by Melinda Gallo

Friday night pizza

For many years, I have resisted eating pizza in Florence because I prefer pizza alta (thick crust pizza). Here in Florence, they generally make pizza bassa (thin crust pizza). When Alessandro and I started dating almost two years ago, he took me to a small pizzeria, called Strapizzami, that can only welcome about 12 people unless the Florentine rugby team arrives and then there are about 25 of us packed inside. Ever since my first taste of their pizza, we go back almost every Friday for our weekly treat.

Not only do I like the pizza, but the crust is on the thick side. The pizzaiuolo explained how he takes his crust very seriously and lets the dough rise for at least 48 hours. I only know the difference when I go to another pizzeria because it just doesn't compare to his crust.

I have been to a few different pizzerie in Florence that are good, but nothing compares to the pizza I have at Strapizzami in via dei Sette Santi. Last year before we took off for our honeymoon in Thailand, the pizzaiuolo (pizza man) asked us to bring him back a yellow curry for him. He handed us the wrapper, and fortunately for us we found it in the small supermarket right next to our hotel. We brought back about 8 jars of it for him.

After we brought the curry back, the pizzaiuolo wanted us to taste this pizza with curry. Alessandro ordered it a few times, but because I'm not fond of olio di tartufo (truffle oil), which he put on top as well, I didn't order it. After a couple of weeks, I decided to give it a try. The pizza came with the Thai yellow curry and prosciutto (ham). After the first bite, I was hooked. The delicious mix of the Thai yellow curry and prosciutto (ham) was delicious.

For many months, I would walk into the pizzeria and the pizzaiuolo's wife would say, "Una curry per te, vero? (A curry pizza for you, right?)"

For the past couple of weeks, they haven't been making my curry pizza so I ordered my standbys: napolitana, which is served with acciughe (anchovies) and capperi (capers) or salamino piccante (spicy sausage).

This evening, I decided to try another suggestion that the pizzaiuolo made for me: the "Obama" pizza. He told me that it had carne macinato (hamburger) mixed with pepperoni (peppers), cipolle (onions), and ketchup. He said it was like a cheeseburger on pizza dough.

I didn't know what to expect, but I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into this new pizza. I was very surprised with how good it tasted. I thought I wasn't going to like it much, but it was really delicious. The pizzaiuolo was happy when I told him that it's my second favorite now.

I can't wait for our pizza night next Friday, but if the curry one isn't available I will certainly order the "Obama" pizza.

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