Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Saint Martin Pizza / Sint Maarten Pizza - and a Book

As promised, this pizza is pretty ridiculous.

Not necessarily for what's on it, though.

I came up with the idea for today's pizza after getting an email from one of my favorite scuba dive operators -- Octopus Diving in Saint Martin.  Every time Sally and Chris send an email, I remember our trip there almost two years ago when we held urchins, spied lobsters, stirred up a ray off the sea floor and made sure to stay far away from the fire coral.

Photo from:

While driving back to my sister-in-law's house (she lives on sunny Sint Maarten), I realized how dramatically different the two sides of the island were.  In case you're not familiary, Saint Martin / Sint Maarten is divided in half.  The French own one side, the Dutch the other.  And you can tell.

Map of the Caribbean island of w:Saint Martin divided between French and Dutch halves. Made in Corel Painter IX by User:Astrokey44. Category: Saint Martin

The Dutch side is dramatically built up with casinos, cruise ports, and shopping centers.  It's a bit of a concrete jungle in some areas, actually.  The French side, in contrast, is wildly green.  Charming cafes dot the roadsides, but the biggest draws are nature sites like the Butterfly Farm.

So, in honor of the strange, divided geography of Saint Martin / Sint Maarten, here's a pizza in the shape of the island.  One side is built up with modern toppings like pepperoni.  The other is full of fresh green herbs and leaves from my very own backyard garden.

To be quite honest, the reason it took me so long to post this was that I needed to find a book with both French and Dutch connections.  And it just so happens that the YA novel I picked up last week fills the need.

I'll let you read it to find out the Dutch connections :)

Happy eating, happy reading!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Potato Pizza? A Cultural Mash-up

It's Worldly Wednesday! 

Today, I'll get straight to the point - our summer of pizza is a mash-up today.  When I called out for suggestions, a good friend from Japan indicated that he liked some pretty unusual toppings, and his wife led me to this site.

Now, her husband's favorite is the fish egg pizza, but I couldn't find fresh Japanese fish eggs at the farmer's market.  So, I went with the cultural mash-up of potatoes and bacon.

So, this week's pizza is a German-Japanese hybrid.  Here are both flags, for your reference:

And, here is the pizza!  (Note: make sure potatoes are boiled until soft before putting them on the pizza, or it's a gamey starch-fest in your mouth.)

Along with the dually-inspired ingredients, I welcome two stories as well.

I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU by Hans Wilhelm (German-American author) and 

GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY by Allen Say.  Have you read these books?!

Happy reading, happy eating, and see you next Wednesday for an even crazier pizza!  Yes, that's right.  The hardest one I'll probably ever make. 

Comments open!  Thanks for stopping by and having a slice with me!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Peanut Butter Pizza - Inspired by The Gambia

The pizza is (finally) here!

Inspired by my favorite Gambian dish, domodaa, this pizza is probably the most unique yet!  Since domodaa is traditionally made with tomato paste, onions, peanuts, oil, spices and meat - it's really not all that much of a stretch to imagine it on pizza.

Here's the Gambian flag:

And here's a photo of groundnuts in Gambia (they are not called peanuts).  And peanut butter is called degee. (Deh-GAY).

Here is a photo of my own homemade domodaa.  You can click here for a recipe.

And...the peanut butter pizza!  (which tasted better than it looked)

Accompanying this gooey-ooey pizza is the most beloved Gambian folk tale: Kumba Am and Kumba Amul.  This version is the kid-friendly rewrite co-authored by Cornelius Gomez and me.  Over the last decade, I've probably heard/read more than a dozen versions of this story!

Click here to read this Gambian Folk Tale!

So, enjoy another slice of peanut butter pizza and then join us next week for a cultural mash-up: a German-Japanese hybrid.  If you think that sounds strange, the week after is pretty unbelievable, too.

Comments open!  Happy 4th of July!
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