Disclaimer: Google recently had a pizza doodle which included a cute game, but I was planning this blog before that. Ok, now we can move on.
Like languages, pizza is a relatively modern variation of an ancient dish, basically jazzed up flatbreads that you can taste all around the Mediterranean basin: Coca in Spain, pita in Greece, etc. Of course, pizza wins the popularity contest due to Southern Italians immigrating everywhere and taking their recipes with them, grazie.
Growing up in Franco’s Spain, I was not exposed to pizza until high school in London, specifically Pizza on the Park on Hyde Park Corner (now closed and turned into a fancy hotel). It was love at first bite! American pizza during college was different, but still delicious, the most memorable one being Pizzeria Regina in Boston’s North End. Through the years, as I moved around, I discovered great pizza joints, Napoli in El Escorial, The Upper Crust in Boston, Italian Pizzeria (IP) in Chapel Hill -they also showed European football, which was a great plus!, and NAP in Madrid.
In my old age, my taste buds require simple, few, but delicious ingredients, (I have written before about the “Minder is meer” less is more adage) so nowadays I only eat Margherita pizza which should only have three ingredients plus the dough: mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce (which should have a bit of garlic), and basil (plus obviously olive oil and salt).
Due to its heavy New Yorker population, South Florida has decent pizza. Almost every week I meet my friend Manuel for some great pizza at County Line in Juno Beach. Here in Boynton, there is Pizza Rox which makes a textbook pizza and has a great selection of local beers, and Frankie’s. Recently I have also discovered my friend Arlene’s great pizza place in West Palm Beach, Pizza Al Fresco set in a lovely Spanish patio with awesome staff!
My pizza fever has been compounded by a guy called David Portnoy who does pizza reviews on the internet. I confess that I have gotten to the point where I can guess the points he is going to give the pizza he is reviewing before he does! Check out his pizza review app Onebite and one of his many reviews below!
The secrets to a great pizza are a screaming hot oven (800 F – 450 C), fluffy, airy dough so you get the bubble – you need the bubble! And simple, excellent ingredients. Enjoy.
What is your favorite pizza place? What are your thoughts on pizza? Let me know in the comments!