Less isn’t So Bad Afterall

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The crust is my favorite part of the pizza. I’m a firm believer in the idea that “the best should be saved for last,” which is why the inventors of pizza placed the dangerously delicious doughness we now call “crust” around the END of the pizza. (Because it’s the best.)

This belief might be due to the fact that I’m from Chicago, home of the incredible deep dish pizza. (Miss you, Lou’s. I’ll be back one day.) The deep dish pizza — one slice’s width, length, depth all bigger than the palm of my hand, requiring silverware in order to enjoy it. My need for a fork and knife is probably a good thing so I don’t step over the barbaric line in public and just inhale the whole thing. The past three years while I was on campus in Champaign, deep dish (done well) was always difficult to find, so I would religiously make a trip to Lou Malnatis, my favorite pizza joint, every time I visited home. One deep dish pizza, Lou’s salad, and a side of pepperoncinis always did just the trick.

So once my bags were packed and we said our good-byes, (Me and Lou Malnatis, that is), and made the difficult decision to go live in Italy for a semester, you can imagine my disbelief when I found out that Italians enjoyed their pizza THIN-CRUST!!!!

“Wait a minute. You mean to tell me, there’s LESS crust? LESS?! I just don’t understand… What’s the point?” 

Simply put, I was pretty upset.

Anyway, trying to be the open-minded and not-typical- ethnocentric-American individual I am, I gave it a try.

Confession: I actually liked it. 

My roommate from sophomore year and oldest friend came to visit Italy for her spring break. For her first night, a few of us from the same hometown decided to all go out to dinner and celebrate. We chose San Matteo as the venue because it was highly recommended across the board to be THE best pizza in town. Plus, apparently news had broken out that one of the employees was a former model, so not only was it famous for its pizza, but also for the adolescent girls flocking for some eye candy. Both reasons were enough for us to make a visit. Dinner and entertainment? Done.

The menu was long and extensive with pages after pages of different pizzas. The four of us are very indecisive individually, so collectively, it took that much longer to order a dish. We each perused the menu carefully reading each description under pizza name, and finally settled on three that we decided to share family-style.

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{ Italian thin crust is something entirely different from Chicago style. The crust is thin and chewy, crispy around the edges. The sauce is light and fresh as opposed to the usual thick and creamy tomato sauce. This one was topped with shredded cheese, pepperoni, and mushrooms. Despite the thinness, it was actually very filling! }
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{ Fresh mozzarella and prosciutto shaped in a heart. I didn’t fancy this one too much because the prosciutto made each bite a little too salty, but the other girls really liked this one. Despite the thinness of the pizza, it was surprisingly very filling and satisfying. Between the four of us, we were struggling to finish the last slices! }
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{ Cooked spinach and fresh mozzarella  This one was one of my favorites. Between the thinness and freshness of the ingredients, it really brought out the complex flavors of cheese, tomato, and buttery goodness. }
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My lovely dinner dates. 

I keep finding myself craving for thin-crust pizza now. My palate has expanded — not that I’m abandoning my first love by any means — there’s enough [ food ] love to go around for this chick.

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