Bite the crust

Food for thought

Bite the crust

The term ‘comfort food’ differs from person to person, but pizza is something that many claim to be their comfort food. A magnificent crust with the perfect sauce and cheese topped with varieties of vegetables and meats, pizza has a phenomenon that everyone craves for. However, over the years, the shapes, sizes and flavours of this cheesy goodness have evolved.

From being a dish that peasants in 1000 AD baked with their leftovers to being a gourmet dish now, food lovers in the city are embracing their love for this delight.

For Ambica Selvam, a food stylist, her first introduction to pizza was with the flour based one. She recalls, “I was introduced to the fast food culture quite late. The first pizza I ever had was one that had a lot of vegetables and badly cut cheese on them. Since I didn’t have anything to compare it to then, I really liked it. But that notion has changed over the years, thanks to my increasing knowledge about food and with my travels.”

Unlike many years ago when India had the luxury of pizza in a deep-dish sort of format, the idea of pizza is now flatter and better. Thin crust pizza and woodfire pizza are the most ordered pizzas these days, many prefer to experiment with the same. “With our exposure through the internet, books, people and travel, we are introduced to a variety of pizza that we can indulge in. We now know that pizza bases can now be made completely flourless, like cauliflower, millets or broccoli based,” says Ambica.

Debolina Ray, blogger at ‘She knows Grub’, likes her pizza with a thin crust and made in a wood-fired oven. She says, “I think the base is one of the important factors of making a pizza. For me, it needs to have that crunch  when I bite into the slice. Italian flavoured with a good amount of cheese does the trick for me.”

She believes that regular pizzas with a thick crust are not preferred by many now. “Since we are exposed to a lot of variety, many don’t want to feel like they are having 3 meals together with the thick crust cheese burst pizza base. And with the option of adding whatever toppings we want to the cheesy delight, we are spoilt for choice,” she explains.

Although there are many restaurants that offer a wide range of options for one to have, there are also homebakers who prefer to make their own. Parvathy Nair, a blogger at ‘A Cupcake For Love’, is one food enthusiast who experiments with pizza recipes. She says, “I believe that food lovers have moved to a point where pizza is not just about sauce and cheese being spread with vegetables and meats. There’s also an idea of  making a dish called pizza with the ‘chapati’ that we have every day. People understand that it’s not just about the quantity but the quality and the flavour that it can bring about. That’s why when guests come over, they always ask for my ‘Tandoori meatball pizza’.”

So whether it’s the way pizza has evolved over the years to represent itself in other forms of bases or to ensure that it gives out the quality that one is looking for, it’s safe to say that food lovers want them all. After all, as the saying goes ‘you had me at pizza’!

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