Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Ate That


They only ever called it...French Pizza.

I'm sure it had a real name.  I'm sure they even told us the real name, but it was still our first day over there, and our first meal, and we were all still a bit "Blarg!  France!" to pay too much attention.  But when they called it French Pizza, we all seemed to understand.

It's not pizza, not quite.  It lacks a certain pizzaness, that distinctly pizza quality that makes a pizza so, so good.  I don't know for certain that there's a sauce between the cheese and the bread, or if it was just the moisture from the cheese making the top of the crust a bit doughy, but there was an unusual, sticky texture to the thing that raised a couple of eyebrows.  The less adventurous among us took a few small bites, and discretely pushed their piece to the side.  They didn't know it, but they'd be sorry later.  

You have to understand that we were at the beginning of our European food journey.  The group we were traveling with had...well, we'll call them ideas about what American teenagers would be willing to eat.  Nearly every meal we ate was a chicken dish with some form of potato side.  Those who picked apart their quiche dinner that first night in Paris were crying for a little variety after the first seven days of chicken and potato.  Verdun?  De poulet et pommes de terre.  Vienna?  Huhn und Kartoffeln.  Monticatini?  Pollo e patate.  We were elated during our Austrian home stays.  Could hardly spell 'wienerschnitzle,' but I couldn't wait to eat it.  Ashley's joy at getting a little bowl of pasta in Venice was quickly over taken by near tears when it was followed by yet another plate of chicken and potatoes.  Oh, how we yearned for French Pizza then.

So I ate it.  It wasn't bad.  Cheesey, bready, a touch of hammy and just a little chewy, but not bad.  Not the best pizza I've ever eaten, but then, still not actually a pizza.

Oh, French Pizza.  Mystery of ages.

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