Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Food for Thought

Things have been suspiciously quiet in the Stavros camp, so I've turned my attentions to food. I will share these mental meanderings with you now.... come!

Being unable to answer the question of existance, natural progression led me to that other ultimate query in the philosophical canon, 'What is the greatest pizza topping?'. Of course it was the great writers and thinkers of the Roman age who first asked this question, Plato and his Greek chums being more concerned with the idea that if he turned his back on his bottle of ouzo would it still exist (the answer to that was 'not if that thieving drunkard Pythagoras is about').

Pizza isn't originally a Roman dish of course, it is Neapolitan, and the red tomato, white cheese and green basil represent the colours of the Italian flag. So using these basic materials how do we arrive at the perfect pizza. First let us decide what shouldn't go on it. Pineapples are fruit, and as such has no place in a main course (I know tomato is a fruit, but Cardiff City play in the English league, what are you going to do?). Ditto for olives, their place is in a glass of vodka martini, not on God's own dinner. All fish products are also out, as it is a can of sea-worms I don't want to open. Sweetcorn, sweetcorn is a tricky one, but I'm expelling it as eating it reminds me of how it comes out afterwards, and the diner table is no such place for those earthy thoughts. The flavour of peppers is a touch sharp for the pizza experience, and they often stay crunchy after cooked ruining our texture. Mushrooms are allowed, aslong as they are big and tasty and not those bland button variety. The best meat would have to be ham, beef and lamb are too chewy for this dish, but chicken can work as long as it isn't flavoured for some other meal (ie. Tikka or Barbecue). The best greenery for this occassion is actually spinach (scoff you not!), the flavour it brings out enhances the other flavours, unless it's cooked wrong and then it is like soggy seaweed and use only for the dustbin.

I think I have arrived at my answer to this centuries-old conundrum, the best pizza would be baked on a thin base, covered in the finest tomato and flavoured with basil, oregano, thyme and garlic. This would be topped with real Italian mozzarrella and just a touch of parmesan, and finally good quality salted ham with small amounts of mushrooms and spinach... and it would preferably be cooked by Monica Bellucci who would promise me a treat if I eat it all. I do hope it's ice-cream!