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Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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Italian

We Eat That on Purpose

Do you like moldy cheese?  Not the kind that isn’t supposed to be discolored, but that beautiful blue color we look for on purpose to add to the Italian dressing on a tossed salad; you know, that costs anywhere from seventy-five cents to almost two dollars extra in a restaurant.  My husband and I do.  We also go to the public market to get a good deal on five-year old extra sharp cheddar cheese.  Yum.  My kids call it “stinky feet” cheese!

One advantage when you like moldy blue cheese comes when you are at a large party at a convention center or other large party place. It’s usually the cheese on the big cheese and cracker tray that is chosen least, so you can get your fill without a fight.  The only problem is it sometimes leaves a sour lingering aftertaste in your mouth.  The solution to that is another glass of good wine.  After all, it is a party.

I’m an old-fashioned wife, I still get up every work day morning with my husband and make his lunch while he showers.  It is always a salad; we buy those ingredients at the public market too.  The topping changes each day.  It could be tuna, beef, salami, left over Chinese, herring, salmon, chicken, whatever protein I can come up with.  The dressing is most often a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.  The cheese is alternated, Blue one day, and sharp cheddar the next.  He’s not a fussy man, and will eat most anything, that’s a blessing.  The only time I hear a complaint is when I forget the moldy cheese, or the onions!

Cheese Pizza; No Toppings

 

On September 5th, one of the most popular varieties of pizzas gets its day of honor.  Hold the toppings, please. It’s National Cheese Pizza Day!

  • In ancient Greece, the Greeks covered their bread with oils, herbs and cheese which some believe is the beginning of the “pizza”.
  • In Byzantine Greek, the word was spelled “πίτα”, pita, meaning pie. 
  • A sheet of dough topped with cheese and honey, then flavored with bay leaves was developed by the Romans.
  • The modern pizza had its beginning in Italy as the Neapolitan flatbread.
  • The original pizza used only mozzarella cheese, mainly the highest quality buffalo mozzarella variant which was produced in the surroundings of Naples.
  • It was estimated that the annual production of pizza cheese in the United States in 1997 was 2 billion pounds.
  • The first United States pizza establishment opened in 1905 was in New York’s Little Italy.
  • Pizza has become one of America’s favorite meals.

I included the above information from the National Day Of Calendar because I was under the false impression pizza did not originate in Italy.  I stand corrected and hopefully you do to.

So, what toppings do you like on your pizza.  The picture shows what Americans call a white pizza, just oil and garlic under the cheese.  My grandson will eat a red sauce pizza with just cheese when he refuses everything else.  Personally, I like mushrooms, black olives, roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts with fresh mozzarella and pesto sauce. My husband likes spicy meats, lots of garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes with red sauce and gooey hot cheese.

In ninth and tenth grade, because my older sisters had gone off to college and beyond,  I often had three or four girl friends stay overnight on the weekend.  For a snack, I would make a pizza, using the crust mix, sauce and parmesan cheese that came in the box and usually add pepperoni and mushrooms.  Recently two of the ladies that had been there as teenagers told me how awful those pizzas were.  Funny, they always got eaten, if not in the evening, then cold for breakfast.  I should probably admit to you folks they couldn’t compare to a fresh hot pie from the local pizzeria but in a one block town, at that time, we didn’t have that luxury.

The last point above must be true because there are at least ten different pizza joints within three miles of my house in the suburbs.  A little further away we have a new place that has great gluten free crust, and for one price, they put on all the toppings you ask for as you go through the line (like building your own sub).  I like to go there, everyone can have their own choice of flavors on their lots-more-than-just-cheese pizza.

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