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Made in Italy


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(however this is academic as it has i think now been taken off the revised menu)

Really? I thought I read somewhere that this was their biggest selling pizza, along with the Four Seasons. Why would they take one of their most popular product off the menu?

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Ah yes.  America - where they have Danish that you don't get in Denmark, French Toast, that you don't get in France, English muffins you don't get in England etc etc. Maybe they mean the 'International' restaurants at Epcot!

Such a wasteland, isn't it? I wonder why all those Danish, French and English fools (not to mention Italians, Germans, et. al) want to come here to eat our faux food when they can stay home and eat the real thing.

Sorry, Jaybee, I was NOT making a negative comment about America just putting this comment in perspective: 'not so with Pizza Express which is an abomination, what the hell is an American Hot? We dont have those in America. Perhaps by America they mean somewhere in Bolivia? '. I was just showing that the 'American hot' comment can be reversed is all. However now that you mention it I can assure you that no Frenchman or Italian go to America for the food! Maybe the friendly people and the culture but the food? Never.

Have you all got such inferiority complexes that a comment like mine in answer to someone's post is attacked?

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We ordered a pizza described as sausage with "fraierelli" brocolli (which I hoped in my heart of hearts was going to be brocolli rabe, but was not; has anybody ever seen brocolli rabe in London? does anybody know what Fraierelli brocollis meant to be?).  It was a white pizza, so perhaps not a good representation, but the sausage turned out to be chunks of relatively flavourless and dry pork, the pizza was very greasy, the crust was very doughy and soft, the promised brocolli tasted like canned spinach, and the toppings were very sparse.  The fact that the pizza was served on what appeared to be a lunch tray certainly did us no favours in trying to keep the damn thing from cooling off too quickly.

Thomas, that was the topping we had, dry pork (sausage?) and I forgot about the overpoweringly strong spinach, definitely not Broccoli. As you mention, the toppings were sparse except the Mozzarella which was overwhelming.

Hands up all those people who thingk that PM has the best Pizza but have not eaten at Spiga? :hmmm:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Personally, I have always found Spiga's pizzas decidedly average and certainly nowhere near comparable to PM. However, the pizza chef at PM has changed relatively recently and I have noticed a decline in the overall standards of the pizza since. The different types seem to merge into one and the toppings have become a little bit more spartan. The dough is still great, as is the sauce and even this decline does not prevent them remaining number one in London by my books, but I do think they might be need to address some of the new chef's shortcomings if they want to maintain their extraordinary popularity.

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JJS and Kikujiro, can you give us a sense of what you consider the perfect dough and crust? I am just wondering whether we have different opinions or whether my experience was really just a one-off. Also, I repeat my question of whether anybody has any idea what is meant by "Fraierelli" brocolli. I am curious in particular as to whether "Frairelli" simply means "nasty and canned spinach-like".

Speaking of crusts, the new Jeffrey Steingarten book has a hysterical bit on his pizza adventures, accompanied by a heat detector. Very funny.

Thomas Secor

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I have not eaten at Spiga but at its cousin Spighetta- the pizzas are above average but unspectacular. I saw a review of London's pizzas in the Standard by a certain Mr Zilli who described Spiga pizza as '10/10; Naples on a plate'. I can only assume Spiga is very different to Spighetta.

I went to Naples recently and the closest in London to the standards set in Naples is Pizza Metro, with Napule and its cousin Made in Italy not far behind.

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Have you all got such inferiority complexes that a comment like mine in answer to someone's post is attacked?

I think not. I suspect every American who's read your post did not respond. I did and don't believe there's a trace of inferiority complex in my response although I meant to show that this sort of thing is not limited to the US or the UK. I lay the blame at the feet of the French with their Sauce Espagnole, Allemande and above all--Hollandaise.

I'm sure that if Sony ever sold their TVs as American TVs, or Toyota claimed to sell American cars, as a nation, we'd be up in arms without any embarrassment about our ability to make and sell "Swiss" cheese and Champagne. What I don't see is how an inferiority complex would fit into any of this and why you bring up the charge. It seems to smack of a certain baiting, or what's known on the Internet as "trolling" to provoke a response. I'm sure it's unintentional and as others point it out when it occurs, it will disappear from your posts.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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No Bix I wasn't trolling. Just making an observation based on the fact that one guy got upset for Pizza Express calling one of their pizzas 'American Hot' (especially the mention of Bolivia!). I was merely pointing out that the same thing happens in reverse (and your own comments regarding the French was very apropos). Next thing I'm given a rude lecture by someone who obviously can't understand English too well.

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as i've never been to the usa, my ideas of it are rather vague. in my pre-e-gullet days, i would certainly never have gone for the food. i'm not so certain any more. i do think on the other hand, that most europeans will, as pp said, go there for the people and the culture.

christianh@geol.ku.dk. just in case.

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We ordered a pizza described as sausage with "fraierelli" brocolli (which I hoped in my heart of hearts was going to be brocolli rabe, but was not; has anybody ever seen brocolli rabe in London? does anybody know what Fraierelli brocollis meant to be?).

Thomas - I can find no reference to "Fraierelli" in any of my Italian books, nor has the Italian I work with heard of it, it is also not present in a google search using several different spellings. Is that the exact spelling they used?

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No Bix I wasn't trolling. Just making an observation based on the fact that one guy got upset for Pizza Express calling one of their pizzas  'American Hot' (especially the mention of Bolivia!). I was merely pointing out that the same thing happens in reverse (and your own comments regarding the French was very apropos). Next thing I'm given a rude lecture by someone who obviously can't understand English too well.

