Pizza Today - October 2016 - 40

hile visiting a
pizzeria near the
beach in Ostia,
Italy, I ordered
a magnificent
white pizza
with Gorgonzola. The pizza was a
beautiful thing to behold with the
pillowy charred edges of a highheat Neapolitan pie along with the
thin, crispness of a Roman pizza
made with olive oil.
The first few bites of the creamy
base and melting chunks of bleu
were memorable and rewarding
but as I cut into the third piece,
I stopped; realizing that I was
flavor-bored -- not disgusted but
just tired of the delicious sameness.
The strong flavor made my mouth
and brain cry for some difference of
texture, sweetness or another flavor
to break the boredom. Instead of
embarrassing myself by speaking
up, I nibbled the crust and left the
pizzeria on good terms. That day I
learned that the fine line between
big flavor success and big flavor
failure lies with the supporting
elements. Call them condiments,
garnishes, finishing agents or
supporting actors, they all have the
potential to put a great big cherry
on a big flavor pie!
I love big flavors in my pizzeria because they form the base
of any complex pizza without
sending you to the poor house. For
instance, I've noticed that the most
bang for the buck in any grocery
store is a 13-cent habañero pepper.
But before I put a whole habañero
on a pie and blow someone's face
off, I'd rather pair it with some
other toppings, sauces or flavors like

4 0 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6

lemon, sugar, onions, wheat, tomato,
fish or pork. I use big-flavored
cheeses and pestos paired with my
béchamel sauce to blast a pie into
wonderland without costing an arm
and a leg. Below are some of the
ways you can create best supporting
actors to big flavors:
Sweet and savory: Sweet and
savory: Creating an "agrodolce"
effect helps temper big flavors. This
Italian term for sweet and sour
works well on the wheaty platform
of a pizza. (The added effect of a
nice char rockets this flavor into
heaven.) Fruit compotes and jams
provide a decent finishing agent
to big sour cheeses, and fat savory
meats like lardo and guanciale add
complexity to vegetable-heavy pies.
Texture: Pizza is a play on textures with melt, liquid and crunch.
This can be multiplied by the pull
of an aged mozzarella, creamy cold
stracciatella as a finish, punchy
arugula, crunchy walnuts or toasted
pignoli (pine nuts). I even have the
crunchy hot Korean kimchi in my
menu mix, which works wonders
with melting provolone.
Vegetable Counterpoints:

After competing in Italy, I've fallen
in love with finishing pizzas with
edible flowers, stuffed sweet and
sour peppers, spicy greens that hold
up to the heat of a just-finished pie
and salsas, pestos, pickled garlic,
carrots and even dill pickles.
Color: People eat with their eyes
and colorful foods add an extra
"wow" factor to any big-flavored
pizza. Even a bright red tomato
concasse or thin yellow peppers can
transform a "blah" pizza to a wow
pie.
Foil: A lot of chefs, bakers and

pizza makers may overlook the
fact that opposites really do attract!
For example, consider: cream and
lemon; salty olives and jam; tuna
and veal; anchovy and white truffle
and chorizo and blueberry are all
combinations with much history.
Most of these adventurous combinations are enhanced even more
when other attractive components
tie them together.
Here are some cool and
attractive co-stars to these big
flavors:
Chorizo: Onion; blueberry;
sweet peppers; eggplant; apple;
beans; thyme; tomatoes; chicken;
chili; kale; clams; potatoes; garlic
and herbs.
Leek: Artichoke; Parmesan; dill;
lemon zest; chicken; goat cheese;
Gruyere; butter; chives; cream;
garlic; oregano; tarragon; balsamic;
chicken stock; thyme; potatoes; egg;
bacon; anchovy; cauliflower; caraway; celery; oyster mushroom; black
pepper; soy sauce; crème fraiche and
cream sauce.
Shrimp: Basil; anchovy; garlic;
coconut; arugula; avocado; bacon;
crab; cream; curry; cilantro; chili
peppers; celery and root; lemon;
mushroom; mint; bay leaf; artichokes; basil; butter; ginger; parsley;
onion,; sesame; tomato; thyme;
scallions; clams and cinnamon.
Italian sausage: Fennel;
orange; Gorgonzola; fontina; onion;
potato; radicchio; beans; rosemary;
tomato; arugula; basil; fennel; celery; garlic; pepperoni; lemon juice;
cream; apples; lentil; oregano; shallot; parsley; mustard; broccoli rabe;
bell pepper and carrot.


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Pizza Today - October 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - October 2016

Pizza Today - October 2016
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
On Tap
Destinations
Dough Doctor
Attracting Investors
Pizza & Pasta Northeast
2016 Hot 100 Independents
Ciao!, Baby
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - October 2016 - CT1
Pizza Today - October 2016 - CT2
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Pizza Today - October 2016
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Cover2
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Commentary
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 4
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 5
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Contents
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 7
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 8
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 9
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Contributors
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 11
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 13
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Interact
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 15
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Conversation
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 17
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 19
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 21
Pizza Today - October 2016 - On Tap
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 23
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Destinations
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 25
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Dough Doctor
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 27
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 28
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 29
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 30
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 31
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 32
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 33
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Pizza Today - October 2016 - 40
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 41
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 42
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 43
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Attracting Investors
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 45
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 46
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 47
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Pizza & Pasta Northeast
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 49
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 50
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 51
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 2016 Hot 100 Independents
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 53
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 54
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 55
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Ciao!, Baby
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 57
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 58
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 59
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 60
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 62
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 63
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 65
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 66
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 67
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Pizza Today - October 2016 - 71
Pizza Today - October 2016 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 73
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Pizza Today - October 2016 - 75
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 76
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 77
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 78
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 79
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 80
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Pizza Today - October 2016 - Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Cover3
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Cover4
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