Friday, June 26, 2015

Food Friday: PIzza

Pizza Capriciossa
 “Those pizzas I ate were for medicinal purposes.”  ― Amy Neftzger

 It's Friday. I'm tired (not lazy as if I were lazy, I would not be writing this at all). I need to get up early to catch the train to Rome in the morning (You may remember someone in this place wants to hit the Eternal City tomorrow. Being ever so accommodating, I agreed even though I swore I wasn't going back this trip.  Yes. Yes. I know you've heard that before.)

At any rate, since I'm tired, it's Friday, and i haven't done food in a few weeks, I thought I'd show you some of the pizzas I've had this trip.  I had them all at different places, and they were all very good. I can't name a favorite among them, but I can tell you I've found a new kind to order—capricciosa.

I've had capricciosa twice this trip, and they were a little different each time.  Capricciosa usually has mozzarella cheese, baked ham, mushrooms, artichokes and tomato.  Some places put olives on theirs (above), while others don't (last photo below). I prefer the ones with olives, but they're both good.

Pizza Margherita

Mike ordered pizza margherita the other day, and unlike the pizza margherita we know in the States—olive oil, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella (or provolone), and basil, magherita pizza in Italy is tomato sauce and cheese (above).  The one we had in Ravenna had a lot of cheese on it, so Mike was happy.

Pizza Quattro Stagioni
 Supposedly, quattro stagioni (above) is the most popular pizza in Italy. Translated, quattro stagioni means "four seasons," and the toppings represent the four seasons of the year: artichokes for spring, olives for summer, mushrooms for autumn, and prosciutto for winter. When I ordered the quattro stagioni in Verona a few weeks ago, they were out of olives, so they doubled on the mushrooms. 

You probably noticed that quattro stagioni and capricciosa are have almost identical ingredients. The difference is in the presentation in that the ingredients all cover the capricciosa pizza while each ingredient covers a quarter of the quattro stagioni pizza.

Pizza bianca
 I grew up having pizza bianca (white pizza) quite often as my mother and grandmother liked it.  If you've never heard of it, pizza bianca is simply pizza without tomato sauce.  My mom used to brush it with olive oil and sprinkle salt, pepper, and grated cheese on it.  That's exactly how the pizza bianca (above) was at Pino, one of my favorite Bologna haunts.

 I've seen dozens of takes on pizza bianca here. Some places offer it with exactly the same toppings as regular pizza sans the tomatoes and/or tomato sauce.  Others offer it with a white cream sauce on it.  I've even seen it with roasted potatoes and ham on it. (Carb alert)
Pizza Capricciosa (front) and Pizza Napoletana (left rear)
One kind of pizza I have not tried is pizza napoletana (above). Real pizza napoletana (Neapolitan pizza) consists of a dough made with a certain wheat flour and Neapolitan yeast, San Marzano tomatoes, and fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese. That's it.  There is an actual association that promotes and protects true pizza napoletana.  According to Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, of all the restaurants that serve pizza napoletana worldwide, only 535 are certified in producing it correctly.  Pizza napoletana is a protected product by the European Union (meaning that the product is made in accordance with international regulations.  If you want to read the regulations, click here.

Just as an aside, I've never had pizza with thick crust in Italy, and I've never been in a restaurant certified by the AVPN. 

I'll be on the lookout in Rome (hot, crowded, dirty) tomorrow.

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