If you took the number of pizzas eaten in Australia each year (nearly 280 million of them) and arranged them side by side on a flat stretch of land, it would be the width of an Olympic swimming pool and stretch into the distance, nearly three kilometres long.
Yet, for all the indigestion that image may bring out, Australia is nowhere near the top of the pile when it comes to per capita consumption. Americans (on average) each eat pizza once every six days, while the true global champions, the Norwegians, have those ovens on permanent top heat, allowing every citizen to get their hit twice a week.
When it comes to pizza, it’s worth remembering a few essential rules that must be followed, rules that make all the difference between good, great, and entirely forgettable pizza.
Just because anything can go on a pizza doesn’t mean that everything should. In Australia, Meatlovers, Hawaiian and Margherita are by far the three most popular toppings.
Is generally delivered poorly, even though it might taste delicious, because of a failure in pizza engineering. A heavy meat sauce, pepperoni, and salami, too much cheese, and a swaddling of barbecue sauce show us the golden rule in action – do not overload your pizza because it’s impossible to eat if you do. After all, how many times have you experience you’re the topping of your meaty flatbread dinner slide off the crust and right into your lap. Don’t worry; you’re not alone.
Is, well, to call it an abomination would be cruel to abominations, so let’s just agree that there are better places for a pineapple to hang out. I understand the idea of adding some sweetness to contrast the richness of ham and cheese, but the total sweetness is far too much and dilutes the impact and appeal of the remaining pizza, regardless of how good the intentions. If you absolutely must desecrate your pizza in this way, do yourself a favour, and put just a few drops of rice, coconut or apple cider vinegar on it before you serve. The acidity cuts through that sweetness, creating a significantly better experience in no time at all.
Was invented in 1880 to celebrate the arrival of Queen Margherita and King Umberto of the newly created Italian state. Its ingredients (tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and basil) were intended to symbolise the nation’s colours. For 120 years, its essential simplicity and elegance has made Margherita the touchstone of everything pizza tries to be.
So, what can you put on a pizza?
As we have observed, technically anything. After all, Nutella pizza is in Australia’s top ten. Go figure. But it can also be a brilliant way to use up leftover ingredients in the fridge.
A few rules before you start:
- Don’t overload the top, as this will make the dough wet, prevent it from rising, and stop it from cooking through.
- Don’t expect ingredients to cook on the pizza (with the exception of seafood); use cooked product instead.
- And lastly, perhaps most importantly, less is more. If you want your pizza to be outstanding, a thin topping (and a bare margin around the edges) is essential. Remember, you’re better off with two thin pizzas than one thick one you regret.
If you are looking for inspiration, we have three delicious Fast Ed recipes to download and try, as well as the perfect traditional Neapolitan pizza dough base to build upon. Access the recipes at the links below. Happy pizza making!
Traditional Neapolitan pizza dough – Download here
Mushroom, Taleggio and Sage Pizza – Download here
Smoked Chicken, Capsicum and Gouda Pizza – Download here
The Ultimate Meatlovers Pizza – Download here