Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chinese vs. American pizza

In light of this recent piece in the NY Times titled, "Crust is a Canvas for Pizza's New Wave" -- about the recent "fetishized" apotheosis of pizza (or something like that) -- I've decided to post a very simple entry about how "pizza" is a food that transcends geographic boundaries or transnational institutions (like Pizza Hut and Papa John's, both of which exist in China -- though the former is much more common) and something something something delicious.

For example, take Chinese pizza, or diaozabing (掉杂饼), which has been a quite popular food for the past six months or so here in Beijing (give or take a couple months... hard to pinpoint when fads start, but I only began noticing people eating these things over the winter). It's obviously not "pizza," not as Westerners know it, but it's the same principle: meat on top of a crust. It sort of reminds me of a legend I heard as a child about how it was the Chinese who invented pizza: Marco Polo, unable to figure out how the Chinese put the meat inside their meat pancakes (roubing, or 肉饼), but it on the outside instead. Voila! Apocryphal, I know, but this parable serves my point I think...

Take a look (from a place on the north side of the street at the Dawanglu subway stop):

Toppings held in place by some sort of oil-based substance, not cheese.

Is it better than American pizza, like this one from Annie's?

Maybe not... but for 4 kuai, Chinese pizza is one heck of an inexpensive and filling meal.

(The pizza in the above picture is called Annie's Pizza, which includes pepperoni, bacon, sausage, grilled onions and chili. Delicious, and a large for only 56 kuai. Oh, and they deliver for free.)

No comments: