As a pizza geek, I'm always thinking about what I can do differently on a pizza that pushes the boundaries without being ridiculous. While I don't like to publicly disparage other people's pizza choices, I do believe that gold leaf on a pizza is asinine and represents decadence gone wrong. There, I said it. Gold leaf aside, the field is open. I do believe things should be done with balance and insight. And that's one of the reasons I admire Peter Reinhart. He is the thinking-person's pizzaiolo and bread geek.
I admit that I've barely scratched the surface of Mr. Reinhart's newest book, Pizza Quest. But as I was reading it this morning in the wee hours, I skimmed the table of contents, I was aghast. There, in the recipes, was the pizza I've been contemplating for about a year: Low-Country Pizza.
If you've never had low-country boil, it's a very simple yet satisfying experience which, when done well, makes people's heads explode. You have a long table covered with newspaper, and you dump out a giant pot filled with spiced boiled shrimp, smoked sausage, corn, green beans, potatoes and garlic. Your guests stand around the table and dig in. The boil is a product of the deep south and varies from region to region. My version is probably more Cajun than low-country, but you get the drift. The version of this pizza in Pizza Quest was created by Peter Reinhart's pizza chef nephew Chris, who apparently lives in the South Carolina low country.
It seems I will not have the opportunity to be the first pizza guy to summit that particular Everest of pizza. (I said as much to Peter Reinhart in a fan mail message on LinkedIn. Let's see if he responds. We do not know each other.) But maybe I'll get to give it a new name. I have a few ideas that should end up in my personal pantheon of ridiculousness alongside my raging hot chorizo chili pizza, Race With The Devil On A Spanish Highway. In the meantime, if you are already versed in pizza (for instance, you've read my book about the beginner's basics) and you want to know more about various styles and ways of tipping them all, check out Mr. Reinhart's new installment of the never-ending quest for pizza greatness.
Free The Pizza!
Blaine Parker is the award-winning author of the bestselling, unusual and amusing how-to pizza book, Free The Pizza. Also known as The Pizza Geek and "Hey, Pizza Man!", Blaine is fanatical about the idea that true, pro-quality pizza can be made at home. His home. Your home. Anyone's home. After 20 years of honing his craft and making pizza in standard consumer ovens across the nation, he's sharing what he's learned with home cooks like you. Are you ready to pizza?
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