As you've heard me say before, I love pizza. I've had pizza at lots of different places throughout the United States. I've also had pizza in other countries including the UK, Thailand, Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand. Many were good and some were not so good. The pizza in Fiji wasn't great but the meal itself was because we shared the pizza in a hostel with about 10 other backpackers from all over the world showing that food isn't always the centerpiece of a meal. At any rate, a recent meal got me thinking about weird pizza toppings. I've had two pizzas that I would classify into the weird pizza toppings category. One was from New Zealand and the other I made just last week.
These days people put all kinds of things on pizza that my parents generation would never have put on pizza. When I grew up, we strictly ate pepperoni and cheese, although my father would occasionally get onions or mushrooms. But, as a child I never had anything "exotic" on my pizza. My standard pizza toppings, these days, at local restaurants include spinach, ricotta cheese, apricots, almonds, and sometimes pineapple. So toppings are evolving.
What is now considered unusual or weird? I guess it all depends on what you've previously had. But to me pickles, grapes and port are pretty weird things to put on a pizza. The pickles were part of a pizza I had in Picton, New Zealand. Picton is the gateway to The Queen Charlotte Track a wonderful 4-day hike, or track as they say in New Zealand, around the Queen Charlotte Sound at the top of the New Zealand South Island. The restaurant, The Barn Cafe & Restaurant, is one of only a couple of places to eat in Picton and we ate at it both before and after doing the Queen Charlotte Track. The pizza had a bit of everything on it including veggies, meat, pineapples and gherkin pickles! I consider the gherkins such a weird topping that I still remember the pizza 6 years later.
Earlier this week we made a pizza that sounded weird yet tasted great. I consider it unusual but not as weird as gherkins. The pizza is called Gorgonzola and Grape Pizza. It has red grapes covered in a Vin Santo wine reduction served over a mixture of Fontina and Gorgonzola cheese. I didn’t have Vin Santo so I substituted Port. The wine, grapes, and Gorgonzola definitely are what lured me into the recipe but putting them on a pizza seems, at least to me, a bit unusual. Husband was particularly leery. He generally will try anything but he wasn't sure we should make this pizza. I, however, love blue cheese and wanted to try it. I'm glad we did - we enjoyed it and I can add it both to the list of weird
pizza's pizzas we've tried and the list of pizza's pizzas we'll have again.
I'm sure many of you have had even more unusual toppings on your pizzas so go ahead, add a comment to this blog and share with the rest of us what they are. Perhaps I'll even be lured into trying some of your suggestions on my next pizza!