Peter - I'm afraid that your intent isn't very clear from your posts, hence the confusion really.

Has anybody seen an "Aussie" pizza in the UK (eg. A meat based pizza with an egg cracked in the middle)?

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Has anybody seen an "Aussie" pizza in the UK (eg. A meat based pizza with an egg cracked in the middle)?

There are a few of these around. Gourmet Pizza Company has an English Breakfast Pizza (bacon, sausage, black pudding) with an egg cracked in the middle. It's actually pretty good.

Adam

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Has anybody seen an "Aussie" pizza in the UK (eg. A meat based pizza with an egg cracked in the middle)?

There are a few of these around. Gourmet Pizza Company has an English Breakfast Pizza (bacon, sausage, black pudding) with an egg cracked in the middle. It's actually pretty good.

Sounds wonderful. Incidentally, I love the egg cracked in the middle on Pizzas but that's Italian originally.

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Has anybody seen an "Aussie" pizza in the UK (eg. A meat based pizza with an egg cracked in the middle)?

There are a few of these around. Gourmet Pizza Company has an English Breakfast Pizza (bacon, sausage, black pudding) with an egg cracked in the middle. It's actually pretty good.

Sounds wonderful. Incidentally, I love the egg cracked in the middle on Pizzas but that's Italian originally.

Yes I know, much like pizza, which is also Italian. Although, some will say that pizza is American, but I really think that they are talking about one particular type of pie, rather then all things known as "pizza". I have had numerous things called "pizza" in Italy, only some resemble what most of us would call a pizza.

I like pie.

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Thomas - I can find no reference to "Fraierelli" in any of my Italian books, nor has the Italian I work with heard of it, it is also not present in a google search using several different spellings. Is that the exact spelling they used?

Cant be sure on the spelling but that is how it was spelled to the best of my recollection. I had never heard of it, nor had my wife (who is half italian and has spent much time in Northern Italy).

I think we will have to assume it means nasty spinach.

The funny thing is, when I was in Sorrento, I had a similar experience where I ordered brocolli and the waiter brought me spinach. When I pointed out that I had ordered brocolli and not the spinach, he insisted that what was inf front of me was brocolli. We had a pretty heated argument about it. I was sure he thought that Americans just didnt know the difference between brocolli and spinach. I wonder if brocolli is the word for spinach around Naples.

Thomas Secor

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Thomas - I can find no reference to "Fraierelli" in any of my Italian books, nor has the Italian I work with heard of it, it is also not present in a google search using several different spellings. Is that the exact spelling they used?

Cant be sure on the spelling but that is how it was spelled to the best of my recollection. I had never heard of it, nor had my wife (who is half italian and has spent much time in Northern Italy).

I think we will have to assume it means nasty spinach.

The funny thing is, when I was in Sorrento, I had a similar experience where I ordered brocolli and the waiter brought me spinach. When I pointed out that I had ordered brocolli and not the spinach, he insisted that what was inf front of me was brocolli. We had a pretty heated argument about it. I was sure he thought that Americans just didnt know the difference between brocolli and spinach. I wonder if brocolli is the word for spinach around Naples.

In southern Italy broccoli is used to refer to what is called sprouting broccoli in England -- i.e. lots of leaf, thin stalks and only a few sprouts at the top.

So it could end up looking very like spinach -- but with a very different taste -- if you got a spoonful that was mostly leaf and with little or no sprout.

In Rome -- there were basically 4 kinds of this family of vegetable -- your basic white cauliflower, your basic green broccoli, the thing that is half way between the two (light green, very geometric pyramidal shape, called 'cimone' or cavolbroccolo or a bunch of other things') and the sprouting broccoli. Then there are the dozen or so forms of spinach and cicoria and so on which are quite distinct.

I like them all.

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No Bix ...

Peter, I've already told you that everytime you adopt that cute little nickname for me, you are trolling. Do not provoke members on a personal level to draw attention away from their post.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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In Rome -- there were basically 4 kinds of this family of vegetable -- your basic white cauliflower, your basic green broccoli, the thing that is half way between the two (light green, very geometric pyramidal shape, called 'cimone' or cavolbroccolo or a bunch of other things') and the sprouting broccoli. Then there are the dozen or so forms of spinach and cicoria and so on which are quite distinct.

I like them all.

Yes, you get those four in the UK and Australia as well. To these you add purple broccoli and cauliflower, flowering heads of curly kale and various Asian broccolli/cabbage flowering things.

The leaves on sprouting broccolli are thicker and of a different texture spinach, so I think that Thomas would be able to spot the difference. My immediate thought was that it may be silverbeet/Swiss chard, but again the texture isn' t the same and why would it be called broccoli?

I think that the Italian use of some veg. is confusing to many people. Last year I saw a recipe printed in the UK for "Sepia Zimino", which is cuttlefish cooked with beet tops or Silverbeet/Swiss chard (which is the same species, if not the same variety), unfortunately this recipe used beet roots. Now I think that the recipe would have tasted interesting (earthy veg. and sweet cuttlefish), but if the author new this relatively obscure recipe, why did they alter it so much and retain the original name? Either ignorance of the actual nature of the recipe or deliberately making a faux recipe.

Celery is another strange one. Most of the celery I have seen I the parts of Italy I have traveled in is used like a herb as it isn't like the newer self-forcing varieties that you get in the UK and Australia, but more like Chinese celery. Mostly you use the leaves more then the stalk. Although you can get the self-forcing kind as well. I wonder if the self-forcing kind will push out more primative kind, much like spinach has done to rape in Tuscany?

Edited by Adam Balic (log)
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