Friday, January 8, 2010

Confessions of a German pizza eater

There's a well-known and interesting work from the 19th century called Confessions of an English Opium Eater, in which writer Thomas De Quincey chronicles his experience with laudanum (an opium-alcohol mixture). Recommended.

I wish to chronicle my experience as a German pizza eater. Like De Quincey, I am also mildly ashamed and ambivalent.

I am not a German eating pizza. That would be too banal. I am an eater of German pizza. Now that's more unusual.

Specifically, I have lately taken to eating Dr. Oetker's pizza. Dr. Oetker? Wouldn't you go to him for psychoanalysis? Herr Doktor Oetker, my super-ego has been bothering me lately.

But pizza? I noticed the claim that the good doctor produces the number one selling pizza in Italy (of all places). Then I remembered that indeed they sell plenty of products there under the trade name Cameo, with the same logo. A feminine cameo in red. Perhaps it is Frau Oetker.

Well obviously the Italians were never going to buy a Germanic pizza, so they used a name ending with a vowel. With great success.

All of this led me to buying their German pizza at my local supermarket. I've tried the Ristorante Vegetable, the Spinach and the Mozzarella. All good. Better than most available frozen pizzas. In fact, better than most delivery. Strangely, this German pizza is more similar to Italian pizza than American pizza is. Perhaps because the Germans have a long tradition of tourism to Italy and familiarity with real Italian food.

(In the photo, the mozzarella pizza I had today for lunch. On sale for $4.99, usually $5.99)