They Put What on Pizza?
It’s not like I have an extensive list of places I’ve traveled to prove such a thing, but I’m getting the feeling there’s no such thing as authentic pizza as every country has their own specific interpretation. That’s not that surprising considering it’s history. We think of it as strictly Italian fare, but they just solidified the tomato part in the late 1800s. It originated in ancient Greece and moved around and evolved, as things are wont to do. So says Wikipedia, at least.
That being said, you still sort of settle into the normal and accepted toppings and ingredients as an American. They’re even pretty consistent and understandable here in Germany. But, man, they have some weird combinations over here. Sure, you hear tale of the Japanese putting mayonaise on their pizza, the Saudis baking mini cheeseburgers into the crust, and so on. But I’ll just stick to what I see here in Germany. And these aren’t examples of, say, pizzas you find in gourmet pizza places. This is just your average delivery place.
The basic differences between US and German pizza aren’t too much. The crust is always much, much thinner and they don’t seem to use nearly as much cheese. All in all, this probably makes it a much healthier endeavor. As healthy as pizza can be at least. The only important difference to really note is that, should you order pepperoni, then they’ll just put a bunch of tiny peppers on it. If you want pepperoni, in the American sense, you ask for salami. Simple enough, and you learn that quick. And sausage as a topping doesn’t exist here at all, which is odd considering the German penchant for cased meat products.
Instead, here’s some of the stuff that, to me, just seems a bit weird.
Pizza Tonno – tuna, olives, and onions. This one’s really popular here. But I just can’t wrap my head around the idea of dry, cooked tuna from a can on a pizza.
That’s a Peach Club pizza, a current special at our delivery place of choice. It’s got sun-dried tomato sauce, pork strips (Germans put pork/ham on everything), bacon, peach slices, and honey.
Peach slices and honey? I’ll admit, strangely enough it doesn’t so too crazy to include the sweet with the savory meat tastes. But it’s certainly something you’d never see Dominos or Pizza Hut launching nationwide like they did here.
This is Pizza Crazy Dog (not translated, it’s in English) and it has hot dogs, Danish pickles, ketchup, grilled onions, and Danish remoulade sauce. I have to wonder if a 12 year old concocted this one.
Remoulade sauce? I’ll admit, it’s the slathering of random sauces onto the top of pizzas that’s the most puzzling to me sometimes. Sauce under the cheese, sure. Naturally. But on top, above the already included sauce? Really?
I’ve actually ordered this one, called Pizza Dutchman. It doesn’t seem that crazy as it only has ham slices, tomato, broccoli, and hollandaise sauce. That’s the part that just didn’t work. Hollandaise sauce…
While I still maintain it’s a bit odd to sprinkle corn all over a pizza, this one still isn’t that odd. It’s got , onions, bell peppers, olives, broccoli, and the aforementioned corn.
No, to me the really odd part was that they labeled this “French Pizza.” These are not ingredients I associate with French cuisine in any way. Frankly, I’m not sure there’s one regional cuisine you could attach them all to.
I only saw these two recently. Frankly, they both look kind of disgusting. Actually, really disgusting.
The first is just bacon and eggs, which they helpfully call “British Pizza.” The second is spinach, ham, and egg.
Are these breakfast concoctions? They don’t seem to be, and even then I’d be hard pressed to dive in. An egg or two just plopped into the middle of a pizza? Really? Are they runny eggs?
And last, but certainly not least, is Strandfieber, or translated to English, “Beach Fever.”
It has honey mustard sauce (instead of tomato), edamer cheese, chicken breast, mozarella slices, and mandarin orange slices. Mandarin orange slices? Really? REALLY?
Does this just make you want to rush to the shores? Does it fill your head with images of palm trees and sand and…orange slices?
As I said though, these are just weird to me. But I’ve yet to see anchovies on any menu here (not that I’ve known anyone to order it in America) which might strike Germans as disgusting, but it is, um, interesting nonetheless. Hell, I once had a slice of pizza at a Pizza Hut in Hannover that had cream cheese baked into the crust. It wasn’t half bad. I think corn was involved too.
But tell Germans you put melted butter on your salty popcorn and they’ll look at you like you told them you poured liquid feces on it. To each his own I guess, but I’ll stick to pizzas with sauces under the cheese. And without randomly assigned fruit slices (pineapple excepted, of course).