American… Pizzas

A colleague has got me thinking, in the way that colleagues often do – by inadvertently riling me.  The poor blighter asked, in all innocent ignorance, “how do they make ‘pizza sauce’ in Italy?”  Pizza sauce?  Sauce? They don’t use sauce, they use tomatoes. Fret not, dear reader, I didn’t start ranting at him, I thought I’d do it here instead.

It isn’t really his fault, you see – it’s those people with whom we have a ‘special relationship’ across the ocean.  Americans have been responsible for many culinary atrocities in their short time on earth but little compares to their sacrilegious contempt for pizza.  Thanks to them, the very word ‘pizza’ has had its definition so mangled and pureed beyond authenticity that British and Irish people now associate it with stars, dots, huts, spongey slabs of dough, sweetcorn and bloody pineapple.  Oh, and dog food too, if the ‘steak’ topping another colleague had on his dotty birthday pizza last week is anything to go by.

What is most galling is the Disney-like fashion in which the U.S. has hijacked the name ‘pizza’ – it’s not pizza.  There should be a entirely different name given to this thick, doughy, sweaty, rubbery basin of fat; especially when it’s used as an open sandwich for ingredients you wouldn’t normally keep together in the same fridge – pineapple, sardines, chicken, banana, sausage, shrimp, ‘barbecue’ sauce and extra tupperwarezarella (don’t get me started on that).  And, in America, where they eat piles of these things, they have to bring along another table and a cake stand in ‘pizzerias’ to house them – no wonder they needed a bigger Hut.

Instead of trying to ruin the reputation of this traditionally subtle Southern Italian peasant fare, they should simply give each one of these monstrosities a different, un-catchy, entirely American title, so we’re all clear about where the blame lies – things like Chicago Deep Dish Meat Feast Fish Face Fruit Splat Dough Head should cover most of them – just anything but pizza.  Not even pregnant women should be craving such dreadful combinations.

A proper pizza, yesterday
A proper pizza, yesterday

20 thoughts on “American… Pizzas

  1. I cut half of it out because I was beginning to sound like Bobby Robson. Tartan blanket over my lap and everything.

  2. atf – I completely agree, but DiFontaine’s is New York Italian-style, which differs from the deep-pan rubbish offered elsewhere in America or in terrible, terrible so-called ‘pizza’ takeaways here.

  3. I dont agree. DiFontaines use tomato sauce. Making it ‘New York’ style pizza. There are lots of different styles of pizza, Mexican, Chicago, Hawaiian etc. Italians may have invented pizza but they don’t OWN it 🙂

    New York-style pizza
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    New York-style pizza is a common style of pizza, originating from New York City. This style is identified by its wide, thin, and foldable slices. The traditional toppings are tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. It is traditionally hand-tossed and light on sauce. The slices are often eaten folded in half, as its size and flexibility sometimes makes it unwieldy to eat by hand.

  4. atf – Well, thanks for the lesson.. 🙂 I did say ‘New York Italian’ as opposed to actual Italian. Yes, they do use sauce and, although it’s a little short on flavour, it’s still spread thinly and is not the toothpaste-consistency puree you get elsewhere – which is what I meant by ‘it differs’. NY isn’t representative of the U.S. in the same way that London isn’t quintessentially English.

    As for ‘Mexican’, ‘Hawaiian’, etc. Oh dear. I’ll always argue the point about pizza – ‘style’ is a get-out, a euphemism for inauthenticity, like Nescafe’s ‘instant’ espresso. Italians DO own pizza, whether you or America like it or not.

  5. Yer Wan – I knew I could rely on you. Just for you, I once saw a London pizza-travesty outlet advertising a “Haiwain” pizza. I wonder what Constable would’ve made of that.

  6. mmmmm,I’m off to make some delicious HOMEMADE pizza. Imagine that kids. …imagine preparing your own food. Whatever next.

  7. Dear
    I don’t have more knowledge about pizza but what I know is that I am making pizza one of the best coffee shop in Rwanda Kigali
    I just learned how to make from some one.
    Sometimes we say seeing is believing, u see it and u make it and u say wow.
    so seeing is believing.

  8. Agree about deep pan being an absolute abomination though thankfully due to the success of Pizza Express in the UK it’s less prevalent. I still like a few extra toppings though – particularly mushroom, peppers and chillies

  9. when i been to milan last year it like this, but in my home town very bad pizza!! I loved this style 🙂

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