Pizza Truce

In a comment of a previous post, where I “gently” showed all my happiness for the Italian victory at Euro 2020, I remarked  that no Italian would have ever sung a song such as “it’s coming home”, because being very superstitious, we would have considered it bad omen. By the ways, I have also learnt that in a certain way the English supporters had tried to build up a good karma practicing a national propitiatory act which took the form of topping pizzas with pineapple the days before the match, as they well know how much we dislike it (source Daily Star). The only reading about the blasphemous act performed by so many people should have put the Italian team off game. Well, it didn’t work, and you know why? Because it is blasphemous to put pineapple on a pizza.

The Daily Star did also some historical researches about it and found out that tourists struggle “to find the controversial toppings of ham, bacon and pineapple in Italy because it was not invented in the home of pizza but 4,000 miles away in Canada – by a Greek! Sam Panopoulos came up with the recipe at his restaurant in Ontario in 1962 inspired by his experience preparing Chinese dishes which mix sweet and savoury flavours”. Well, I’m sorry, if you put it that way, but it is not a matter of nationalism, only, it is not of our taste. That’s it. We are not even pineapple eaters, unless we are on a diet, let alone bacon. It’s just unusual and does not belong to our food tradition.

However, you should not believe that we keep eating the classic pizzas with tomato, mozzarella cheese, anchovies and basil only here. Pizzas come with a great variety of toppings or fillings and we have also many which are traditionally Italian despite a more international sweet-sour taste.

Let me suggest you my three favourite pizzas:

Number 1: Pizza, ham and figs.

This is a summer pizza as this is the season of figs. If possible, choose dark and ripe figs, because they are sweeter.  Just imagine: warm crunchy pizza, with sweet figs and Italian ( or Spanish) prosciutto on top. Taste it and you won’t allow any pineapple/bacon pizza ever cross your threshold. Never again.

Number 2: Pizza, mortadella and pistachio cream.

Mortadella is a large Italian sausage or luncheon meat made of finely hashed or ground heat-cured pork. It is pink, soft and delicious. It must be very thin sliced first, then you top the pizza with it, which had been previously spread with pistachio cream. Remember the pizza should be a little warm and crunchy to reach paradise.

These two pizzas belong to the Roman/Italian tradition, but the last and my favourite one,  has an English touch.

Number 3: Pizza, mozzarella cheese, Stilton and Porto reduction.

If you have a bottle of Porto, please spare a glass to make the reduction ( you can find the instruction here ). When the Porto has reached the consistency of a syrup,  pour it on the just baked pizza with mozzarella and Stilton. If you haven’t tasted it yet, try it and I am sure you will thank me.

Good food is always a matter of harmony of flavours. There is no such harmony in a pineapple and bacon pizza. Harmony always wins, remember.  

25 thoughts on “Pizza Truce

  1. I hesitated “liking” this . . . None of the pizzas mentioned (including the anchovy-adorned version) are to my liking. I may have to renounce my Italianship . . . wait . . . already done. Nevermind.

    • Well, for one thing, I prefer deep-dish pizza. But, if I don’t have that available, I like a fairly simple pizza. Cheese, sausage (‘regular’ sausage; here, the Italian sausage listed for most pizzas has spices I don’t like much) or ground beef. and that’s about it.

      Melisa usually makes pizza from scratch (not often because we are on perennial diets) and those are the ingredients. I should mention I prefer the shredded mozzarella as opposed to fresh.

      In a pinch, we buy frozen cheese pizzas (Costco; $10 for four) and add a bit more cheese along with our choice of meat toppings.

      The best deep-style pizza (the one we bought when we lived there) was from Pizza Papalis (https://pizzapapalis.com/our-menu/).

      We’d do ours to order, but the Spinach and Gourmet pizzas aren’t bad either.

      I’d occasionally order a Meat Eater’s pizza, but they’re a bit much in flavor combinations, so I’d substitute extra ground beef and sausage for the Canadian bacon and pepperoni.

      • Pizzapapalis as it is the Pope himself who bakes those pizzas, as $35,95 for a large vegetarian pizza – I know that when you say large in the US you mean it – with onion, broccoli….is super expensive, unless there some truffle on it, white truffle.
        De gustibus.

      • Well, yeah, but only crazy … er … misguided people order vegetarian . . . but, kidding aside, when they say Large, they mean LARGE.

        We’ve not been there for a while (we moved away in 2004) but we did actually order once for a special occasion (shipped to Colorado partially baked for something like an additional $30).

        Here’s the thing . . . a large Pizza Papalis for the two of us is three meals and a tad. And I mean three meals where we’re waddling away from the table after eating, our jaws sore from all the masticating (deep dish, remember).

        Besides, going out to a restaurant even back then could easily have you drop $40-$50 (unless you go to McDonald’s), and that’s without drinks and the tip (I think Italy has no tipping, right?).

      • I remember the first time I ordered ( always) a small size of something to eat or drink in the US, to me it was just huge.
        The pizzas on the Papalis menu are very elaborate to be sure, but a little “too much” for my (Italian) taste. Too many flavours combined, but, as I said ” de gustbus non disputandum est”. I understand if somebody accostuned to such flavours may find Italian pizza poor and dislike it.
        No fixed tipping , you are right.

      • Wait . . . I also don’t like too many flavors combined, hence why none of the pizzas you mentioned were of my liking. Even with Pizza Papalis, we special-ordered “simple”.

        And, these days, we make our own specifically because we make it the way we like it (simple).

        As I said, cheese, one meat (sausage or ground beef, or both), and that’s it. My second choice is plain cheese pizza, but then I’d rather have breadsticks with cheese. Anything with other flavors … nope! Not even Spam!

    • The combination of pear , walnut and cheese ( usually “ricotta” cheese) belongs to the Italian food tradition. It is also served as dessert, but I have never tried it on a pizza. Interesting option.

  2. Mouthwatering! I cooked French pizza as I live in Normandy. Local Saucisson Seche and local ‘mozerella’ plus herb de Provence. Plus Cotes de Blaye 2018 red. Incroyable!

  3. Very well written. I must agree, pineapple does NOT belong on pizza, however, pineapple, bacon, and chicken, is my husband’s favorite. I do not care for his taste in pizza, I prefer the more traditional pizza. I love all the history you shared, very interesting. Thank you! 😋

  4. Great ideas! We were especially happy about the pizza with ham and figs as we always have more figs than we can eat. The Pizza with mozzarella cheese, Stilton and Porto reduction sounds yummy as well.
    Thanks for sharing all your pizza ideas
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • If you have so many figs, now you know what else you can do with them. Here in Rome , pizza, figs and ham is very traditional. Pizza must be crunchy ( Roman pizza is thinner and crunchier than the more famous Neapolitan pizza) and not too spongy for this recipe. Stilton and Porto is just amazingly delicious.
      🙋🏼🇮🇹

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