A Slice Of Pizza


My mum was suspicious of foreign food and - as she did the cooking - it was rare we ate curries or pastas or rice (I can recall her nose wrinkling up as she dished out curries - "foreign muck".) We had our own shop and I remember new foods coming out - Curly Wurlys, quiches, one-calorie sweeteners, Fry Bentos All Day Breakfast (in a tin), pesto, coloured pasta, French onion soup and some weird stuff called couscous . There were some new things called Pot Noodle and Cup-A-Soup. Some round things about eight inches wide called pizzas appeared - apparently popular in Italy. They were available in cafes but now you could cook your own at home (also milkshakes - a powder called Two Shakes so you could actually have milkshakes at home!


The pizzas were tasteless and took some chewing - dough too deep and topping too tasteless. Perhaps those early flavourless efforts turned me away from pizzas as I eat about three per year these days. There're a couple in the freezer if I have to have the urge have one. I thought I'd paint one and here it is.


Where do you start? I didn't want to bother painting a plate so did a slice of pizza in a cardboard box.  For inspiration I put am empty pizza box on the side of my desk but hardly glanced at it. I painted in the generally shape of a triangle of pizza and smeared some...er....cheese and tomato over it (yellow and red paint), a few onions and spices. It wasn't going well so I put on Maria Callas and Chris Rea to nudge me along. It worked and the mush of paint oddly started to take on the appearance of melted ingredients. My mouth didn't start watering but I could tell it was supposed to be a slice of pizza.


Light is always coming from somewhere isn't it so I brightened up the left part of the slice and added a smear of shadow on the right. It would have been predictable to fill the bottom left with a pizza cutter so I didn't bother. At night it was nearly finished and in the morning in the natural light I decided it was finished and any extra would be over painting. It's only a bit of pizza after all - not a gondola  on the Grand Canal with a hallowed sunset behind it.


I hardly took any photos but here're a few. Looking back I wish I had maintained the cheese and tomato look. I added too many toppings and the painting lost something. It doesn't matter though as it'll be going in the attic and never seen again.


Pizza bullet points:-


1. The word “Pizza” was first documented around 997 AD in Gaeta, Italy. After that the name started to spread to different parts of central and southern Italy.


2. The Outer Edge Is Called the Cornicione. Most children under eight don’t eat it.


3. In World War II Allied troops who occupied Italy ate pizza to supplement their dwindling rations and want them upon returning home.


4. The Japanese put mayonnaise on their pizza and in India the most preferred topping is tofu.


5. Anchovies are the least favourite pizza topping.


6. Kim Jong-il liked pizza and the first North Korean pizzeria opened in 2009.


7. The average American consumes 46 pizza slices per year.


8. On average a slice of pizza contains 220 - 370 kilocalories