To me, Pizza, is and always has been a large regular cheese with a thin crust. If you can’t give it a good New York Fold then it isn’t pizza. Sorry Chicago, if you need a fork & knife to eat it, it isn’t pizza. I also have to admit that I am not a fan of greasy meat on my pizza either so you can keep the pepperoni & sausage but I would never look down on a pizza for having it. Veggies on a Pizza ? Well, aren’t we all really ordering pizza for dinner so we can avoid eating veggies and doesn’t the tomato in the sauce count anyway ?
The reason I bring this up is that we receive a countless number of food porn magazines in our house. We claim to buy them for the recipes & articles but we really spend all of our time looking at the pictures. A recent issue came in that really caught my eye because it claimed to have 5 Fab Pizzas in their Global Gourmet Issue. The picture on the cover was tantalizing so I flipped to the article in the back of the magazine beyond the centerfold.
In recent years an appetizer has shown up on menus called Flatbread, which to me is nothing more than a piece of dough with some stuff tossed on top of it and tossed into a pizza oven. It is usually of an abstract or rectangular shape so essentially, it’s masquerading as a pizza. It reminded me of years ago when we would buy a Boboli Bread Shell and make “pizza” with it. As I began to peruse the pictures & the recipes in “Pizza” article I had to ask myself, if a flatbread is round, can you really call it a pizza ?
No. You can’t and here is why.
Now I understand the need to be different in a crowd in order to get noticed. I understand how you have to push the envelope on flavor combinations & creative ingredients because I watch CHOPPED & TOP CHEF and all the other cooking competition shows out there but just because you put some cheese on a crust does not make it pizza. The first problem I found with the pizzas in this article were the mix & match crust options. I understand the desire to be healthy so I have no problem with whole wheat or gluten free crusts but CAULIFLOWER CRUST ?
The word “cauliflower” should never be uttered in the same sentence as the word “pizza” unless that sentence has something to do with ingredients that should never ever be included in a pizza.
The next problem was with most of the pizzas themselves. The Pizza Albondigas was probably the closest thing to a real pizza in that it was a spanish meatball pizza. True, the meatballs are traditionally used in soup. Makes me kind of wonder what a Pizza Soup might taste like ?
The second pizza on the list was a Chicken Spanakopizza that had greek yogurt, feta cheese & spinach among the many unorthodox items on it’s ingredient list. The only two ingredients that even closely resembled pizza were the crust & mozzarella cheese. This really seemed more like the Greek Salad you get at your local diner than a pizza.
The Turkish Lahmacun Pizza lost me at Lamb but then went on to add in cinnamon, paprika, allspice & lettuce. I’m sorry but lettuce never has and never will belong on a pizza. Case closed. There will be no further argument.
As egregious an offense as the lettuce was to the World of Pizza, the recipes continued to offend me in more ways than I thought possible. Coconut Curry Vegetable Pizza has everything going wrong for it from the very first word. I may stray and eat the occasional Hawaiian Pizza with Ham & Pineapple on it but I can’t think of any pizza that needs or wants coconut on it. We already know how I feel about vegetables on pizza but this recipe actually called for 2 cups of chopped CAULIFLOWER. (SEE ABOVE CAULIFLOWER RANT) Throw in the peas, chickpeas, carrots & potatoes with the curry seasoning and what we really have is some sort of middle eastern side dish on a thicker piece of Naan. How in the world is this considered a pizza ?
But that wasn’t the worst “pizza” on the list and I am being generous when I use the word “pizza” here. Just the name alone was enough to bring back hazy memories of eating hungover leftovers on a Sunday afternoon from the back of the fraternity refrigerator in college, Chicken Lo Mein Pizza. The recipe is really nothing more than taking leftover chinese food and dumping it on top of a pizza. There are some lines that are sacred and should not be crossed and I realize that Tostino’s Pizza Rolls cross that line in the other direction but if you are going to dump chinese food on a pizza, at least pick a dish that doesn’t include noodles. It’s just a crime against all that is holy & glorious in the world of the $1 Slice.
I am sure that there are those out there that will tell me I am narrowminded and that all of these are great recipes and I am sure for someone out there they are but can they really call them pizzas ?
And come back next time when we talk about how I got mugged again this past weekend by a bunch Girl Scouts.