Thursday, May 22, 2014

A simple homemade Pizza

 I won't be wasting much time to introduce this dish which is the most popular dish in the world. It may be an ancient dish documented for the first time in Gaeta, Italy in 997 AD, but ever since the Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba pizzeria opened in Naples and ever since the American soldiers returned home from Europe after the world war II this dish has gained in its popularity and now....

  • Pizzerias are expected to purchase more than $4 billion worth of cheese annually
  • 94% of Americans eat pizza regularly and October is the US national pizza month
  • Pizza accounts for more than 10 percent of all food service sales
  • Over 5 billion pizzas are sold worldwide each year 
  • In 1970 the average slice of pizza had 500 calories and now it's up to 850 calories!
  • 62% of all pizzas consumed have meat
  • The world's fastest pizza maker can make 14 pizza in 2 minutes and 35 seconds
  • The longest pizza delivery was from Cape Town, South Africa to Sydney, Australia in 2001
  • Most expensive pizza created was made by the restaurateur Domenico Crolla who created a $2,745.00 priced Valentine pizza which included toppings such as sunblush-tomato sauce, Scottish smoked salmon, medallions of venison, edible gold, lobster marinated in the finest cognac and champagne-soaked caviar
  • The most expensive pizza, commercially available, is a thin-crust, wood fire-baked pizza topped with onion puree, white truffle paste, fontina cheese, baby mozzarella, pancetta, cep mushrooms, freshly picked wild mizuna lettuce and garnished with fresh shavings of a rare Italian white truffle, itself worth £1,400 per 1 kg. Depending upon the amount of truffles available each season, the pizza is regularly sold at £100 each to customers of Gordon Ramsey's Maze restaurant, London, UK.
However I tried my hand in baking a simple pizza by whatever I found worthy to put on the crust. So here is the recipe

Friday, May 2, 2014

Porto : The Unvanquished City

'What is there in Porto' is the question we faced a lot when we planned our trip to this second largest city of Portugal. To be honest we too were a bit apprehensive when booking the flight but we could not resist the offer that Air France threw at us. We found some solace in the fact that Porto was listed as the top destination in Europe for 2014. We started preparing ourselves for the trip which was to last 4 nights. Finally we realized that even 4 nights in this city may not be enough to explore the richness of culture, cuisine and natural beauty that Porto beholds. The trip was scheduled in late April and there are very few spots in Europe where one can expect bright sunny weather during this period. Portugal is one country which can boast of high numbers of sunny days and so choosing Portugal for the vacation was justified. However the weather forecast for the week of our vacation was not very promising but we soon realized that like most places on the Atlantic coast, in Porto too, in spite of all the modern technology it is not possible to predict the weather in advance. 
Set up by the Romans (or the Greeks) who named it Cale, which can mean either warm (in Latin) or beautiful (in Greek), the Port of Cale today embodies both those meanings. The name Portugal is an offshoot of this name Portus Cale which was meant to represent the area between the two rivers, Minho and Douro, with the former forming a natural border between Spain and Portugal and the later flowing along the city of Porto. We took the flight from Paris Orly airport at around midday and after a two hours flight we arrived in Porto at around 14.00 local time. The airport of Porto is well connected to the city by metro and within 40 minutes we arrived in the "Cidade Invicta" (Unvanquished City). This title was given to Porto in 1833 when it successfully withstood a 18 months siege of Miguel I, the then King of Portugal who wished to curb the growing liberal revolution against the monarchy in Porto.