There isn’t an obvious connection between the home of the pizza and an English soccer team from the East Midlands currently dwelling somewhere mid-table in the Npower Football League One.
So those not in the know might be surprised to learn that the mighty Juventus, one of the true giants of Italian football, “borrowed” their famous black and white strip from the not quite so legendary Notts County.
Hard though it may seem to credit, Juve originally plied their trade in a fetching pink shirt with a black tie, and did not want to be confused with Palermo who, incredibly, played in the same colours. And so, in 1903, they asked one of their team members, John Savage, if any of his English connections could find them a more appropriate kit. Savage had a friend from Nottingham who was a big Magpies supporter, and he duly supplied Juventus with a full set of County colours.
And so the unlikely connection between the oldest surviving professional football club in the world and one of the greatest and most famous was born.
That could have been the end of it, but in early September last year Juve chose Notts County in preference to Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan or Manchester United to celebrate the opening of their new stadium with a friendly match which finished in a 1-1 draw. But in spite of what they would have considered a disappointing result the Turin side did at least get to wear the black and white shirt, with County playing in their blue striped away kit.
Turin of course is one of the big pizza heartlands of Italy, one of its most popular dishes being the pizza al padellino (originally from Tuscany), a small “pizza for one” baked in a round dish in such a way that the edges maintain a particular crispiness that sets off the succulent topping so well.
Now Clapham is probably a place less immediately associated in the annuls of world cuisine with the glorious pizza, but fare to compare can be found if one looks hard enough, in one of the most popular restaurants in Clapham.
Eco Restaurant in Clapham Common serves one of the tastiest and most sought after pizzas in the capital. With a light nutritious base and a wide range of delicious toppings to choose from Eco is well and truly in the champions league.