when i went back to london a few weekends ago, i did not crave italian food once. i was more curry-asian oriented: korean, vietnamese, chinese, thai, indian, you name it, i wanted it. that had a lot to do with the fact that these types of food are far less available in florence than in london. and without my knowing, after 5 years living in london, i had become addicted to ‘variety’ – the withdrawal symptoms are brutal. (i bore you with that theme quite often) (i can sense your incredulity from here)
but that’s not the only reason why i cannot have certain italian foods back in london anymore: at the end of the day, it’s just not as good in london. ‘how surprising!’, you say ironically. but some italian food in london is exquisite (bocca di luppo, trullo). it’s pizza, the real problem. now, after living in florence for almost 3 months, my mind hesitates at the thought of getting pizza back in london. frozen pizza actually sends shivers up my back.
it’s not that pizza is delicious everywhere in italy, let alone florence. that’s not true. but there is a certain type of pizza, which i have discovered here, which has changed my life forever: pizza napoletana. from naples. the dough is simultaneously thick enough to get your teeth in, and thin enough to enjoy the refined taste of. it has these crispy bits which give it that extra crunch and freshness, but overall it’s got a softness and flexibility which allow it to slide down your throat so smoothly. the tomatoes are exquisitely juicy, the mozzarella dreamily creamy. the basil adds an extra sharpness.
not all pizzerias make this kind of pizza, but gusta pizza, in santo spirito, next door to me, does make them. the queues can be extremely long, but their service is fast. if you want to sit down inside, you’ll be placed on these kind of high table-barrels. it’s informal, not made for an especially romantic night, but it’s fab. otherwise, you can take it to go. grab your pizza (there are only a handful of flavours by the way) and, with a bottle of red wine you’ve ordered from a local bar or brought over yourself, sit down in front of santo spirito, and enjoy the balmy evening. mmmmm…… delicious.
their calling card
gusta pizza is on the street on the right
corner of via maggio
ahhhh santo spirito.
why thank you,
i’d love to sit on your steps,
eat my gustapizza, drink my wine.
via maggio, 46)