I don’t like mixing food and art. Stacked food, precious little slices of precious little nibbles on top of one another like a competition for children? Nah. Not for me. I mean, sometimes it’s great to look at food made into art, but eating it? I can do without.
But a pizza! That hunk of stretched dough is a blank canvas anyway. Express yourself generously. Make the Italian flag. Make the sun shining thorough a tomato mosaic.
I’m cool with that.
So, when Mike of A path to Lunch told me in no uncertain terms that it was imperative to get my butt over to Pizzaria La Gerla in Lerici and have the “campionato mondiale della pizza di Salsomaggiore terme 2006” I went. Mike is an imposing figure. A world champion pizza has to be worth wrapping your lips around.
So I had it. It wasn’t hard to order, the thing is pictured on the front page of the menu and all you have to do is point to it and say something tourist-stupid like “Prendo questo.”
It’s there. Below (the one at the top was Martha’s Parmigiano pizza). It’s like something you’ve never seen. It’s like something your tongue cries out for in the night but you only have salami sliced ten days ago in the fridge so you suffer. Here’s what’s in it, and it might surprise you: Saffron creme, mozzarella, tomatoes, “bay of poets shrimp” wrapped in lardo, chives, and threads of peppers (!). Just look:
8 euros. Pizzaria la Gerla, Via Petriccioli, 4 Lerici (“Con lo chef-pizzaiolo Claudio Marchini campione del mondo della pizza.) Pizza at lunch and dinner, closed Tuesday. Tel. 0187-968291