4.063 Italian Cheese Pizza


9 (Sat) March 2013

Italian Cheese Pizza


at home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with the Family

Similar in concept to Pizza School, Pizza Maru is a new budget pizza chain.  At the cheapest, the Italian Cheese Pizza or Vegetable Pizza on a basic crust starts at 6,000 won for a “large” (about 20-cm, more like a medium by Korean standards, a small by American standards).  The weirder the toppings, the weirder the crusts, the pricier they get.  Currently, the most expensive item is the Jumbo Roast Rip [sic] Steak Pizza on a basic crust at 19,900 won for a “XXXL (18 inch).”  No, they don’t offer XL or XXL or M or S.  The main drawback to the operation is that, under normal circumstances, presumably to keep costs down, like Pizza School, Pizza Maru doesn’t provide delivery service, but a sign in the window notes that they will deliver on “group” orders (whatever that means).

I was quite happy with what I got.  Granted, the cheese was typical rubbery crap, even if it is supposedly “100% natural.”  And the sauce was sweet ketchup.  But the basic crust made the difference.  It’s referred to on the menu as “screen” and described on the box as both “Original Italian Style Black Thin Dough” and “Greentea Wellbeing Dough” and claimed on the website as containing “organic green tea and chlorella and 12 kinds of cereal like rye, black rice, sorghum and wheat,” giving it a greenish tinge, chewy texture, and nutty flavor – certainly far from authentic but surprisingly pretty good in its own way.  I’m usually quite cynical regarding ill-advised attempts to mess with fundamentals, but I’ll accept this one.

On the other hand, the pizza came with corn, which I’m still not ready to concede as a suitable topping.  The following is an excerpt of the dialogue between me and the guy taking my order:

Me: Does the Italian Cheese Pizza come with corn?
Him: Yes, of course.
Me: Hold the corn.
Him: You don’t like corn?
Me: I like corn just fine but not on my pizza.
Him: Are you a foreigner?
Me: Why do you ask?
Him: We’ve had other foreigners come in here who also didn’t want corn on their pizzas.
Me: Okay, then I’m a foreigner.
Him: Why don’t foreigners want corn on their pizzas?
Me: Because corn doesn’t belong on pizza, especially not on something called “Italian Cheese Pizza.”
Him: But corn is so delicious.
Me: Then why don’t you put corn in your doenjang jjigae?
Him: That would be weird.
Me: Exactly.

(For more details about the food, see WHAT)

(For more details about the venue, see WHERE IN KOREA)

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