When I was younger, the closest I ever came to eating French food was microwavable french bread pizza. Tricky accented characters and silent letters deterred me from trying one of the most delicious cuisines in the world. Fortunately, I spent most of those meals eating pizza – THE most delicious cuisine in the world. But, as I’ve aged and my taste and foreign vocabulary have matured, I’ve discovered YOU CAN HAVE BOTH! Considering every October (National Pizza Month) I eat 31 straight days of pizza, putting a French twist once in awhile on a traditional Italian dish is c’est magnifique.
French influenced pizza actually makes sense. The country of France shares a 300 mile border with Italy to the South. For centuries, French people have cooked flatbread with toppings in an oven with open flames called tarte flambée for their families. Not surprisingly, after the pizza craze of the 1960’s, tarte flambee-erias began opening up. Here in New York City, places named Marché Du Sud after the French Southern border and La Tarte Flambée after the entree itself, feature the best of French cuisine served in the shape of a pizza. The mozzarella may be swapped with brie or Gruyère, the crust might have a more flaky pastry-esque consistency, and the tough to pronounce Italian meats may be replaced with tougher to pronounce French meats but the result is the same – a good meal delivered to your door. I recommend getting one traditional pie and one creative pie with a quintessential French topping such as duck confit, foie gras, and/or crème fraîche.
To a more distant degree there is a domestic area of the United States that has strong ties to French culture. The state of Louisiana is named after King Louis XIV of France, is broken up into parishes (French word for counties), and also became home to the French descendants of Acadia, Canada known as Cajuns. Cajun and French Creole contributions have put Louisiana’s unique cuisine on the map. By the way, on the map, the state of Louisiana is shaped like a boot – just like Italy! Two Boots, the New York City pizzeria named after the geographic shaped food centers features Italian pies with a unique Louisiana touch. if your stomach can handle spice, I strongly urge you to get the Cajun influenced toppings. My favorite is the Bayou Beast – a Two Boots signature pie with Andouille sausage, spiced shrimp, crawfish, jalapeños, and mozzarella cheese.
French influenced pizza might just be the best thing they’ve given us since the Statue of Liberty. On a personal note, I will be in Paris, France for the first time in my life in early June. If you have any recommendations for food or fun (aside from the obvious) please comment below! Merci, in advance.
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