A Guest post from: Line Areas
There is something really special about pizza that is really hard to put your finger on. People, across the world, just love this food.
Given the fact that every culture has different tastes it is not surprising to see pizzas being made from a range of different ingredients. As you will see below, over the decades, people have tried some truly strange toppings. With very mixed results. However, there are some combinations that work far better than you would expect. So, if you do not fancy eating a traditional margarita yet again, read on and be inspired.
The Chinese market has huge potential for growth. After all, there are nearly 1.4 billion people living there. So, understandably many Western pizza firms have opened branches in the country.
At first, their efforts failed miserably. Not because the Chinese did not like eating pizza. They did, but many of them found it hard to digest. In China, dairy products are rarely eaten. It is estimated that 50% of Chinese people are lactose intolerant. As a result, eating a cheese-laden pizza is not something most people in China can do without experiencing some sort of stomach upset afterward.
The solution to this issue?….weirdly it turned out to be mayonnaise. Apparently, it works really well, especially with seafood based pizzas. The practice of adding mayonnaise to pizza appears to have originated in Japan. There, pizza has been eaten since the mid-1950s. It has been greatly adapted to suit local tastes, including adding mayonnaise as an alternative to using cheese.
Avocado and seafood pizza
Most people like the taste of avocados and prawns, so it is not a surprise to see this combination served as a pizza. It is hard to pin down exactly where this recipe came from. But, many people think it originated in Australia. There, a bit of chili is usually thrown into the mix, which works surprisingly well with avocado. You can find a recipe for this very healthy pizza, here.
The Australians really love to experiment with food. They have a very strong tradition of fusion cooking. Give an Australian chef a country’s favorite recipe and in no time they will have come up with a way to incorporate some of their local ingredients into the dish. The saltwater crocodile pizza is a perfect example of this habit. This unusual pizza can be enjoyed at select restaurants in Sydney.
This weird pizza is not likely to catch on anytime soon. Although, you never know, more of us are willing to try eating insects and cicadas are a good starting point. Their slightly nutty flavor actually appeals to a lot of people and the addition of pizza dough certainly makes it easier for you to swallow your first cicada.
Cooked breakfast pizza
In the UK, they love their cooked breakfast. So, it is hardly surprising that many cafes have had a go at serving up breakfast pizza.
There are many variations, with each restaurant having its own recipe. However, most of them use baked beans as an alternative to the tomato sauce. Typically, the cook pops an egg in the middle and scatters mushrooms, tomatoes, bacon and sliced sausage over the rest of the base. Often, a light sprinkling of cheese is also added. This is not an ingredient that is traditionally part of a British cooked breakfast but adding it ensures that the pizza is moist enough to enjoy.
In the USA, it is burger pizzas that are used to bring two of the country’s favorite foods together into one tasty dish. The most obvious combination is the cheeseburger pizza. It is perfect because you can use the meat element for the topping and apply the cheese over the top. Once cooked, the raw tomato and lettuce can be chopped up and sprinkled across the top.
Banana curry pizza
Given how popular curry is, it is hardly surprising to find it being used as a pizza topping. But, what is a bit weird is adding bananas and pineapple into the mix. Even, odder the banana curry pizza originated in Sweden, which is not a country that has long curry eating tradition.
Cauliflower is a really weird ingredient that works surprisingly well as a pizza topping. You can just parboil it for a few minutes, dry it with some kitchen towel, toss it in some olive oil and add it to your pizza.
Plus, cauliflower can also be used to make an excellent alternative pizza base for people who suffer from wheat and gluten intolerances. The slightly nutty taste you get when crumbled cauliflower is combined with mozzarella, parmesan, herbs and an egg, is sublime. It does not exactly taste like a normal pizza base, but it is nonetheless delicious and can be topped with virtually any ingredient.
Zucchini and pepper pizza
This combination sounds really boring, but the different textures of the two vegetables make it strangely enjoyable. The trick is not to overcook this pizza. If you do that the water is released from the pepper and zucchini, which stops the base from cooking properly. This pizza is particularly nice when it is served with a bit of strong cheese grated over the top.
Perhaps the most surprising toppings are the sweet ones. Increasingly people are experimenting with sweeter ingredients and getting good results.
Amongst the nicest are the ones that use chocolate spread and fruit combinations. There is a natural synergy between these two ingredients and the neutral tasting dough does not detract from the flavor at all.
Most chefs cook the base first then spread the chocolate on to the still warm dough. This makes it easier to apply to the base and brings out the flavor of the chocolate more. It is a rich combination, so most people choose to order this style of dessert pizza when they are out with friends.
In Italy, Nutella is the sweet spread of choice. This is another Italian culinary habit that is spreading to other countries. The raspberry and mascarpone pizza that is becoming increasingly popular in many countries is also thought to have originated in Italy.
Honey also works well on pizza. However, with this ingredient, it is not all about dessert. It is often added to goat’s cheese style pizzas as an alternative to caramelized onions.
Interestingly, some chefs are also adding honey to their dough. There is an easy to follow recipe available from this website.
If this post has inspired you to expand your pizza horizons why not plan a pizza crawl with your friends. They are great fun. We explain how to plan the perfect pizza crawl in this article.
It would also be nice to hear from you, our readers, on this subject. What is the weirdest pizza you were every offered? What did it taste like and would you recommend it? Please, let us know in the comments below and share your family favorites
Line Arias is a writer at Nonnabox.com. When she is not experimenting with food, she is either planning her next trip or writing Poetry.