Monday, May 9, 2016

A Pick-Me-Up Pizza...or Two or Three -Pepe in Grani, Caiazzo (Ce)

I remember it well. It was an early Thursday evening.  Thursday for me is usually a happy day.  One I have affectionately nicknamed joyvedi - a cross between joy and giovedi, Thursday in Italian. But for some reason, that particular joyvedi wasn't so .... well, joyful.
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....
Grazie, Franco!

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