Originally a dish from southern Italy, the humble pizza has spread around the world. But why? And What do we expect from a pizza?
In Italy a pizza was a peasant food, meaning a basic pie with either dough or pastry1. One variety, a simple bread with tomatoes and cheese, designed to feed you modestly and cheaply, has become known today as ‘pizza’. Even this basic concept takes many forms, due to its greatest strength; there are no rules. Unlike other traditional dishes originating from Europe, there is no dogma, or sacred rules saying what should top a pizza or how the base should be made. Thus walking into a pizzeria you can never now what your going to get. Pizza can be an artificial, rubbery and processed disk from the frozen section of your local supermarket. On the other hand it can be considered the height of haut cuisine, with Maze in London famed for once offering a white truffle pizza for £100. Its this great variety that has allowed pizza to become so successful,
In Liverpool there are several restaurants offering pizza, in fact too many for this review, but I tried 6 of them to see what was on offering. If I’m in a restaurant I like my pizzas to have, what some may call, an Italian style. Thin bases with good quality ingredients, following a more traditional style. However make a pizza too thin and the middle becomes soggy and difficult to eat, too thick and the dish becomes too big to finish. The worst curse of pizza is APC or anonymous pizza cheese, the tasteless rubbery substance that seems to act more as material for holding the pizza together, than a vehicle for flavour. So as I wandered around Liverpool’s pizza restaurants I hoped to avoid APC and find a base to the appropriate thickness.
After eating a lot of pizza I came one certain conclusion, the best pizza in Liverpool is from Il Forno. To read the full article and see what I make of the other restaurants