When it comes to pizza toppings, anchovies are one of the most divisive choices out there. Some people swear by the salty, savory flavor of these small fish, while others find them overwhelmingly fishy and unpleasant. But if you’re a fan of anchovy pizza, you may be wondering what other flavors go well with this controversial topping. In this article, we’ll explore the many different ways you can enjoy anchovy pizza, from pairings with other ingredients to wine and beer recommendations to cooking tips and creative recipes.
The Controversial Topping: Why People Love or Hate Anchovies on Pizza
First, it’s worth exploring why anchovies are such a polarizing pizza topping. Some people simply can’t stand the strong, fishy flavor of these small saltwater fish. Others adore the complex umami taste that anchovies add to a pizza, along with their slightly briny, salty notes. If you’re in the latter camp, there are a few ingredients that pair particularly well with anchovies:
One of the most popular ways to enjoy anchovies on pizza is to pair them with other salty ingredients, such as olives or capers. The combination of these briny flavors can create a deliciously savory pizza experience. Additionally, anchovies can also be complemented by sweet or acidic ingredients, such as caramelized onions or roasted red peppers. These flavors can help balance out the saltiness of the anchovies and create a more well-rounded pizza.
The History of Anchovy Pizza: How it Became a Popular Topping
Anchovy pizza may seem like a modern invention, but in fact, it has a long history. The Romans were known to enjoy pizza topped with fish, and in Naples, where pizza as we know it today was first created, anchovies have been a popular topping for centuries. In the United States, anchovy pizza gained popularity in the mid-20th century thanks to the influence of Italian-American cuisine. Today, you can find anchovy pizza on menus around the world, from classic Neapolitan pizzerias to trendy artisanal pizza joints.
Despite its popularity, anchovy pizza has been a controversial topping for many years. Some people love the salty, savory flavor that anchovies bring to a pizza, while others find the fishy taste overwhelming. In fact, many pizzerias have stopped offering anchovy pizza due to low demand or negative customer feedback.
However, anchovy pizza remains a favorite among pizza purists and adventurous eaters. Some chefs even experiment with different ways to prepare anchovies, such as marinating them in olive oil or adding them to a spicy tomato sauce. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that anchovy pizza has a rich history and a devoted following.
Nutritional Benefits of Eating Anchovies on Pizza
If you’re worried about the health benefits of anchovy pizza, there’s good news: anchovies are packed with nutrients. They’re a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins B12 and D. Plus, anchovies are low in calories and fat, which means you can enjoy them on your pizza guilt-free.
But the benefits of anchovies on pizza don’t stop there. Anchovies are also a good source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. Additionally, they contain iron, which helps to transport oxygen throughout the body and maintain healthy blood cells.
Another benefit of anchovies on pizza is their high levels of selenium. This mineral is important for maintaining a healthy immune system and can also help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. So, not only do anchovies add a delicious salty flavor to your pizza, but they also provide a range of health benefits.
Anchovy Alternatives: Toppings That Go Well With Anchovies on Pizza
If you’re looking for other ingredients to pair with anchovies on your pizza, there are plenty of options. One classic combination is anchovies with black olives and capers, which creates a Mediterranean-inspired flavor profile. Alternatively, you could try anchovies with thinly sliced red onion and fresh herbs like parsley or basil. For a spicy kick, add some sliced jalapeños or chili flakes to your anchovy pizza.
Another great option to pair with anchovies on your pizza is artichoke hearts. The salty and briny flavor of the anchovies pairs well with the mild and slightly sweet taste of artichoke hearts. You could also try adding some roasted garlic or sun-dried tomatoes to your anchovy pizza for an extra burst of flavor. And if you’re feeling adventurous, experiment with different types of cheese like feta or goat cheese to complement the anchovies.
