Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sicilian food – part 4 (Pizza)

When people think of Italian food, they tend to think of pasta and pizza. We’ve already talked a lot about pasta, so now it’s pizza’s turn in the spotlight!

Sicilians never eat pizza at lunchtime, so restaurants don’t fire-up the pizza oven until the evening. Though we should mention that it’s not a daily treat for most Sicilians, who generally prefer to wait until the weekend before indulging. Pizza here is rarely accompanied by other food; no salads, no bread, no deserts - just an orange or cola soft drink to quench your thirst. Everybody has their own favourite pizzeria, which they swear bakes the best ones.

We can confidently say that we’ve had the best pizzas of our lives here. There is something so delicious about the soft, elastic and just slightly crispy Sicilian dough, which gets a hint of flavour from the olive branches used for the fire. The Sicilian dough is thicker than the thin and crispy dough that’s popular in Rome, and lighter than the original pizza dough found in Naples.

The toppings are never heavy or complicated, with almost all variations being based around a slightly sweet tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. We have tried simple margheritas to fresh sea-food pizzas, and they have all been delicious. Even our little one has turned into a very happy pizza-eater who munches happily on bite-sized pieces. Seeing her happy, tomato sauce smeared face, holding onto the slice for dear life, we can really understand why so many people around the world, from babies to their grandparents just love this simple, delicious Italian treat. Vive la pizza!

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