Enjoy the Many Flavor Possibilities of Homemade Pizza

Story & Photography Provided by New Kitchen Store

Pizza is one of the most popular foods in the world. It’s a fun and fast food, and a versatile meal in itself – breakfast, lunch, supper, and even dessert.Pizza

Let’s start with a little history on this wonderful food. In the early 1800s pizza started off as a flatbread in the poor section of Naples, Italy. Locals needed cheap food that they could eat quickly, due to their lifestyle.

So how did pizza become famous in the United States? The first licensed U.S. pizzeria opened in 1905 in New York City, at Lombardi’s in Manhattan. Up until the late 1940s, pizza was mostly enjoyed by those of Italian heritage. However, the American GIs returning from World War II changed all of that.

Now, on to exploring a few different types of pizza.

You’ve heard of margherita pizza, yes? Well, according to legend it was named after Queen Margherita herself. In the late 1800s the queen was visiting Naples, and Chef Raffaele Esposito and his wife wanted to create a masterpiece of a pizza for her. Looking like the Italian flag, it was a simple yet lovely pie of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil.

What about pepperoni? The fact is that Italians frown upon pepperoni, and you’ll never find it as a topping in the country.The rapid growth of Domino’s pizza, combined with the popularity of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, firmly positioned pepperoni as a favorite pizza topping.

Thinking outside of traditional pizza, you can basically put anything on it. How about a steak and eggs pizza? Or a peanut butter, banana and bacon pizza, drizzled with honey? I even put broccoli on my pie one night (I won’t do that again though).

Toppings are the easy part. Now let’s talk about the dough. On second thought, no – I’m not going to talk about the dough. I’m just going to suggest that you go online to research your favorite style of crust, or go to the library and check out a few pizza books. My family is gluten free, and I’m still searching for that perfect gluten-free crust to make. With that said, I cannot offer any suggestions or strategies when it comes to dough.

I will, however, offer a lovely cooked tomato sauce recipe that I found in “The United States of Pizza” by Craig Priebe:

1 tbsp. extra virgin oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp. dried basil

½ tsp. dried oregano

¼ tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 cup pureed tomatoes (or sauce)

2 tbsp. tomato paste

(Don’t forget, we sell all these wonderful spices at New Kitchen Store.)

Heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the spices and cook for 30 more seconds, stirring continuously. Add the tomato puree and paste. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  This makes one cup, which is enough for one 14” or 16” pizza.

At New Kitchen store, we carry all your pizza needs including spices, sauces, garlic press tools, pizza peels, stone, and different elements for your pizza pan. How about cooking your pizza in/on cast iron? We carry a fine selection of Lodge products at our store. Thinking of putting a wood-fired pizza unit in your backyard? We have the tools for that as well.

By the way, we have moved. Please come and see us at our new, bigger location at 1100 Roosevelt Road in Walkerton. Call us at 574-586-2745, and visit newkitchenstore.com.

PizzaOur farmer’s market is in full swing now as well, on Thursday afternoons from 4 p.m. until 7 pm. You can stop by and shop, or set up a table. There is no cost – it just has to be homemade or homegrown.

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