What Makes Leftover Pizza Taste So Good?

Leftover pizza tastes good because the herbs become more flavorful and the sauce stops the base from going soggy.
Leftover pizza tastes good because the herbs become more flavorful and the sauce stops the base from going soggy.

People run hot and cold when it comes to pizza, but if you're one of those who prefers to savor a slice the day after you order it -- as in, kept cold in the fridge overnight -- then you actually have science on your side. A variety of things happen to pizza when it sits and cools for a while.

For one thing, the herbs blend more thoroughly and become less individually distinct, making for a more complex but cohesive flavor. The cheese becomes sweeter, and even the tomato sauce adds to the flavor by protecting the crust from becoming soggy overnight.

According to Dr. Maureen Cooper of the University of Stirling in Scotland, "the fat does not go through to the base, [so] the pizza itself tastes so much better." According to the delivery service Slice, 53 percent of Americans would rather have cold, leftover pizza for breakfast than more traditional items, like eggs or cereal. Of course, if you're not one of those folks, the website Mashed reminds you to reheat your pizza slice the right way: in a skillet, not in the microwave.

A slice of life:

  • Americans consume 350 slices of pizza every second.

  • The West loves pepperoni, but in Japan, common pizza toppings include corn, squid, tuna, and potatoes.

  • The first pizza shop in the United States, Lombardi's in New York City, is still in operation; it opened in 1905.

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    • Leftover pizza tastes good because the herbs become more flavorful and the sauce stops the base from going soggy.
      Leftover pizza tastes good because the herbs become more flavorful and the sauce stops the base from going soggy.