Many years ago there was a program on Polish TV called “Associations” with very simple rules. The host of the program said one word and a contestant had to associate it with another one quickly.
I am pretty sure that if we played this game now and I said “pizza” many of us would straight away think of “Italy”.
However, dishes similar to pizza – flatbread with a selection of toppings baked in an oven – are popular in cuisines of many countries.
For example, in France, there is Pissaladière a thicker base topped with onions, olives and anchovies. Turkish Lahmajoun consists of a thin crust and meaty topping. There is even a Japanese version of pizza called Okonomiyaki. And these are only three examples.
Italian pizza itself has many variations too. Starting from simple Pizza Napoletana, through Marinara and Capriciosa, to Ai Frutti di Mare, to name just a few.
All of them have a common denominator – tomatoes (although there are white pizzas too), but other than that, the choices of toppings are endless.
I could never decide which topping was my favourite. So for a long time, I always chose Quattro Stagioni, a pizza with a different topping on each of its quarters. And then finally, I discovered my favourite pizza.
One day we went to a pizzeria many people recommended to us. I didn’t feel that hungry, so I looked for a lighter version. And I found it – Prosciutto Arugula Pizza.
Its thin crust was baked only with tomato sauce while the rest of the ingredients (prosciutto, arugula and shavings of Parmesan) were put on top of it afterwards. The pizza looked incredible and tasted delicious even though it didn’t have the melting cheese factor.
And it has been my favourite pizza since then.