I knew just what I needed. A pizza. From one of the top pizzarias in Campania, if not Italy. A pizza prepared by the team at Pepe in Grani - located in Caiazzo in the Caserta province. About an hour drive. I grabbed my jacket, car keys, and cellphone as I headed out the door.
Franco? ( Pepe - owner and pizzamaker ) Ciao, It's Karen. Are you in Caiazzo? I'm on my way....
On my way ...that familiar drive to Caiazzo. One in which during the last 15 minutes or so I make an attempt to decide which pizza I would like to order from Franco Pepe's menu. One that would be my choice to get me out of that Thursday funk that I had somehow gotten myself into.
I made my choice, or choices...but that didn't matter. Because on that particular evening, Franco Pepe turned my blah blah Thursday into a joyvedi to remember. How???
A chance to try one of his newest fried pizzas. One that I had tried a few weeks earlier...straight from the oven, Just for me....Sensazioni di Costeria - Sensations from the coast. A fried pizza with granulated garlic, red pepper flakes, anchovy cream. tomatoes, anchovies from Cetara, Italian parsley and lemon peel.
Then? Then, a pizza made up al momento...on the spot. Using ingredients that had arrived in pizzeria just a couple of hours earlier. Ingredients like mushrooms from Matese ( a nearby town)as well as fresh cheese similar to fior di latte. A touch of origano...And Pepe also had some confit tomatoes form Puglia and thought...'Let's make a pizza...' OMG!
Franco knows me well. He then asked, Karen, what pizza would you like????...One that would pick you up? ?
I thought back...thought back hard. Back on all the Franco Pepe pizzas that I had tried over the five or so years that have known Pepe.
Franco - The Nero Casertano...A margherita pizza made using the famous black pig from the Caserta province...
That is, was, and always will be one of my favorites....