Cauliflower’s Versatility Rises to Pizza Lovers Appeal

The Tradition Lives On: Cookie Category Strong At Year’s End
December 11, 2019
The Casual Flair of Roman-Style Pizza Al Taglio
December 16, 2019

Perhaps your customers are opting for more veggies and fewer carbs in their diets, you’re seeking new ways to sneak vegetables into menus for kids or maybe your customers just really love vegetables! You’re in luck — cauliflower pizza crust is trending, and it’s a great twist on the tried and true pie we know and love.

It’s only natural that cauliflower would do nicely enveloped within pizza crusts. The edible head of the cauliflower is sometimes called the curd due to its similar appearance to the cheese curd — and what’s a great pizza without cheese!

While some may call the cauliflower a bland vegetable, food experts say its versatility is exactly why the ingredient is a gem. And, with rapidly rising plant-based demand, New York Magazine’s 2013 statement that cauliflower is the “vegetable most likely to be mistaken for a piece of meat” rings truth that consumers are clamoring for.

Suzy Badaracco, president of the trend forecasting company Culinary Tides, told Vox that she first noticed cauliflower rising to the occasion around 2008, due to the recession, a move toward more vegetable-centric eating and the rise of low-carb diets. The first major push was via fine dining — cauliflower was showing up in steaks and waffles and even as its own start of the show — as the center of plate entree. It’s a “meaty” vegetable, and Badaracco said that consumers don’t have to necessarily like cauliflower to choose it: they just don’t have to hate it.

“It tastes like nothing,” Badaracco said. “You can’t do broccoli Buffalo wings or kale pizza crust because your Buffalo wings would taste like broccoli and your pizza would taste like kale. “Every other vegetable has a pretty strong personality, flavorwise. Cauliflower is never the leading lady. It’s always the best friend.”

The fact that it’s not an overpowering vegetable makes it even more perfect for pizza, allowing flavors of the toppings, sauces and cheese to star in the show. It’s also withstands growth in almost all climates, making it affordable and easy to attain. Fast Company’s report of Nielsen data found cauliflower as an ingredient across 36 different grocery store categories, and packaged cauliflower product sales grew 71% last year. So, who is using cauliflower in their pizzas?

Caulipower is the fastest-growing pizza brand, and it substitutes cauliflower for a flour crust. The company recently hit the 10 million mark of pizzas sold.

“(With cauliflower crust pizza) I wanted to show that the concept wasn’t cauliflower as a vegetable, but revolutionizing the use of vegetables as ingredients,” Caulipower founder Gail Becker told Forbes earlier this month.

Food Business News reports that companies like Cali’flour Foods added frozen cauliflower pizza crusts and flatbreads to its repertoire this year, and they contain only 7 to 8 grams of carbs and 18 to 21 grams of protein per serving. They are gluten- and grain-free, and are touted “the lowest-carb frozen cauliflower pizza on the market.” Varieties include chicken pepperoni, classic cheese, supreme veggie and artisan Margherita.

California Pizza Kitchen also serves up a cauliflower crust, and even Oprah is in the game with her WW/O, That’s Good! line of frozen cauliflower-crust pizzas.

Jordan Greenberg, vice president and general manager of Green Giant, last year told Vox that the company’s line of cauliflower pizza crusts are 80% cauliflower. In Q4 of 2016 the company harvested 5 acres of cauliflower a week. In 2018? Over 35 acres a week, equally more than 100,000 heads daily. Now, that’s a lot of pizza. 

Is your pizza menu ready for some cauliflower power? Our regional style pizza pans will allow for a multitude of styles — from Detroit to deep dish to Sicilian. Or, choose from a variety of bar or flatbread pans for something a little more trendy. Our exclusive Dura-Kote® finish minimizes cleanup, often eliminates parchment paper or sprays, and improves your baking times. Silver-Kote®offers the benefits of easy release with a bright colored finish that bakes like bare aluminum. These professional baking pans (sheet pans) are a staple for every baker and will never rust, flake, chip or peel. 

1 Comment

  1. […] for picky eaters. Additionally, vegetables also provide different qualities in baking (see caulflower’s versality in pizza crust, for example). We love innovative baking techniques that go beyond the traditional carrot cake, and […]