Did you know:
- Rafaele Esposito a baker from Naples, Italy created a pizza to honor Queen Margherita of Savoy in the late 1880’s
- Italian immigrants brought pizza to America and it gained popularity when returning WWII GI’s craved the pizza they had eaten in Italy
- The 1960’s brought home-delivery service and frozen pizza’s into our homes
- Gourmet Pizza’s evolved in the 1980’s, most famously at Wolfgang Puck’s LA restaurant – Spago
- Today, we eat more than three billion pizzas every year
- 350 slices of pizza is eaten each second
- Americans eat an average of 46 slices a year
- Pizza is the #2 item in food service, after the hamburger
- Pepperoni is America’s favortie topping
- 61% of the American popluation prefers regular thin crust pizza
According to the authors of the amazing cookbook; Pizza on the Grill by Elizabeth Karmel and Bob Blumer (a must have cookbook) one of the big differences between a good cook and a great cook is how he/she finishes a dish. “The last thing you put on the pizza is the first thing you taste, so whatever you’re adding needs to be fresh and clean.” They go on to recommend their classic finishing touches like; best-quality salt and olive oil to spices and fresh herbs. If you are looking to fine tune your pizza experience, I would highly recommend this cookbook. Pizza on the Grill is a pie-in-the-sky treat for backyard grillers and pizza lovers alike!
Great Pizzza Cheeses to try: Fontina, Goat Cheese, Mascarpone, fresh Mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, Smoked Cheddar, Gouda, grated, and Brie!
Must Have Equipment: Pizza peel or rimless baking pan, brush (pastry or paint brush from the hardware store works great), microplane grater for the cheese, sharp knife or pizza wheel, and your favorite bottle of wine or beer to sip on while your pizza is cooking.
The Essential Pizza Pantry Ingredients: flour, yeast (or buy fresh dough from your local pizzeria), crushed tomatoes in puree, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil, and your favorite bbq sauce. I always have the following cheeses in my fridge; parmesan, goat cheese, and fontina.
OK, I have all these ingredients on hand, now what toppings will end up on our Friday night pizza? Check back next week and I’ll tell ya!
By the way, the photos on the top of this post are last Friday’s pizza; 1. Pulled Pork, Fontina Cheese and Scallions, 2. Grilled Pineapple, Canadian Bacon and Camembert cheese. Totally yummy! What are your favorite toppings?