How many times have you been asked, “If you were on a desert island and could only choose one food, what would it be?” What is our fascination with this question? And why does it seem to come up in conversation nearly every time our family gathers? I try to change up my answer, try to make it sound really interesting. But if I’m completely honest, I would choose pizza. Every time.
Is my favorite food? No. There’s a difference between your favorite food and the food you could eat every day. I love Indian and Thai and have recently fallen hard and fast for Filipino cuisine. I have often considered answering: “An artisanal cheese board with a crusty baguette” or “lamb stew” or “Mom’s chicken noodle soup.” But these things are too specific, too limiting. There’s just something about pizza. When it’s done right I think: “I could eat this every day.”
It’s partly because pizza is texturally interesting. The crunch of the crust juxtaposed with the soft cheese and the varied toppings. And really good pizza is bursting with flavors, both soft and sharp. It’s warm, it’s comforting, it’s filling. And it can be so wildly different each time.
So when we landed in Seattle last night, I headed straight for Serious Pie. Tyler Florence had proclaimed Tom Douglas’ pizza with roasted chanterelles and truffle oil the best pizza he ever ate. We arrived at our hotel, hungry and weary and after settling in, headed over to get a pizza and a glass of red. But at 9:30 at night, there was a mob outside and an hour and half-long wait for a table for two. We may have been deterred that night, but the large crowd meant I would definitely be back.
Maybe it was kismet, but that was just where our dear friend Alice had planned to take us for dinner the following evening. We ordered a salad and of course the roasted chanterelle pizza. We also had the garlic sausage and eggplant pizza, which was delicious – but I think Tyler Florence was right. There was something mysteriously wonderful about this simple chanterelle pizza.
The mushrooms were wild like the woods, but soft as butter cream. The truffle cheese made from cow’s milk was complex—the rind had been coated in coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, liquorice, fennel, anise, cloves and truffle oil—but only left the faintest trace. It had been aged for 3 months in ashes (as per Venetian tradition) and melted on top of the pizza, it added a layer of complexity that so perfectly complemented the earthy mushrooms. There was a distinct salty, garlicy finish to this pizza which had been topped with chopped chives and parsley. It was so good I went back today and ordered it again. Yes, it was that good—Desert Island good.
If this post has left you wanting pizza, check out these recipes:
Grilled Zucchini Pizza with Feta and Olives
Figgy Pizza with Arugula and Goat Cheese
Pizza with Ground Goat, Goat Cheese, Onion, and Black Olives