Friday, July 15, 2011

Non Wood-fired Pizza is a Crime in Paris!

Since we couldn't go to Italy and try some authentic pizzas, Paris had quite a number of pizza joints to make up for our short comings.  Most of these places (save for Pizza Hut), do offer wood-fired, brick-oven pizza.  What makes wood-fired, brick-oven pizza so good, you ask?  Well, for starters, the oven is like 700C hot so it only takes a few minutes to cook the pizza; second, the pizza is hand tossed to a thin crust; third, toppings and creations are nothing like your homebrew "pepperoni and mushrooms" variety; forth, instead of the dried, flavourless chili pepper flakes, they give you olive oil infused with chilies.  

Four Seasons Pizza: ham, artichokes, mozzarella, tomato, mushrooms
Pizza I Dogi (Latin Quarter)

Meow had a spaghetti primavera instead
Pizza I Dogi (Latin Quarter)

As you may have noticed, the pizza looks quite, err...ugly..., but that's a characteristic of hand made, hand tossed crust.  Flavour is still better than your Pizza Hut variety, because sauce is tangy, toppings are plentiful, also the right amount of cheese.

Pizza Pino (Opera)
Wood fired oven pizza, "Al Pollo"

Now, there is quite a story about this jackass waiter at Pizza Pino.  Pizza Pino seems to be a chain pizza joint in Paris (I don't know where else other than that).  This particular waiter, I don't know whether his beef is because we're tourists or what, but he first keeps forgetting to bring me my glass of water.  Mr. Meow had to ask like 3 times.  Regardless of how a waiter may view a customer ordering tap water instead of mineral water, you bring the customer what she wants, dammit!  Each time it was asked, the waiter was all like "right away!" and then proceed to ring up a customer and clean off tables.  That, certainly was not right away.  Mr. Meow suspected that the waiter was not too keen about tourists since when we were just seated, the table next to us, who were also tourists, were left with a dessert menu and practically got ignored while locals got served promptly.  So, when the waiter finally got around to check on us during our meals, Mr. Meow decided to use some "local dialect", and that threw the waiter off.  Service seemed to have improved somewhat afterwards.  Moral of the story: If you're not keen about tourists, don't prolong their stay by ignoring them, serve them fast so they get out of there faster.

Pizza Pino (Opera)
Another Four Seasons pizza

Regardless of service, pizza when done in a wood fired oven is fabulous.  We have tried to recreate some aspects of pizza-connoisseuring by making our own spicy olive oil.  Mr. Meow had always been planning to make a wood-fired brick oven, so it'll be just a matter of time before Meow can enjoy Parisian pizzas at home. 

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