Have you ever come across “clean cut” pizzas on parlor menus? Perhaps you’ve overheard fellow pizza enthusiasts confidently ordering one, leaving you intrigued but slightly puzzled. The phrase itself suggests a way of slicing a pizza, but what does it mean, and why should you care?
Let’s unravel the delicious mystery of clean-cut pizza and discover how it elevates the pizza-eating experience.
What Is Clean Cut Pizza?
A clean cut pizza is a pizza sliced with a clean tool— a slicer or scissors—that hasn’t been used to cut any pizzas since being washed. So, a clean-cut pizza doesn’t have bits of toppings, cheese, or sauce transferred by the cutting tool. You can ask any restaurant for a “clean cut pizza” when you order.
Clean-cut Pizza Vs. Traditional Pizza
Clean-cut and traditional pizzas aren’t necessarily different in terms of flavor, cooking style, or topping. The only difference is in the utensils used when cutting them.
To help you understand the differences, let me portray a picture of a typical weekend night at a busy pizza parlor. The place is swarming with hungry customers, and the staff is busy processing their orders.
They’ve taken care of everything to deliver pizzas on time, from preparing the ingredients to folding the pizza boxes. After the pizza comes out of the oven and goes into the box or plate, it’s time to cut it with a pizza wheel.
And picture this. Every time the pizza wheel cuts through a pizza, some bits of topping and sauce get stuck to its surface. When it goes into the next pizza, these bits may end up inside the cuts the wheel makes.
Now, do they use the same cutter for all pizzas or change it and use a clean blade for each pizza? That’s where the distinction between clean-cut and traditional pizzas becomes clear.
As you might have guessed, most pizzas are not clean-cut. It’s time-consuming to clean the blade every time you use it. Plus, it’s not severely non-hygienic. The pizzas are cooked and hot, so there’s a low chance of transferring germs. They’re all coming out of the same oven, and cut by the same staff member with the same gloves on. Restaurants may have several pizza cutters to use simultaneously, but washing the cutter for each pizza is counter-productive.
Reasons to Order Clean-cut Pizza
Traditional pizzas cut with the same pizza wheel isn’t a big deal for most people. After all, it’s the standard time-saving procedure in many restaurants and doesn’t seem to pose serious health threats. However, you may want to order a clean-cut pizza for various reasons.
People with food allergies are always alert for allergens that accidentally find their way into their foods. You can let the server know if you’re allergic to gluten, dairy, seafood, mushrooms, or red meat. They prepare your pizza free of these allergens, probably in a separate area so they don’t get into your food inadvertently.
Most places also use clean cutters if you mention that you have allergies, but it won’t hurt to ask. This way, you can further reduce the chances of contamination by a used pizza cutter.
Many diners are concerned about how their food is handled before it comes to the table. Does the chef wash their hands or use sanitary gloves? Do they use clean utensils?
As mentioned, the chances of transferring germs from one freshly-cooked pizza to another are relatively low. High temperatures kill most foodborne bacteria. But it never hurts to take extra caution.
If you’re worried about the unhygienic food handling, you can ask for a clean-cut pizza. This way, you can avoid the risk of contamination from a cutter that hasn’t been washed for several hours.
Many religions have dietary restrictions that prohibit adherents from consuming certain foods. For example, Muslims must avoid all types of pork, while Hindus may want to steer clear of beef.
Devout followers want to ensure the food they get from restaurants is prepared in line with these restrictions. Thus, a clean-cut pizza is an extra measure that allows them to ensure nothing is transferred from other pizzas to theirs.
Not everyone has food restrictions due to allergies. Ordering a clean cut pizza may be a personal choice. For example, if you’re a vegetarian, you may think that ordering a vegetarian pizza may not be enough to steer clear of meat.
You may worry that a piece of meat may sneak into your pizza through the cutter’s blade. In such cases, a clean-cut pizza eliminates every shred of doubt.
You may think a clean-cut pizza has nothing to do with appearance. But it does, although it may not be of the highest importance.
Do you ever see a bit of a mess on your normal-cut pizza with cheese and toppings gummed up on it? With a clean-cut pizza, you get a perfectly clean pizza with no bits from other pizzas.
How Do You Order a Clean Cut Pizza?
Many restaurants and pizza joints, such as Hungry Howie’s and Papa John’s, let their customers choose their slicing method, with some including the option in their menus under cutting choices.
When ordering online, you can locate this option in the section that lets you customize your order. If it’s not available there, you have the option to leave a note on your order or contact customer support to ensure your preferences are met.
When dining in, you can ask your server for a clean cut pizza. Keep in mind, though, that they may charge an additional fee for this customization.
Other Types of Pizza Cuts
Besides clean cut, there are other styles of cutting pizza. You might see them on the menu, or the server may ask you how you want your pie cut. Here are the most common types:
This is the most common cut, dividing the pizza into equal triangles. It’s perfect when you need to feed many people since it gives everyone an equal share. Plus, you can cut each wedge into smaller pieces until it matches the number of people.
Enjoying a classic triangular pizza slice is a delightful experience, especially when relishing the soft center of a lightly-topped pizza. But the cut may be difficult to bite into if your pizza is overloaded with toppings.
If your pizza is square, you probably cut it into smaller squares. However, it’s not uncommon to see a round pizza cut with the square style.
This style is perfect when you want to eat neatly and use a fork. It divides the pizza into manageable bites you can eat while standing. Plus, people can choose which parts of the pizza they prefer: the central parts with more toppings or the parts near the crust.
Another advantage of the square cut is that it makes it easier to package leftover pizza into storage containers and keep it in the fridge or freezer to eat later.
The no-cut pizza is your best bet if the restaurant doesn’t offer a clean-cut option. As the name suggests, the pizza isn’t cut and comes as a whole piece. This way, you can take it home and slice it the way you want without worrying about cross-contamination.
Another benefit of no-cut pizza is that cutting the pizza can make the sauce and cheese drip onto the crust. As a result, the crust will lose its crispiness faster.
If you opt to cut your pizza yourself, you’ll want a high quality cutter or shears for that straight-from-the-parlor look. Pizza cutters come in various shapes and designs.
My favorite is this Gemiknife Pizza Cutter Plus. It’s easy to use, sharp, and sturdy. Unlike wheels, you don’t need to run the cutter through the diameter of the pizza. You can place it in the center and cut the pizza in half with one push.
Whether you have food allergies, dietary restrictions, or sanitary concerns, you can ask for a clean cut. You might have to explain what this means to the server, but then you can rest assured that your pizza is cut with a clean cutter, with no chunks of food being transferred from other pizzas onto your pie.
#1 Recommendation: Gemiknife Pizza Cutter Plus
Order your takeaway pizza in the no-cut style and slice it at home. The Gemiknife Pizza Cutter Plus is a perfect slicer so you can cut pizza like a pro.
If you have any questions or comments regarding a clean cut pizza, please don’t hesitate to share them in the comments!
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