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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

London photo of the day: proper pizza (and it’s British!)

proper British pizza
Many moons ago I shared with you a photo of unfortunate British chain-restaurant pizza. It actually tasted okay, as long as you didn’t think of it as proper pizza.

But now I have found pizza in London that is actually amazing. The crust is always the thing that is never quite right. Well, the crust and the cheese. And the sauce. But it’s all perfect at Princi on Wardour Street in Soho. In evenings there is always a line out the door. For good reason.

(It’s still not a slice consumed while walking down the street with an irresponsible number of napkins at the ready to catch the olive oil running down your arm. That’s only a New York thing.)



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  • Sorry, but to me that looks gross. Mushrooms? Ick. And what else is on there? Ham? Spinach? I suppose those are ok. But where is the sauce? I see exactly none. Unless this is an alfredo pizza? Or pesto? To me it’s all about a good RED sauce, lots of gooey, darkened, cheese, and slightly spicy pepperoni. Lou Malnati’s is amazing in this regard. So is Home Run Inn.
    To each his(or her) own, though, right?

  • Paul

    There’s a pizza restaurant here in Nagoya that won some world’s best title. Never made it in there, as the queue’s always too long. But the pizzas do look like those above…

  • Isobel_A

    ‘Cause that’s not condescending at all.

    It’s actually possible to get a lot of great, genuine Italian style pizza in London. I get that you miss your Italian American pizza, but one shouldn’t mistake Italian American food for proper Italian food.

    If you want proper Italian style pizza in the UK, go to Pappagones in Finsbury Park. I was introduced to it by Neapolitans, who rave about the pizza there (I’ll trust their judgement, Naples being the pizza capital). The pizza at Donna Margherita in Clapham Junction is also good, and there’s any number of little Italian restaurants all throughout London doing fantastic pizza.

  • Isobel_A

    Which sounds yummy, but is definitely an Italian American pizza. Pepperoni doesn’t exist in Italy. They’ll put salami on pizza, or prosciutto (big soft foldy slices) but that thin little pepperoni sausage – not a thing. Tasty, but an American invention.

    If you say pepperoni to an Italian (a non American Italian, anyway) they’ll assume you mean ‘peperoni’ – sweet peppers.

  • RogerBW

    Making dough fresh rather than freezing it first makes a huge difference to the quality (I’ve tried it with both). Everything after that is just a matter of using good ingredients and not too many of them. (Hey, I invented the seven-garlic pizza, I can’t be a purist here…)

  • It is my god-given right as a New Yorker to be condescending about pizza. :-> And jaywalking.

  • *Everything* is better with mushrooms.

  • althea

    Once again we coincide, Marky. Exactly what I thought – where’s the tomato? At least fresh, if not a good red sauce (oh….yum….) No meats for me, but mushrooms were first revealed to me on a pizza – in South Africa no less. I don’t even see any grease here staining the box.

  • b.lynch black

    i think crust alone is not enough… it’s still not *pizza* without the tomatoes and the sauce and the cheese. it is simply food on a pizza dough. i’ve had some excellent pizza food in england, but this is not the *pizza*. enjoy it if you must.

  • I’ve hated those nasty, rubbery things since childhood. I’ve never understood why anyone would like them. Same with onions. YUCK.

  • Oh, I know it’s not authentic. My wife has made authentic style pizza at home, and I’m not too fond of it. I need my sauce!
    I like prosciutto and salami, so no problems there.

  • Paul

    A few years back I heard the theory that pizza was actually invented in New York, whatever the Neapolitans claim. The argument was that Calzone was the Neapolitan invention: the New York Italians just left it unfolded, and it was then back-invented to Naples. I’m sceptical, to be honest, but if nothing else the story demonstrates the huge investment of NY in the history of pizza.

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