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Pizza

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

does this have something in common with pizza?Why don’t Thais understand pizza?

There’s plenty of appreciation for Italian cuisine, just ask any Thai. This is a culture of cuisine like no other, and they revere other cultures which are fiercely proud of their cuisines. Italian, French, Japanese and Chinese foods are all respected and held in high esteem by Thais.

And there are some good Italian restaurants in Bangkok, except perhaps in the shopping malls where generic food seems to reign supreme. Yet there is only one place I’ve seen that even serves good and authentic pizza.

Nobody in Thailand even knows what makes a pizza good. That goes for crust, sauce, cheese and toppings. 0 for 4. I even see a few places with brick ovens, but they somehow manage to cook the most awful pizzas possible.

People here seem to want thickish, doughy crusts, if only to hold lots of toppings. Not huge pizzas with butter crust like Chicago deep dish. More like Pizza Inn generic pies that fill you up without satisfying.




The sauce is a joke, as nobody seems to want tomato based sauce. Pizza hut uses tomato sauce, but might skip the herbs, as nobody is going to taste the sauce once the weird toppings are applied.

And weird toppings are required in Bangkok. Grilled squid goes with pretty much any food here, so of course it’ll make a fine topping for a pizza. In fact lots of seafood works as a pie topper. Veggies are cool too, as are traditional foods like green curry or som tam.

And since nobody here seems to like cheese, fresh bufalo mozzarella is out of the question. Even the fake mozzarella is not generally used. Besides, it wouldn’t go well with the toppings.

More alarmingly, Pizza Hut is making big inroads in Bangkok. Stores are popping up everywhere, and the stuff they’re serving up only vaguely resembles pizza. Ugh!