Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Volcano Proof Pizza Oven

Pizza Romana III at Pizza Rock
    So we went back to the K Street mall in Sacramento and met up with our friends to try another one of Tony's creations. The Pizza Romana III caught our eye. Nearly 2 and half feet long on a crisp, thin crust in a rectangular shape you could order the pizza combinations with 3 divisions of delights. The rectangle is separated into thirds. The first 3rd was the appetizer pizza with cherry tomatoes and arugula over the mozzarella and sauce. The second third, or the main course you might call it, was his famous meatball pizza. Sliced into six 3" squares each meatball sat on a layer of mozzarella on top of a white cream sauce with garlic. Oooooo, that was good. The final third was what you might call the dessert portion. Using Gorgonzola cheese topped by dates and pecans, apples, honey and finally a thin string of Nutella. Tony takes pizza making to a whole new level and then some.
A typical Pompeii Oven named for the
 ruined city of Pompeii built prior to 79 A.D.
Rex's Pizza since 2012
    Talking with our friends after dinner, we begin to discuss building pizza ovens again. Specifically, Pompeii ovens built of brick and mortar. My friend, Dean had ordered a set of plans and has since finished all of his backyard projects which leads him to what must be done next. Build a Pompeii pizza oven. I have had people interrupt me and ask what a Pompeii oven is and what it might look like. I forget that not everybody reads my blog or is up to date with what used to be the main style of oven several dozen centuries ago in Italy. A Pompeii oven looks similar to a dog igloo but built of bricks and mortar. Approximately the same size as well. We actually got to see some while visiting Pompeii years ago. The dome shape helps not only to contain the heat but to wrap the heat around all sides of the oven distributing it evenly. After building a fire in it and burning it down to the red hot coals, one would push the pile of coals off to one side near the back thus leaving the brick floor open and clear for baking a pizza right  next to the fire. These ovens can reach temperatures of 800 to 900ยบ! Food cooks quickly and a thin crust Margherita could cook in under 2 minutes. The most remarkable thing is that it can survive a neighborhood volcanic eruption and still be used 2000 years later! Let's see a Kenmore oven from Sears claim that!