Who doesn’t eat pizza? Nobody that I know of. I like thick crust (croûte), Julie prefers a thin one, but what do you put onto the crust? The choice is almost unlimited, and it always takes me a long time to order when we go to a pizzeria. Meat, cheese, fish, vegetarian, with this, without that. It’s this flexibility that has made pizzas such a worldwide success, rather like the English language really.
For some time at La Selve, we had no oven (four), but there were take-away pizzas to be bought in Revel, Caraman or by the road on my way back from Toulouse after work. There were even two reasonably successful pizzerie for a few years in Le Faget.
As soon as we had an oven, we were able to put frozen pizzas on our shopping list. The range, of course, is vast. Choice is a question of trial and error; most were disappointing, some were terrible. Finally we found a brand (marque) that we liked, and now we always have pizza in the freezer, but more in case of emergencies than for regular use.
Strangely, it wasn’t until we started Stage Immersion Anglais, that we began making our own pizzas. Julie thought that making pizzas would be a good activity to share with students in the kitchen, and that each person could design their own pizza. Then she considered that instead of each person eating their own pizza, we should share, and everybody could try all the different recipes.
Our technique now is that Julie provides the base and explains what ingredients are available. Then everybody helps themselves to whatever they think will make a good pizza.
When the pizzas are ready they are put into the oven and cooked. I cut each pizza into four or eight pieces, they are taken to the dining table, and everybody helps themselves, trying all the different types.
It was in this way that Julie discovered what is now her favourite pizza. A student was at La Selve for a week’s Stage Immersion Anglais and on Friday we had a ‘pizza night’. Julie fried some onions for him, and he put these on his pizza and added honey and goat’s cheese (fromage de chèvre). We all tried it and liked it, but Julie liked it so much that she has been using the same recipe ever since.
However, if I know that somebody doesn’t like an ingredient that I plan to use, like anchovies for example, then I make sure that there is a part of my pizza without that ingredient. I’m very fond of eggs, and I usually fry an egg to put somewhere on my pizza, and will fry another if anybody else would like one.
Come and stay at La Selve, show us your favourite pizza.