If you know the Northern Dough Co. you probably also know that founders Chris (my husband) and Amy (me) enjoy a slice or two of pizza. It’s the reason we started NDC and we certainly took the advice of ‘start a business doing something you love’ literally. Running NDC is a license to eat pizza as often and in as many countries as possible, all in the name of research (and we take our jobs very seriously!) so last week we headed to Italy, the birthplace of pizza to start our around-the-world-pizza-mission. Here’s hoping this is just the start of a very tasty journey….
While Venice was undoubtedly a fantastic destination for food, I can’t start this post about one of the most unique cities I’ve seen without mentioning how much fun it is to scamper down tiny passageways, over little bridges across canals and pop out into gigantic sun-filled squares. If you haven’t been to Venice, go. We only managed a 48 hour trip but loved every pasta-pizza-spritz cocktail-bellini-gelato filled minute, and found exploring the tiny city lots of fun.
It didn’t take us long to track down our first pizza venue, and while we were inundated with options, our choice of restaurant didn’t disappoint. Here’s some pics of Chris before and after demolishing this braesola, parmesan and rocket topped creation. We picked up a great tip at this place – when you scatter flour on your worksurface before rolling our your NDC pizza base, add a little polenta, which will give a fantastic texture and crunch.
Our second pizza, this time from a restaurant whose owners originated in Naples, the birthplace of pizza, was also a great choice. Unusually, I went for a very simple Margherita (although the cheese was an amazingly creamy DOP buffalo mozzarella and drizzled with DOP Penisola Sorrentina olive oil. Sometimes, classic is best). Chris stuck to his favourite with a classic too – pepperoni plus a great big Italian beer! I’m not sure if the sausage came from a piggy shaped pepperoni like the one below, but I’d like to think so.
Venice is filled with fantastic pizza restaurants where you can sit down, sup a good beer and have a good chat, but the little hole-in-the-wall style pizza shops that are dotted all around the city are not to be missed. We couldn’t resist the smell of the freshly baked giant pizzas from this place. Their ham and mushroom thin crust was fantastic – one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten!
While the pizza was outstanding in Venice, we did also manage to squeeze in a few other treats – famous gelato (about as creamy as I’ve ever tasted), spritz, the famous Venetian tipple (made with white wine, soda and Aperol or Campari), bellinis (invented in Venice at Harry’s bar) and of course pasta – here’s a pic of some exceptional gnocchi seasoned just with butter and sage. Its now time to go on a little diet….
Finally, going on holiday is all about seeing a few things you wouldn’t usually come across at home, and as I’ve never seen a glass model of an alien autopsy in the shops where I live, I thought I’d share this with you….