I’ve concluded that Argentine pizza is an acquired taste. Not one difficult to acquire, mind you, but I have to admit that we didn’t enjoy that first bite of a pizza in Argentina nearly as much as we did subsequent ones. By the end of the trip, I, at least, greatly preferred it to American pizza (with the exception of Zachary’s, of course).
Argentine pizza tends to have a bready thin-to-medium crust which tastes quite good on its own. It’s covered by a extremely thin layer of tomato sauce, so thin that sometimes I wondered if it had any sauce at all, and then by a ton of mozarella cheese and whatever other topping you’ve chosen (the choices are usually much fewer than in the US, ham being the most common one). Each slice then is decorated by a green olive and, sometimes, by a slice of preserved red pepper. Oregano is sprinkled on the pizza before baking. Most often pizza is baked in a pan, though some places serve pizza a la piedra, or pizza baked on a stone. I can’t say that I’ve noticed a significant difference between the two.
Argentine mozarella cheese, like all diary products, tastes different from American mozarella and I think that might be the reason why Argentine pizza is tastier. In general, diary products in Argentina are just good (all that Pampa grass is good for something). Though of course, having a pizza that just oozes cheese everywhere doesn’t hurt – your average Argentine pizza probably has at least 3 times as much cheese as your average American pizza.
What was perhaps most amazing to me is that Argentine pizzas were served just about everywhere, and they were just as good whether served at a pizzeria, a regular restaurant, a cafe or made at home from a pre-pizza (a la Boboli). Indeed, even the frozen pizzas were much tastiers than the ones here. Pizza is also quite cheap, we generally paid between U$2-3 for a “large”pizza, which was probably 8” in diameter but was large enough for the 4 of us (of course, 2 of us are under the age of 4).
The *only* place where we had a pizza we didn’t like was a restaurant in Mar del Plata (forgot the name) where they show a movie with your lunch. I guess that’s enough to get the tourists in, and they don’t have to bother to make even passable pizza. Needless to say we only went once.
Even the pizza at the tenedores libres, or buffets, was quite good.
Tonight we’re babysitting and our usual ritual on babysitting nights is to order pizza – and truth be told, I wish I could have an Argentinian pizza rather than an American one.
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