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Pizza pizzazz

By MILLIE AND KARLA REYES, The Philippine STAR Published Sep 09, 2021 5:00 am

MILLIE:  I’m a great pizza lover! I don’t quite know anyone who is not. It’s a great meal or snack, for people on the go or on lazy movie-marathon nights.

I love it with lots of cheesy, gooey, melting cheese like mozzarella and sprinkle lots of chili flakes, add bits of anchovy, prosciutto or salami, mushroom slices and arugula! It’s actually quite balanced with carbs, protein, dairy and veggies!

Looking back, during the ‘60s, we had a pizza corner at The Plaza where students from La Salle would hang around after school to meet Assumption girls. We had an oven that looked like an igloo, wood-fired and yes, lined with bricks, and this was long before brick-oven pizzas were in fashion. It was designed by my dad and he used a long paddle that looked like an oar to thrust the pizza in or out of the oven.

Our Swedish chef Gosta Pettersson developed a pizza crust that never turned soggy and found the perfect pizza cheese from New Zealand to use for our pizza. It melted perfectly well and was gooey, stringy and delightfully delicious!

In search of a real good pizza during this recent lockdown, Karla’s friend recommended Crosta Pizza and, believe it or not, I got hooked on first bite! We ordered Pork You to try.

Imagine this: The pizza slice was topped with yummy mozzarella, morsels of homemade fennel sausage, bacon, pancetta and salami, and the crust was stuffed with spinach and artichoke! It was extremely awesome!

   Crosta Pizza’s Pork You, with mozzarella, morsels of homemade fennel sausage, bacon, pancetta and salami

The very next day, we ordered another flavor called Shroomed Out, which was a combo of three cheeses: mozzarella, Taleggio and Fontina mixed with three mushroom varieties: shiitake, Portobello, button, and the crust was stuffed with spinach and artichoke.

KARLA:  Crosta Pizza has several styles of pizzas: square, round and vegan. They have two kinds of square pizzas, which are both deep-pan.  Sicilian-style pizza and Detroit-style pizza have a cheese-crust wall and tomato sauce on top.

Their round pizzas are made with a sourdough crust available with different flavors, both traditional like Margherita and non-traditional ones. You have the option to upgrade and stuff the crust with their signature spinach and artichoke dip, which is, honestly, worth every peso.

 Shroomed Out, three-cheese and three- mushroom pizza with mozzarella, Taleggio and Fontina topped with shiitake, Portobello, and button mushrooms. Upgrade to the spinach and artichoke dip stuffed crust — you won’t regret it.

One of our other all-time favorites is Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza. Our go-to order would always be their fresh burrata for appetizer, and a prosciutto pizza with extra prosciutto. 

We loved their burrata so much that when I was thinking of a new product to launch, I decided create the Trufflata. The Trufflata is a Gino’s Burrata stuffed with La Petite Fromagerie’s Truffle Cream Cheese Spread — perfect on salads, pasta, on its own and, of course, with pizza!

This is available through La Petite Fromagerie’s website, as well as all branches and website of Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza.

 Gino’s Brick Oven’s homemade burrata stuffed with La Petite Fromagerie’s Truffle Cream Cheese Spread. Perfect on salads, pastas and without a doubt, pizzas!

This year we discovered Tyler’s Café, a sister company of Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza. They serve Roman-style pizzas, which have a thick crust made with a high-hydration dough.

To heat the pizza from delivery, reheat it just like how you make a grilled cheese sandwich: on a pan, steam, and cover. We first tried the ricotta mushroom pizza and the salami pizza. They also have a new variant with homemade fresh mozzarella, arugula and prosciutto.

One other pizza discovery is the grilled pizzas from La Cabrera, featuring the Fugazzeta with provolone, mozzarella and onions. I know it can sound ordinary but sometimes, simplicity using quality ingredients brings much more comfort.

Fugazzeta originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is a combination of Neapolitan pizza and Italian focaccia.

La Cabrera also has Pizza de Parma and Pizza de Carne, best paired with a bottle of El Pato, which is a blend of gin, sweet and dry vermouth, Rinomato and orange liquor for an instant, safe, at-home pizza party!