Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Perfect Pizza

I think I learned how to order a pizza by the time I was 5. If Mom didn't want to cook or a babysitter was coming over we'd pick up the phone, type in 7 digits and then 45 minutes later Papa John's, Domino's, or Little Caesar's would be knocking at our door with a calorie loaded circle of cheesey bread. This is what I used to think was good pizza. However, I don't mean to completely bash American pizza chains- as they still are delicious and great for an easy dinner. I just want to emphasize the fact that after eating genuine Italian pizza made from the freshest ingredients in the world, it is hard to come home to the greasy drippings found in the bottom of American pizza boxes.

I started anticipating my first bite of real Italian pizza the day we booked our flight. But, nothing could have prepared me for this moment. Shocked by the mere size of the pizza (an individual serving is the size of our medium at Papa John's) I was already intimidated by all of it's glory. The first pizza I ordered was the simplest of flavors- The Margarita. Dough, Tomatoes, Basil, and Cheese. Simple enough and similar to my American fav- Cheese pizza. The aromas from the pizza tantalized my nose and made my mouth water. As I tasted that first piece, I temporarily transported to heaven. How could anyone make something that good from so few ingredients?!? It truly is unlike anything I have ever tasted- warm and delicious. The crunchy crust accented by warm tomatoes and creamy cheese was the perfect combination. Such a delight, this first pizza was the beginning to many more fabulous pizzeria experiences.

From peppers to olives, curry, mussels, pancetta, you name it- we had it on our pizza! There are so many varieties it is hard to keep track. The best pizza we had was at Il Bottaccio- where I'll be working this summer (more on that to come!). We had such a great time sampling all of the delicious varieties it is hard to pick our favorite, all I know is pizza in Italy is unlike anything I have ever had. I can't wait to go back for more!

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