Pizza ‘al taglio’ (“by the slice”).

“Italians have been doing quality street food much longer than us (the British) , and make less of a fuss about it”

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“Designed to be held in the hand and eaten on the hoof, this is baked slower and longer in trays, so it gets a crispy bottom. It has a slightly thicker crust and a wonderfully chewy crumb with big, open bubbles.”

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“Foods like this allow us to loiter in archways, stroll down streets and wander through piazzas.”

The above quotes are from Jacob Kenedy, chef patron at Bocca di Lupo and Vico, taken from an article published in the Financial Times. The images were added by myself.

Everywhere I go in Italy There seem to be stalls opening to the street selling this stuff. All of it looks fantastic. Also, it is a reminder to me that whilst there are the wonderful classic pizza’s we can adapt to circumstances. After all, these kinds of foods were invented out of pragmatism.

Pizza Doesn’t have to be Round

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You don’t even necessarily have to use a wood fired oven or a stone. But I must admit, I do like using a stone.

On a cheap, well-loved, non-stick baking tray generally sprinkle some flour to aid the non-stickiness. Make a base in your own favourite way and arrange on top. I like to crimp the edges of the dough so it makes a kind of tray. Reduce some tinned tomatoes in a pan. How far you go with this is up to you. I like mine quite thick to get quite a strong flavour. Spread on top, but don’t use too much, and sprinkle with ripped basil.

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Dice up some onion, mushroom, bell pepper and cheese (take your pick). Get this mixture well mixed in a bowl with a good generous slug of olive oil. Put on top and spread in some prosciutto. Bake on gas mark 4 or 5.

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When done, throw on some more ripped basil as a garnish.

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Limoncello

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Limoncello is a strong, Italian liqueur made from the zest of sfusato lemons. This spirit is mostly associated with the southern part of the gulf of Naples and the Amalfi coast where the sfusato lemon is a common crop. Limoncello can be either clear or opaque.

I recently went on a short break to the town of Sorrento which sits high on the cliffs on the southern coast of the bay of Naples, Italy. This wonderful little town has a lot to offer the tourist looking for a chill out. Including this place.

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This great little shop sells Limoncello everything. Even limoncello soap, apparently. Inside this alladin’s cave of yellow with its vast array of all kinds of shapes and sizes of bottles, boxes of sweets the staff eagerly ply visitors with small samples.

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It is one of those places where one really has to buy something. Why? Because I can think of no where outside of this part of the world like it. So I did.

Having bought my bottle I then, as is my habit, retired to a street side bar/café for a beer to ponder my new purchase and announce my latest adventure on Facebook.

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Cue my good friend and culinary genius Chef Instructor Terri Dien.

Mike: “Hey Terri, look what I just bought. This stuff is quite potent! I think this stuff has potential for dilution in soda water or tonic water”.

Terri: “Lovely, Mike! Yes, drink it straight and you might not be able to stand up straight… but added to soda is a great way to enjoy it….. over a scoop of ice cream or sorbet…. Yum. I also add some to buttercream when I’m making special occasion cakes ”.

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Terri: “Limoncello (from Italy) is available here (California) in most stores… we can also make it, too! Paul and I made a batch years ago that’s still in our freezer. But I’m sure it tastes even better where you’re sitting!”

Mike: “Can I quote you in a blog post?”

Terri: “Of course!”

http://www.chefterridien.com/