed to producing the best possible pizzas to their customers, even if this means operating with smaller profit margins. Care, time and effort is imparted into every single pizza and this love can be tasted in every bite. Gourmet pizza restaurants also employ chefs who are extremely experienced and know a lot about the art of making pizza whereas pizza chains often hire teenagers who know nothing about making pizza but who are cheap to employ.
Visit 11 Inch Pizza for Gourmet Pizza
For the best gourmet pizza in Melbourne, look no further than 11 Inch Pizza. We go above and beyond to make the most incredible Italian-style pizzas we possibly can. This means we go to great lengths to source and hand pick the freshest and highest quality ingredients available, and to take the time and effort to hand knead every single pizza base.
Most importantly, we care about our customers just as much as we care about pizza. We have seen the way people can come together over a delicious pizza and we want to continue to facilitate those magical moments.