Pizza Obsessives: Foolish Poolish

Pizza Obsessives

Slice interviews with folks who are mad about pizza.

And so starts the first of Slice's Q&A's with folks who are mad about pizza. This week, we talk to someone whose screen name you might recognize. Without futher ado...

Name: Foolish Poolish
Location: England
Website: Foolish Poolish Bakes; Flickr

What type of pizza do you prefer?

It's all good! (oh, boy, what a cop-out). OK, I'll sort of justify that by throwing up a link to a TED talk about the nature of choice and pursuit of the "perfect spaghetti sauce":

Truthfully, I haven't eaten nearly enough pizza or sampled adequate variety to give an informed opinion.

Generally, I like them round...although I'll take a good square (as long as it's the corner slice). How's that for pinning me down on specifics? :)

The Pizza Cognition Theory states that "the first slice of pizza a child sees and tastes ... becomes, for him, pizza." Do you remember your first slice? Where was it from, is the place still around, and if so, does it hold up? On that note, has your taste in pizza evolved over time?

The first pizza I recall as a (young) kid would be from the freezer aisle in a supermarket (thanks, Mom!). I remember Hawaiian pizza featured regularly. Domino's was a step up, if that gives you any idea about the evolution of my pizza taste.

What's your favorite topping or topping combination?

The '"filetti" pizza (cherry or baby plum tomatoes, garlic, fresh mozzarella, sea salt, olive oil, and basil) is really great, but just a few nights ago I tried a pistachio, Parmesan, red onion combination (inspired by the "Rosa" from Pizzeria Bianco). Awesome, awesome combo.

On the spicy sausage front, a good, dry-cured chorizo trumps any spicy salami or pepperoni I've tried so far.

Where do you go for pizza in your area?

There's a pizzeria with a WFO not far from where I live. It's probably the best in town, which isn't saying much. Last time I was there, they struggled to take an order for a Margherita, though.


Foolish Poolish's brussels sprout and pancetta pizza. [Photograph: Foolish Poolish on Flickr]

Based on photos alone, your pizzas look amazing—like they've come out of a pro-level oven. What do you use?

Domestic electric oven (with broiler on top).

What's most important to you: crust, sauce, or cheese?

Oh man, that's impossible to answer! It's an amalgamation of the three (although pizza can be great without sauce at all). When I'm making pizza, I probably obsess more about the crust than anything.

Anything you'd like to get off your chest regarding pizza?

Nothing that I haven't already ranted way too much about already. You know, VPN blahblahblah, authentic, blahblahblah. :)

What one thing should NEVER go on a pizza?

Raw bell peppers or corn. I used to put sliced bell peppers on my pizza all the time. I know better now.

Weirdest pizza you've ever eaten?

It's a toss up between between Thai chicken curry pizza (no really!) and some awful hoisin sauce pizza thing. I'm not sure Asian flavours translate well to pizza toppings, but I still want to try a saag paneer pizza someday.

What's the farthest you've traveled for pizza?

The front door for delivery. I'm kidding. I'm lazy and tend to eat what's available in the local area. Ask me again in a few months and the answer might be: crossing the Atlantic.

Why the name "foolishpoolish"?

It comes from "poolish"—a preferment used in baking (sorry, I'm sure all the pizza-makers and home-bakers already knew that).

Strangely, I don't think I've ever used a classic (yeasted) poolish in pizza dough. 'Biga-mister' sounds...well...foolish.

If there are folks you'd like to see get the Q&A treatment, let us know! Email [email protected] with your nomination.