Perfect Pairings: Wine and Beer to Enjoy with Anchovy Pizza
When it comes to beverages to pair with your anchovy pizza, your best bet is something that can stand up to the savory, salty flavor of the fish. A light red wine like a Chianti or a Barbera can be a good choice, as can a dry white wine like a Pinot Grigio. If you prefer beer, look for a crisp, hoppy IPA that can cut through the richness of the anchovies.
Another great option to consider when pairing beverages with anchovy pizza is a sparkling wine or champagne. The bubbles in the wine can help cleanse your palate between bites, while the acidity can complement the saltiness of the anchovies. If you’re not a fan of wine or beer, you can also try pairing your anchovy pizza with a classic Italian soda like San Pellegrino Limonata or Aranciata.
Tips for Cooking with Anchovies: How to Get the Perfect Amount and Flavor
If you’re planning to cook with anchovies, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, be careful not to use too many anchovies, as their strong flavor can quickly overwhelm other ingredients. It’s also a good idea to chop anchovies very finely before adding them to your pizza, as this will help them distribute evenly. Finally, keep in mind that anchovies are very salty, so you may want to adjust the amount of other salt you use in your recipe.
Another important tip for cooking with anchovies is to use them as a flavor enhancer rather than the main ingredient. Anchovies are often used in small amounts to add depth and complexity to dishes such as Caesar salad dressing, pasta sauces, and stews.
Additionally, when buying anchovies, it’s important to choose high-quality ones that are packed in olive oil or salt. Avoid anchovies that are packed in sunflower oil or other vegetable oils, as they can have a less desirable taste. By following these tips, you can elevate your cooking with the delicious and versatile flavor of anchovies.
Creative Recipes: Unique Ways to Use Anchovies as a Pizza Topping
If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of creative ways to use anchovies as a pizza topping. One popular option is to blend anchovies with olive oil, garlic, and herbs to create a flavorful paste that you can spread on your pizza dough before adding other ingredients. Alternatively, you could use anchovies as a base for a pizza topped with shaved fennel and lemon zest, or combine them with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella for a classic Margherita pizza with a twist.
Another unique way to use anchovies as a pizza topping is to pair them with sweet and savory ingredients. For example, you could add sliced peaches, caramelized onions, and crumbled goat cheese to your anchovy pizza for a delicious combination of flavors. Or, you could try a pizza topped with anchovies, thinly sliced potatoes, and rosemary for a hearty and satisfying meal.
For those who are looking for a healthier option, anchovies can also be used as a protein-packed alternative to traditional meat toppings. Try adding them to a pizza with roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant, for a nutritious and flavorful meal. With so many creative ways to use anchovies as a pizza topping, you’re sure to find a recipe that satisfies your taste buds and culinary curiosity.
Top Restaurants for the Best Anchovy Pizza in Your City
If you’re looking to try some of the best anchovy pizza in your city, there are plenty of options. Check out local pizzerias, Italian restaurants, and trendy pizza places to see if they offer anchovy pizza on their menu. You can also read reviews from other diners online to get a sense of which restaurants have the best anchovy pizza in town.
One thing to keep in mind when ordering anchovy pizza is that it can be a polarizing topping. Some people love the salty, savory flavor of anchovies, while others find it too overpowering. If you’re not sure if you’ll like anchovy pizza, consider ordering a small or personal-sized pizza to try it out before committing to a larger size. And if you’re dining with a group, be sure to check if anyone has any dietary restrictions or aversions to anchovies before ordering.
How to Order Anchovies on Your Pizza Without Feeling Embarrassed
Finally, if you’re worried about feeling embarrassed when ordering anchovy pizza, don’t be! Remember that everyone has different tastes, and there’s no need to feel ashamed of enjoying a classic topping like anchovies. Simply order with confidence and enjoy your delicious, salty-savory slice.
Additionally, if you’re ordering pizza for a group and you’re the only one who wants anchovies, don’t hesitate to speak up. It’s important to advocate for your own preferences and not let peer pressure sway your decision. Who knows, you might even convince someone else to try anchovies and discover a new favorite topping!