Italy is known for so many things, but I suppose if you asked most folks what comes to mind when they think of Italy, pizza would be in the top 10 or top 2 even. So, since we have been here, I have consumed my share of the oval, not perfectly round here, delicacies or also the square ones sold by the piece in many walkups. They say it was invented in Napoli, but it is omnipresent in every corner of Italy. I have seen it made with French fries and hot dog slices (Italian hot dogs are somewhat different than US ones and they are categorized as a type of sausage); with buffalo mozzarella nearly always in globs not melted across the whole; with sausage slices of every description, but hardly ever with pepperoni; with tomato sauce and without; with vegetables; with fish or chicken and rarely with any kind of beef and always with thin crust.
What are the restaurants like in which the pizza is sold? First of all, the restaurants are called by different names:
A Ristorante is like any full service restaurant but here they tend to be in unique settings. We have eaten in brick vaulted rooms and rooms with old archways and rooms with painted ceilings. One of the most beautiful was in Ravenna in an old library that had 600 year old frescoes on the ceilings and the tables were the ancient book stalls. I’ll be honest–I didn’t eat pizza here, although it was on the menu.
A Trattoria is a casual eatery that may have family style service and local fare. In France it’s a bistro; in Spain, it’s a tapas bar and in England, it’s a pub.
An Osteria is a wine bar and simple food establishment that prides itself on local specialties, and you may eat on shared tables. These can be quite crowded, and it is expected that you will rub shoulders.
Then there are the walk up bars or stores with pizza under glass and you order by the slice and it is warmed for you and you stand and eat or find a small chair to ease into or take and eat outside. Often times, gelato is sold in these same walkups.
So, what is the Graumannater PizzaRater opinion of real Italian pizza? It’s good. It’s all about the crust and simple ingredients that happen to be on hand that day. Nothing fussy–no cheese in the crust or deep dish, no overwhelming cheesiness, no thick sauce–just good down home taste that brings you back for more, since you did not overeat when you ate the whole thing. And, it tastes good with either wine or beer, but in Italy, it is usually wine. WEG
Coming soon to a blog site near you–Graumannfufu the Fashion Guru. What Italian Fashion Houses are springing on the world from an onsite fashion expert and with pictures. Tell your friends, as this will be everyone’s guide to a new you with a new wardrobe.