I have been having explicit pizza fantasies for several weeks now. And somehow every time a pie presented itself, I thought, "This can't be it. Don't waste your opportunity on this specimen of mediocrity." But I did succumb a few times. There was that weird practically crustless perversity in the suburbs of Chantilly VA: a lot of cheese and meat and nothing else. Hardly anything even vaguely pizza like. I couldn't bring myself to eat pizza in Germany either, though it looked good. Perugia offered a decent one two weeks ago, but it was all crust, a hint of dark tuna and broccoli rabe. The idea was pure genius, but the execution so imbalanced and off center, that it was very unpizzaic in the end. And then NY this past week. WHAT WAS I THINKING??? I ate no pizza, but certainly ogled, smiffed and dreamed about it every moment. So, I am home today and thought I must just cook it. And the idea Perugia was still stuck there. And it truly is genius. Not my idea, but the ingredients must be right. Sautee the rabe first so it comes out crisp in the oven. Canned (YES) solid tuna in water, ordinary mozzarella. But all in perfect balance. Got to be a paper thin crust or you would lose the tuna, but very crispy. And it is beyond beyond. If you can think of a better unusual combination, let me know.
Food Historian at the University of the Pacific. Director of Food Studies in San Francisco.
Author of Eating Right in the Renaissance, Food in Early Modern Europe, Cooking in Europe 1250-1650, The Banquet, Beans (2008 IACP Jane Grigson Award) and Pancake. A cookbook with Rosanna Nafziger THE LOST ART OF REAL COOKING.
Coeditor of The Lord's Supper with Trudy Eden and Editor of A Cultural History of Food: The Renaissance.
Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia (4 vols.) Three World Cuisines: Italian, Mexican and Chinese recently won the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards Best Foreign Cuisine book in the World. The Routledge International Handbook to Food Studies is in print.
A sequel to the cookbook - entitled THE LOST ARTS OF HEARTH AND HOME.
Latest Books: Grow Food, Cook Food, Share Food from Oregon State U Press, a little book on Nuts from Reaktion and The Food History Reader from Bloomsbury. The Most Excellent Book of Cookery (translation of a 16th c. French Cookbook with Tim Tomasik) from Prospect Books. Not to mention THE BEAST: The Food Issues Encyclopedia for Sage. Still in the works.