For the purists there are only two “real” types of pizza, the margherita and the marinara.
But it is to the credit of this wonderful culinary invention that so many countries and peoples around the world have sought to create their own versions, and the options for doing so are all but limitless.
Toppings range from the practical, through the maybe obvious to the downright weird and wacky. In India one might have anticipated the native cuisine finding its way onto the traditional pizza base, resulting in a delicious offering of tandoori chicken and succulent paneer upon a flatbread pizza base. The kosher pizza in Israel meets an obvious cultural demand, the Brazilian banana pizza possibly a little less so.
The Malaysian Tom Yom pizza sounds intriguing to say the least; bulgogi and dak galbi do not strike one as being amongst the more obvious choices of toppings, unless one is Korean, and emu, kangaroo and crocodile toppings are not generally on offer unless down under.
But when all is said and done pizza is an Italian creation and Italians, even when domiciled in some far off land, will always be the ones to show the rest of us how it is done.
So it was perhaps unsurprising that the not insignificant Italian community in the United States would emerge to create its own variations upon the native dish, and nowhere is this more evident than in the addition of pepperoni as an ingredient now commonly associated with pizza throughout the world.
Although the origins of the word “pepperoni” lie with the cayenne pepper plant, it is now universally associated with a highly seasoned, hard-textured sausage made from cured pork or beef. The delightfully chewy, juicy morsel, sometimes spiced for extra flavour, is one of the most popular pizza toppings available today.
At Eco’s Clapham pizza restaurant one can enjoy an American Hot, a delightful pepperoni salami dish which combines wonderfully with mozzarella, tomato sauce, garlic and olive oil to create an Italian-American experience to savour.