The Art of Pizza

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The artisanal-pizza movement has been growing for a number of years, with no shortage of customers willing to pay for upscale-style pizzas with toppings that appeal to their sense of adventure.

“The whole artisan aspect of pizza is becoming bigger and bigger,” says Dan Glendinning, country manager, Canada Foodservice, Hormel Foods Canada. “We’re seeing lots of experimentation with different types of greens, cheeses, alternative crusts such as sourdough and gluten-free, and new sauces beyond the traditional tomato. It’s all about delivering something new and different for a demanding audience.”

Today’s menus offer an endless variety of innovative combinations, such as hot butter chicken or dill-pickle hamburger pizza with tomato and mustard sauce, blue cheese and potato, to name a few.

“North America is such a melting pot of different cultures that there are many ways for operators to make pizzas their own,” says Chef D of ChefD TV and owner of Chef D Pizza in Kitchener, Ont. “Pizza lovers can always find something completely new.”

The wood-fired trend, in particular, keeps getting stronger as the demand for artisanal pizzas grows, he adds. “People are going to wood-fired more for that thin crust and thick chewy edge. That’s a big change from the traditional flat-style crust. The blistering and charring really comes into play.”

Hormel’s ROSA GRANDE® Cup + Char Pepperoni is a perfect addition to the artisanal market, as it brings an entirely new flavour and texture to the pizza experience, says Glendinning. “It gives a wonderful upscale touch to a traditional topping on pizzas or flatbreads. I’ve even seen chefs serving up cooked Cup + Char Pepperoni as a crunchy appetizer.”

Chef D notes that even the simplest of pizzas can achieve artisanal status. “A wood-fired pizza crust with full-flat mozzarella and a Cup + Char Pepperoni is fantastic. When people bite into that they find that special flavour they are always looking for.”

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