When traveling in foreign lands and sampling your way through the local food, do you try to work pizza into the mix?
It never occurs to me to seek out pizza. Maybe I don’t like pizza enough (surely I like it), but when I am thinking about what to eat when in a foreign country, pizza is usually just something that happens. But the “international” pizzas I have eaten have convinced me they can be every bit as good as what you can find in New York City, and it compels to me write further.
Possibly the best pizza (at right) I have eaten anywhere was in a modern-looking Italian restaurant called Bruschetta (I think), on the waterfront of the old town in Zadar, Croatia, around the corner from the so-called Roman forum on (maybe) Mihovila Pavlinovica. We were driving that day, hopscotching up the coast from Split, and had already made stops in Trogir and Sibenik. And so when we were thinking about getting something to eat, we were just as interested in having a comfortable, quiet place to sit.
It was rapidly cooling that evening, but we sat outside, on something like a patio with a spectacular view (Alfred Hitchcock said Zadar has the prettiest sunsets in the world). And we had the most delicious plain pie. The sauce was delicate and sweet, made from cherry tomatoes; but what I remember most was the blend of cheeses. So savory and satisfying, I detected romano (I never asked) among the mozzarella and something else.
This will sound stupid, but there is a joint in Omaha (not a foreign country), a personal favorite, that tops rectangular pies with a romano-heavy blend that is reminiscent. Maybe that is why I liked it so much.
It wasn’t our first slice in Croatia, either. Earlier in the trip, we bopped into a dive pizzeria called Pizza Duck, part of a chain, I assume. The cheese dominated this slice (left), too, but it was not as memorable. Still it compared favorably to the sub-$2 slice New Yorkers lean on.
Close behind the Zadar pie for “best in foreign country” would be a brick-oven pizza (right) we ate near an open-air market in the Kadikoy section of Istanbul. Here again, we were settling, taking a break after a long day of wandering around, trying not to be conspicuous as infidels. But the pizza was excellent, though I might be embellishing a memory accompanied by so many delicious mugs of Efes.