When it comes to pizza toppings, anchovies are definitely a controversial choice. Some people love them for their salty, umami flavor, while others can’t stand them due to their pungent aroma. But if you’re a fan of anchovies on pizza, you might be wondering what else you can pair them with to create the ultimate pie. From the history of this iconic topping to healthy benefits and even vegan options, this article will cover everything you need to know about what goes with anchovies on pizza.
The History of Anchovy Pizza
Surprisingly enough, anchovy pizza has been around for a long time and has its roots in Italy. The first documented anchovy pizza recipe dates back to the late 1800s in Naples, where chefs would use salted anchovies as a natural preservative for their pizzas. Eventually, the savory flavor of anchovies caught on, and they became a popular topping for pizza in Italy and beyond. Today, anchovy pizza is a classic pizza topping and can be found on menus around the world.
Despite its popularity, anchovy pizza has also been a controversial topic among pizza lovers. Some people love the salty and savory taste of anchovies on their pizza, while others find it too overpowering. In fact, there have been debates and arguments over whether anchovy pizza should even be considered a legitimate pizza topping.
However, anchovy pizza has stood the test of time and continues to be a favorite among many pizza enthusiasts. It has even inspired variations, such as the “white anchovy” pizza, which uses fresh, marinated anchovies instead of the traditional salted ones. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that anchovy pizza has made its mark on the pizza world and will continue to be a topic of discussion for years to come.
The Science Behind the Anchovy Flavor
If you’re a fan of anchovies on pizza, you might be curious about what gives them that distinct umami flavor. Anchovies are high in glutamate, an amino acid that gives foods their savory taste. When you cook anchovies, the heat breaks down the naturally occurring proteins, creating even more umami flavor. This is why anchovies are often used in small amounts to enhance the overall taste of a dish.
Interestingly, anchovies are not only used for their flavor, but also for their nutritional value. They are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function and heart health. Additionally, anchovies are low in calories and high in protein, making them a healthy addition to any meal.
While anchovies are often associated with pizza, they can be used in a variety of dishes. In Mediterranean cuisine, anchovies are commonly used in salads, pasta dishes, and even as a topping for bruschetta. So next time you’re at the grocery store, consider picking up a can of anchovies and experimenting with different ways to incorporate them into your meals.
Anchovy Pizza Topping Combinations to Try
One of the best things about pizza is that you can mix and match toppings to create your own unique flavor profile. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your anchovy pizza, consider pairing them with some of these delicious toppings:
- Roasted red peppers
- Artichoke hearts
Another great topping to try with anchovy pizza is fresh arugula. The peppery flavor of the arugula pairs well with the salty anchovies. You can add the arugula after the pizza is cooked, or you can cook it on top of the pizza for a few minutes to wilt it slightly.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try adding some fruit to your anchovy pizza. Pineapple, for example, can add a sweet and tangy flavor that complements the saltiness of the anchovies. Other fruits to consider include figs, pears, or even sliced apples.
The Best Cheese Pairings for Anchovy Pizza
When it comes to cheese, a good rule of thumb is to stick with something that complements the salty, savory flavor of the anchovies. Some of the best cheese pairings for anchovy pizza include:
However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try some unconventional cheese pairings that work surprisingly well with anchovy pizza. For example, blue cheese or goat cheese can add a tangy and creamy flavor that complements the saltiness of the anchovies.
Another important factor to consider when choosing cheese for anchovy pizza is the texture. Soft and creamy cheeses like feta or mozzarella work well with the chewy texture of the anchovies, while harder cheeses like parmesan or gorgonzola can add a satisfying crunch to each bite.
Anchovy Pizza and Wine: A Perfect Pairing Guide
If you’re a wine lover, you might be curious about what type of wine goes best with anchovy pizza. Generally speaking, you want a wine that can stand up to the strong flavors of anchovies without overpowering them. Some of the best wine pairings for anchovy pizza include:
- Dry white wine
- Pinot noir
However, it’s important to note that personal taste plays a big role in wine pairing. If you prefer a bolder wine, you might opt for a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Malbec. On the other hand, if you prefer a lighter wine, a Beaujolais or a Riesling might be a better choice. Ultimately, the best wine pairing is the one that you enjoy the most!
