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Lazio Style Pizza

Lazio is the region around Rome with Tuscany bordering its north. Volcanic lakes are scattered around the region’s medieval towns and craggy mountains. A very rural-like pace dominates the area with the exception of Rome. Cuisine in Lazio is among the most renowned in Italy as it is based on elements from the land: cheese, wine, artichokes, pulses, vegetables, and olive oil. Typical cheeses from this area include ricotta, pecorino, pecorino romano, and caciotta. Traditional cooking methods involve only a few simple ingredients prepared by basic means.

Pizza is an Italian dish popular worldwide. Throughout Italy, it is simply made with a flat, mostly round yeast bread often covered with a tomato-based sauce or fresh tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Other toppings are added according to culture, personal preference, or region. Lazio-style pizza is available in carry-out shops that sell pizza al taglio (“by-the-slice pizza”) or pizza rustica (a tart-like pizza). Both of these are cooked in long, rectangular pans, have a relatively thick crust, and are sold by weight. Lazio-style pizza is also available in pizzerias (pizza restaurants) where it is served in a dish, is traditionally round in shape with a crisp, quite thin crust, and usually cooked in a wood-fired oven. Lazio-style pizza is the most famous of all types of pizza in the capital city of Rome.

At its most basic, Lazio-style pizza consists simply of anchovy paste, artichokes and mozzarella made from either the milk of the buffalo or cow. However, there are other types (and their ingredients):1) Pizza Romana (tomatoes, mozzarella, anchovies, basil, and olive oil)2) Pizza Viennese (tomatoes, mozzarella, sausage, oregano, olive oil)3) Pizza Capricciosa (mozzarella, tomatoes, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, prosciutto, black olives, olive oil)4) Pizza Quattro Stagioni (same ingredients as for the Capricciosa but ingredients are arranged in quarters on the pizza, not mixed)5) Pizza Quattro Formaggi (tomatoes and mozzarella with a combination of three other cheeses which might include: stracchino, fontina, gorgonzola, pecorino, parmesan, ricotta, or groviera)6) Sicilian-style pizza (This is a rectangular pizza with toppings baked directly into a thick crust with a pronounced smell of garlic. Authentic recipes use neither cheese nor anchovies. “Sicilian” pizza made in the U.S. is not typically authentic.)7) Pizza Bianca (olive oil, garlic, and salt no tomato or other white sauce)

Even if one were to purchase the finest quality, imported ingredients to make authentic Lazio-style pizzas, they would still pale in comparison to those eaten in the region. Other factors such as the kind of baking equipment used, the lack of the freshest ingredients on hand, as well as the general overall ambiance of the region, contributes to the lack of authenticity.