Saturday, 5 October 2013

Turku, the home of best pizza in... Helsinki?

The best burger in Helsinki has been discovered already, right? But what about pizza? In all honesty, I've yet to try the places seemingly competing for the #1 spot (Putte'sSkiffer and Linko) but Tzatziki Champion has rather a novel answer to this: according to her the best pizza in Helsinki comes from...Turku.

Now, Turku is a city located about 200 kilometres from Helsinki and is Helsinki's arch rival in... well, everything. In Helsinki Turku doesn't enjoy a particularly spectacular reputation, but I'd been hearing so many good things about Pizzarium I was once (at a minute's notice, mind you!) ready to travel to Turku for their pizzas alone. But Tzatziki Champion takes this even further: she has hers delivered to Helsinki. On a bus. Nope, I kid you not. 

Salla and Luca, the formidable forces behind Pizzarium are passionate about the quality of their product, so understandably they were hesitant at first. "There's no way it can taste as good as it does when it's fresh out of the oven!" I'm sure it can't, but good it is nonetheless.

Pizzarium doesn't make the kind of thin crust Italian pizzas that I'm a fan of, but they make the kind of Neapolitan-style pizzas with a higher crust. The thing they're famous for though is the Roman-style pizza al taglio - a rectangular pizza that is sold by the slice. This allows (and, as Salla and Luca hope, encourages) people to try new and different flavours. The key to the base is sourdough that's been resting for minimum of 48 hours. This results in wonderfully chewy base full of air bubbles. Apparently it also agrees with many people to whom the regular wheat base gives... well, gastroenterologic issues.

The quality of the ingredients is evident. Or what do you say about a four cheese variety? With truffles?

The absolute, hands down winner was the spicy Italian sausage though. It disappeared from the table as soon as it came out of the oven. One pizza after another.

Porcini pizza (both with and without sausage) on the other reminded me why this meaty mushroom full of such refined flavour is my ultimate favourite. A truly magnificent pizza.

For anchovy and olive pizza (the most traditional one, known as Pizza Romana) I would have liked a bit more... something.

The most novel creation was this one: pumpkin pure and bacon. The sweetness of roasted pumpkin together with the salty edge of the bacon was... exciting.

The hostess of the evening had made sure the pizzas did not run out (oh, no) and so each guest got some to take home with them. And the following morning couldn't have gotten to a better start. There was a bit of a fight for the last slices of that spicy sausage though...

There have been rumours of Pizzarium branching out to Helsinki too - this is one Turku thing I can't wait to see here!




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