We've always been convinced that pizza making is both an art and a science, but this week there may have been academic proof of the science part. Dr. Eugenia Cheng from the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sheffield in the U.K. has created a mathematical formula that ensures a perfectly proportioned pizza every time.
Working with the British pizza chain PizzaExpress to work out why its larger, thinner crust 14 inch pizza was more popular than its classic 11 inch pie, Cheng set out to "investigate the mathematical relationship between the size of a pizza and its ratio of topping to base in a median bite. We show that for a given recipe, it is not only the overall thickness of the pizza that is is aﬀected by its size, but also this topping-to-base ratio."
She concluded that even if a person keeps the same amount of dough and topping, the ratio of topping to crust in an average bite changes with the size of the pizza. Smaller pizzas typically have more topping per bite than larger oneson a thicker crust, but larger pizzas give diners a more even spread of toppings per bite on a crust that is less likely to go soggy.
Using d as the constant volume of dough and t for the constant volume of topping, Cheng came up with a mathematical formula for the ratio of topping to base in a median bite. You can see the full abstract here.