One crucial question is: how easy is it for poor starving Italians to have decent pizza in Iceland? Can immigrants from southern Europe pamper the stereotypes about them with ease? The answer is yes, there is pizza to be had even in the land of fire and ice. One doesn’t have to be a douchebag though and expect it to be like one’s mother’s.
The partner in crime and I refrained from having homemade pizza for almost two years and, honestly, I think we could have kept on surviving like that forever (uhm…). The truth is, in the home country we were not exactly the average pizza consumers: we had brought our pizza-eating habits to incredibly decadent peaks, so that a pizza without sundried tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala or grilled eggplant was not a serious business, at least according to our taste buds. When one reaches that stage, one starts thinking there is no looking back. However, if there is a single thing that Italy should be praised for, it is the quality of ingredients that can be found in shops. Possibilities offered by average Italian supermarkets should be regarded as an exception, not as a rule, as even the shittiest grocery store has more than enough to make gourmet pizza in a variety of different styles.
When you are used to buy zucchini and cherry tomatoes like there is no tomorrow, it’s frankly hard to adjust to a country where one kilogram of fresh vegetables usually costs more than eating out. Following a childish “all or nothing” policy, we decided homemade pizza without the same exact ingredients we could afford at home was not worth the hassle. We have thus been eating ridiculous amounts of frozen Oetker pizza, even if it tastes like cookie, pretending it was just the same. We had Oetker in Italy too, and back then we thought it was somewhat too flawed and too expensive to become a pillar to our nutrition — in the end, market value is relative, ye know. Our culinary imagination, however, has gotten kinda pathetic lately. On top of this, Oetker seems to be supplying our closest Hagkaup only with surreal quantities of pizza Hawaii (ham and pineapple: so outrageously bad that even most of the locals, in spite of their love for the darkest side of American cuisine, don’t really want it).
In the end, we decided to have the first homemade pizza in a very long time. Huzzah. For correctness sake, I should say semi-homemade pizza, as the dough was pre-made. I couldn’t find brewer’s yeast here and I am still trying to figure out if I can switch to baking powder without having the dough explode in the oven while I am not looking. Anyhow, the pre-made dough (ISK600+) was the most expensive ingredient in our pizza. Just saying.
I will admit that today’s pizza wasn’t the best ever, as the dough, despite its price tag, was kinda weird. We had to rule out from our original plans surimi, affettati, grilled vegetables, pure mozzarella and whole olives. Also, we don’t have baking pans at home at the moment, so the shape of the pizza turned out quite funny after the permanence in the oven. I would share the recipe, but as I said, the dough was not my own creation. Also, I usually follow an empirical cooking approach, thus I feel it would be dangerous to advise other people. Anyway, for the record: we didn’t have to sell our belongings to afford having pizza. This is just to say that homemade pizza in Iceland isn’t too expensive if one keeps an eye on the price tag of exotic ingredients — pineapple doesn’t count.