Monday, March 30, 2009

Confetti Pizza... The Magic of Color

Color can heighten your enjoyment of a dish. There's a reason lots of restaurants finish off dishes with a sprig or sprinkle of vividly green parsley. Now, this pizza would have been just as tasty if we'd only had red tomatoes, yellowish cheese and a deeply colored meat, but the contrast of what we did use was so fantastic that we honestly marveled at every bite. Our pleasure went beyond the anticipated flavor from visual cues ["That looks like it's going to taste good"] and beyond the (excellent) flavor of the pizza itself. It was pleasing on a purely aesthetic level, and that is immensely satisfying for the mind as well as the belly.
The components aren't revolutionary: a crust* topped with garlicky olive oil, tomatoes, arugula, mozzarella, Canadian bacon, and a few more tomatoes [maybe arugula is revolutionary for some, but I'd seen it done before I attempted it myself the first time].... but it was the colors that wowed us. The tomatoes happened to be orange and yellow greenhouse tomatoes JG picked up on sale. I'd thrown the pulp of the tomatoes into the garlic oil, which happened to turn the crust a nice golden color. The dark green arugula happened to be getting unruly in the garden. We happened to pick up ultra white fresh moz instead of a yellowish fontina. We happened to choose a bright pink Canadian bacon from the freezer instead of a maroon prosciutto... and the cumulative effect happened to be stunning.
I'm a fan of serendipity, but after this experience I'm re-committing myself to making whatever humble food I make as visually stimulating as possible.


*I used the water to flour ratios from my normal crust recipe, but I also happened to be totally out of wheat flour and ap flour, so I used bread flour and oat flour in a roughly 60/40 split.

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