A Calgary writer/eater talking with her mouth full

Wood-fired Pizza at the Italian Supermarket

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I'll let you in on a little secret: if you're in Calgary, the Italian Supermarket on the corner of 20th Ave and Edmonton Trail NE has a woodburning pizza oven that they fire up on Saturday afternoons only. You can thank me later. With a pizza. We picked one up just before 2 - and just before they ran out of dough. Of course being an Italian Supermarket there are all kinds of real Italian toppings; we got as much as the dough would structurally tolerate: capicola, salami, prosciutto, artichokes, peppers, olives, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. (Next time I'm going for the one topped with tomato bruschetta, fresh basil, mozzarella and bocconcini, but the boys wanted meat. This would be like the Italian Supermarket's version of a Meat Lover's, with some veg to act as ballast.) The dough is thin and crispy-edged but bendy, so that you can fold it up around the innards and eat it like the very best pizza pocket ever. This was the perfect balance of meats, creamy cheese, and salty, briny bits of olive and artichoke; Mike could not stop groaning over it, and claims he could have eaten the entire thing himself. I think maybe he loved it more than me.

You can sit in the sunny little corner of the supermarket and eat your pizza there, or order it, shop, and by the time you're paying for your stuff (espresso, chunky olive bruschetta, Italian chocolate-hazelnut cookies, still-warm crusty bread, dropped into a basket by the cash register by someone's silver-haired nonna, fresh black pepper fettuccine and green pea ravioli made by the owner - Emilio-'s wife, Lina) it's being slid out of the oven and into a box for you to take home. They're pretty huge, but will set you back only $13.99-$14.99.

(And another reason I like milling about this place, waiting for my pizza: I always find cool things like raw olives, chokecherry concentrate and teeny bottles of Italian sodas in interesting flavours that make me feel like maybe I'm not in Calgary after all, that I might maybe be in a little shop somewhere in Italy. So long as I don't look out the window and notice the snow flying by.)

The Italian Supermarket is at 265 20th Avenue N.E.; visit www.italiansupermarket.com.

more in Food     |     posted Oct 4th, 2009 at 8:55am     

Comments: 1

Agent666 wrote:

Brio is AWESOME with pizza...

Nice that they're keeping the brick oven tradition alive in Calgary. You can find lots of plans for backyard versions, online--here's one:

on Oct 7th, 2009 at 12:23am Report Abuse

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