Epic Pizza: Heirloom And Ancient Ingredients Give Your Favorite Pie Historic Flavor
You might believe that everything that can be done to pizza has been done to pizza. There's BBQ pork pizza and even macaroni-and-cheese pizza, so what else can beat those crazy toppings? Plenty, it turns out, as chefs transform their kitchens into vessels for forgotten heirloom ingredients that are now being revived as interest in ancient food grows. The next time you go out for a slice of your favorite pizza pie, be on the lookout for some of these heirloom plants in the ingredients listed:
Really old-school flours.
Heirloom wheat and grain varieties are gaining interest among farmers and foodies. In fact, some farm experts claim that heirloom grains are the next big thing in local food culture. That's because these heirloom grains pack a flavorful punch that can't be matched with modern-bred wheats and grains.
While some claim the ancient grains have more health benefits, farmers are growing the grains because they are in high demand and because the plants are often very drought tolerant. Chefs simply enjoy the range of flavors offered by the different types of flours available.
Your next chewy crust may be made from an ancient Mediterranean wheat used long ago by some of history's first bakers and pizza crust tossers, which is reason enough to enjoy the experience.
Heirloom sauce tomatoes.
Some tomato aficionados suspect that there are over 10,000 varieties of non-hybrid, named tomatoes out in the world today. From tiny purple varieties to giant zebra-striped green tomatoes, heirloom varieties are the pizza toppings and sauce bases you'll be seeing from innovative chefs committed to using locally sourced produce.
Standard store-bought tomatoes are bland and almost tasteless compared to heirloom varieties, owing to the grocery tomato's selective breeding for long storage life and too-early harvest to avoid spoilage.
Fully mature tomatoes are packed with flavor, and each heirloom variety offers a different taste sensation to enhance meats, artisan cheeses and pizza herbs.
Chefs and farmers are expanding their efforts into reviving ancient and heirloom plants by growing and cooking with important and historical plants from all over the world.
Unique varieties of herbs, including oregano, basil, lavender, and parsley, are making their way to Canadian kitchens, as are flavourful and colourful peppers, eggplants, and squashes.
While not actually heirloom plants, artisanal sausages and cheeses are also attracting interest as chefs and diners want to experience traditionally-prepared food that hasn't been mass-produced and loaded with mysterious ingredients.
Local pizzerias that offer heirloom ingredients are helping sustain centuries of tradition in many cases. When you learn about a pizzeria cooking with ancient and heirloom varieties of produce and other traditional ingredients, don't hesitate to take your taste buds on a tour through the world's delicious history. Cosmos 2 For 1 Pizza & Pasta is a local pizzeria you can visit if this article has made you hungry for a slice!