Marco Polo Taiwanese Pizza


Pizza…..did you say Pizza? I don’t know many people whose head isnt on a swivel when you hear those magical words. Just saying the word brings up dreamy utopian thoughts of Oompa Loompa’s dancing and singing, “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, its Amore!” It’s simply “SALIVATION SALVATION!” There are so many fucking different types of Pizza in the world, it truly is like our universe, or my x wives mouth, never ending. The debate on what style of pizza is best is also endlessly debatable. However, a fact most people dont realize is Pizza didn’t originate in Italy. Ok Sloate, well where in the fuck did it? Well, grasshopper……. It originated in China. Yes, that’s right the country who gave you Bruce Lee and Panda bears also created the number one delivery food on the planet. Shit!! Dominoes, Pizza Hut, Round Table and Papa Johns should at least have a Kung Pao Chicken Pizza to respect the history. Don’t you think? But wait, you wont see it listed on your Chinese restaurants menu or at your local Dim Sum restaurant. WTF, this is Taiwan’s Best Pizza.

Last year traveling through Taiwan, Taipei to be exact, an island off the mainland of China. I was on a food tour when I was introduced to what is considered to be the Genesis of Pizza. The story goes that during the 13th century when Marco Polo, the world traveling Venetian, traveled through China and was introduced to this layered bread. He loved it so much when he returned to Italy the first thing he did was to try and recreate the bread using local ingredients: tomatoes, mozzarella and prosciutto. Mama Mia!!!! Now look at Pizza today, its an international star and you would be hard pressed to find a country who doesn’t have a form of it.

The bread I tried in Taiwan, known as Cong You Bing or Scallion Pancake, was crusty on the outside with soft multiple moist layers on the inside. A combination of scallions, cheese, salt and sesame seeds. It really doesn’t sound incredibly complex, but I’m told the technique to create it takes years to master. All I can say was the shit was good. There is nothing like scallions and cheese mixed in soft doughy moist layers all encapsulated in a crusty case. It just screams for dipping sauces! Duuuude….pass me the bong and hand me some ranch!

In the video you can see the booth at a local market. The line was around the corner and this Pancake/Pizza is all they serve. (And you know how much I love myopic focus when it comes to restaurants.) After my first piece, I went in for seconds and then started trying to figure out how to get an entire wheel into my carry on luggage. Hmmm…

So, next time you’re enjoying a slice, a pie or a piece – slap your nearest Chinese friend on the ass and say, thank you! Then run screaming Marco……. Polo…….. as they chase your ass down the street.

If you like stories on food check out another story I wrote about Thai Styled Salted Fish

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