You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six. Yogi Berra
Recently, I had reasons to do some research on the ubiquitous Pizza. I was amazed to find how ancient the concept of pizza is!! The common history of the birth of the pizza, as a popular dish, is a romantic story of how a poor man’s meal became the comfort food of the high and mighty and the prosperous and has since become a truly democratic dish!
What I also discovered in my scouring was that the term “pizza” has been prevalent as early as 997 A.D but wasn’t even given the status of being an edible dish until much later. It was initially a baker’s tool used to verify oven temperature!!
But, once the concept of the pizza as a bread base topped with sauce, took off, it spread far and wide across many many cultures. The breadth and reach of the far flung Roman and the Ottoman empires must surely have aided the pizza’s adoption into people’s homes and hearts.
Each culture adopted the dish to be it’s own, rendering it with distinctive flavors of the region as also shapes and customs of eating it. Today’s practice of dotting the pizza with cheese began in 1889, as a tribute to the Queen consort of Italy. The Neapolitan chef Raffaele Esposito created the “Pizza Margherita,” garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil, to represent the colors of the Italian flag. (citation: wikipedia)
Since then, cheese has become an integral part of the pizza’s concept itself although some form of pizza continue to exist sans cheese even today, such as the Lahma bi Ajeen, from Lebanon. Middle Eastern food has always held a special appeal to me. Perhaps, it’s the invitation of the spices, the subtle aromas of their intensely flavorful dishes. The mystery behind how something that looks so simple can blow your taste buds off in sheer ecstasy…
I can wax eloquent for very long on the subject but what I am trying to say here is that borrowing a leaf from that cuisine, today, I present you the thin crusted delicately doused with truffle oil and thinly sliced potato pizza.
The thinly shaped beauty just stopped me in my cooking tracks. It’s elegance belied the humble origins of the pizza.The deep simple earthy tones of the base, the golden brown hues that look a lot like that of flat bread and the simplicity of it’s toppings spoke to me the instant i had the first bite at Pizza Antica..
For the kids with different tastes, i decided last moment to make a two part pizza so as not to listen to the yakkers about their favorite toppings missing..
Every meal in our house ends on a sweet note. Extending the pizza theme of the meal, I made individual pies with chocolate sauce topped with poached pears, orange candied walnuts all brushed with a sweet glaze of orange syrup.
1 portion pizza dough(can buy pillsbury or from your local pizza store)
thinly sliced red potatoes
Fennel thinly sliced
Roll out your pizza dough very thin.
Top with favorite topping and bake at 400 degrees