How to Make Homemade Anchovy Pizza Sauce
If you want to take your anchovy pizza to the next level, consider making your own homemade sauce. To make anchovy pizza sauce, you’ll need:
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3-4 anchovy fillets, mashed
- Salt and pepper to taste
Simply heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add the minced garlic and mashed anchovy fillets. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the anchovies have melted into the oil. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Use as a base for your anchovy pizza or any other pizza topping combination.
One of the great things about making your own anchovy pizza sauce is that you can adjust the ingredients to your liking. For example, if you prefer a spicier sauce, you can add some red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper. Alternatively, if you want a sweeter sauce, you can add a teaspoon of sugar or honey.
Another benefit of making your own sauce is that you can control the quality of the ingredients. By using fresh garlic, high-quality olive oil, and canned tomatoes without any added preservatives or chemicals, you can ensure that your sauce is healthy and delicious.
Low-Carb and Keto-Friendly Anchovy Pizza Ideas
If you’re following a low-carb or keto diet, you might think that pizza is off the menu. However, with a few simple tweaks, you can make a delicious anchovy pizza that fits your dietary needs. Consider using a cauliflower crust or almond flour crust to keep the carbs low, and top with your favorite keto-friendly toppings.
Another great option for a low-carb or keto-friendly anchovy pizza is to use a zucchini crust. Simply grate zucchini and mix it with almond flour, eggs, and seasonings to create a crust that is both flavorful and low in carbs. Top with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and anchovies for a delicious and satisfying meal.
For those who are looking for a dairy-free option, try using a cashew cheese or a vegan cheese alternative on your anchovy pizza. You can also experiment with different types of crusts, such as a coconut flour crust or a flaxseed crust, to find the perfect low-carb or keto-friendly base for your pizza.
Vegan and Vegetarian Options for Anchovy-Lovers
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan but still crave that umami flavor of anchovies on pizza, fear not. There are plenty of plant-based alternatives that can give you a similar taste without using animal products. Consider using capers or sun-dried tomatoes as a replacement for anchovies, or use a vegan cheese like cashew or almond cheese to complete your pie.
The Health Benefits of Eating Anchovy Pizza
Believe it or not, anchovies are actually quite good for you. They’re high in protein and healthy fats, which can help keep you full and satisfied for longer periods of time. They’re also a good source of calcium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining good cardiovascular health. Of course, like any pizza, anchovy pizza should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Where to Find the Best Anchovy Pizzas Around the World
If you’re a real anchovy pizza aficionado, you might be curious about where to find the best pies around the world. It all comes down to personal preference, but some of the best places to find delicious anchovy pizza include Naples, Italy (where it all started), New York City, and Chicago. Of course, you can always make your own at home using some of the tips and tricks mentioned above.
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Anchovy Pizza
If you have leftover anchovy pizza, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, simply pop it in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted.
A Beginner’s Guide to Making Anchovy Pizza from Scratch
If you’re new to making pizza from scratch, you might be intimidated by the process. However, making pizza at home is actually quite simple and can be a fun activity to do with friends or family. To make anchovy pizza from scratch, you’ll need:
- 1 pound of pizza dough
- 1/2 cup of pizza sauce
- 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
- 3-4 anchovy fillets
- Any additional toppings you prefer
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and roll out your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top, followed by the anchovy fillets and any additional toppings. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
Fun Facts About the Surprisingly Controversial Ingredient: Anchovies!
As we mentioned earlier, anchovies are definitely a polarizing ingredient. Here are some fun facts about these little fish:
- Anchovies are a type of small, saltwater fish found in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
- They are often used as a natural flavor enhancer in cooking, due to their high glutamate content.
- Anchovies were used as currency in ancient Rome and Greece, and were considered a luxury item.
- In Spain, anchovy fillets are sometimes eaten as a snack, served with a slice of bread or a toothpick.
- Anchovies are a popular ingredient in Caesar salad dressing and Worcestershire sauce.
Now that you know all about what goes with anchovies on pizza, it’s time to go forth and create your ultimate pie. Whether you prefer traditional toppings or want to experiment with something new, there’s no wrong way to enjoy this classic pizza flavor. Buon appetito!