You guessed it right! I’m not going to be exposing the obvious pizza-ish “Mankoushe”. But I am going to talk about a dish that we are all familiar with and most of us love: the Chicken Alfredo Pizza!
Keep in mind that Lebanese are the biggest target-oriented food translators. I’m going to rely on your memory to remember why. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you most probably didn’t read my previous article and to be honest, I don’t know what you’re still waiting for!
Wrong name, found fame
First, let’s take the name as an appetizer.
Alfredo: Sorry to be the one that breaks it to you, but this famous Italian sauce (also found in Fettucine Alfredo) doesn’t even exist in Italy! Mind blowing, no? I mean you can still find a handsome Alfredo just not a tasty one…
Chicken: I don’t know about you, but I can have chicken with any plate ever! Thank God I’m not Italian because, they would never consider adding chicken to a pizza topping for it is not considered as a flavor adding ingredient but a main one!
As for the main course, the ingredients:
Let’s start with the base, which in this case is the dough. Lebanese, especially moms, love adding milk to anything and everything. Because If they can’t make us drink it, they’re going to milk it! – pun intended. Therefore, unlike Italians we add milk to our fluffy dough.
And how can you ruin the pizza experience for an Italian more? Use the very non-Italian shredded mozzarella. I can still remember the face of my Italian friend when she saw the bag of shredded mozzarella cheese in the supermarket, and I quote her “My nonna must be rolling in her grave right now!”.
After all, we got some ingredients right, such as the “te’leye” (i.e. fried garlic and onions), fresh mushrooms, spinach and heavy cream. But our loyalty to the original dish gets lost once again in our spices; from all shades of white pepper to the black ones and of course our famous sabaa bharat (i.e 7 spices).
And finally, the cherry on top, our abusive use of ketchup! Take it from me and don’t EVER add ketchup to your pizza in front of an Italian! The shame!
Now that you know what Lebanese translators have been cooking for us… which pizza do you prefer? The Italian pizza or the sliiightly less Italian one?