Category Archives: pizza

Stealing a pizza-my-heart

By Jenna Severson

 

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Pizza creation at Gusta Pizza, Florence. Photo by Jenna Severson 

FLORENCE, Italy – Alrighty readers, people say true Italian food is on a completely different level than American Italian food. There are pictures that compare the two. There are even shows that go in depth on the traditions and values of Italian cooking. But hearing or reading or seeing it doesn’t even come close to immersing yourself in it.

These first few days have been a whirlwind of walking and eating and then more walking. It’s been pretty overwhelming trying to take everything in, but one observation that has been very apparent is that food in Italy is treated as its own culture. Fresh ingredients are revered and you can see the passion of what cooks make through the quality of the food.

Tonight the study abroad group ventured across the Ponte Santa Trinita and found ourselves at Gusta Pizza, an establishment that was highly recommended by past study abroad members. When the restaurant opened at 7pm there was already a line in front of the door and wrapped around the corner, signaling that this place means business.

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Capers, basil and mozzarella. Sigh. Photo by Jenna Severson

The restaurant itself is relatively small and very quaint in more ways than one. Gusta’s menu only has eight items and the types of pizzas are traditional and simple. The cooking area is next to the cash register and there is a singular pizza oven. This open viewing of the creation of the pizzas shows that the makers don’t feel the need to hide their process behind the wall. In fact, Gusta Pizza is set up to showcase the dedication that is put into every pizza.

That last sentence applies to many other places in Florence. Restaurants give their guests a metaphorical peek behind the curtains, revealing the prowess of the chefs and the pride in the food they are making. Creating and providing food for another person is more than just a transaction in Florence – it’s a connection between the creator and the person eating the food.

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Pizza: a gift to Earth

By: Molly Curry
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FLORENCE, Italy – Let’s start with a little math. The first time the word pizza, otherwise known as God’s gift to Earth, was documented was in 997 AD in Gaeta, Italy. That means that pizza has been around for exactly 1,018 years according to record. And out of those 1,018 years, I have had only a precious 21 years savoring this heavenly dish. And out of my 21 years, I have consumed many pieces of pizza, but only one piece of pizza that changed my life. And that pizza was handcrafted and delivered promptly into my mouth exactly two hours ago.

When I say life-changing, I MEAN life-changing. In America, I have had many pizzas that I’m sure I probably said were life-changing. But pizza didn’t even arrive in America until the late 19th century. The Italians have taken their extra 900 years with pizza and done something that I had previously thought impossible: they perfected something that was already perfect.

We went to Gusta Pizza for dinner at the recommendation of several friends and the Internet. Gusta is located across the Arno River from the historic center of Florence, about a 20-minute walk from our apartment. At first, I grumbled about such a large distance to walk just for a slice of pizza. I wish I could go back in time and slap myself.

At the restaurant, I ordered a Gustapizza from Gusta Pizza because I’m basic and waited with high impatience. The aroma of mozzarella immediately announced the arrival of this little miracle, and the smell was just the appetizer. During the fleeting moments of my first bite of 100 percent real, authentic Italian pizza, everything was right in the world. The sauce was so fresh, it was like I was eating a tomato straight off the vine. And the cheese. Oh, the cheese. Lumps of mozzarella scattered across the surface mixed in perfect harmony with the sauce. Basically I saw through space and time. Now changed, I will never be able to eat regular pizza again.

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Filed under MU Journalism Abroad, pizza, Science ad Agricultual Journalism