Author Topic: Obscure Regional Pizza Styles: Montreal  (Read 1964 times)

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Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Obscure Regional Pizza Styles: Montreal
« on: March 14, 2011, 11:23:52 PM »
Quote
MONTREAL - The crust is puffy and golden around the edges, bubbled in spots, with a soft interior moistened by a layer of lightly seasoned tomato sauce. Atop that, a stack of paper-thin pepperoni slices, followed by a scattering of mushrooms and green pepper. And then the crowning glory: a blanket of stretchy melted cheese, lightly browned.

Thatís an old-school Montreal pizza

The rest: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Montreal+school+pizza/4423732/story.html

This local style, traditionally served up by mom-and-pop places here, has been on the endangered-species list for quite some time, but hopefully the author is accurate in spotting a trend towards a comeback.

The description in the article probably won't strike most folks here as anything special, but believe me, there is a special synergy in the way the ingredients go together (in the particular order mentioned in the article) that make these pies a soft and sumptuous treat when done right.

The dough for these pies is very well-kneaded and has between 3-5% oil, and on average they are baked at about 500 for about 8-12 minutes. They are thicker than the average round pie, but nowhere nearly as thick as a Sicilian (.12 TF is a good target here). The best exemplars will have some char along the rim, and leopard-spots on the bottom.

Cheese tends to be Saputo Mozzarelissima, which is the local equivalent of Grande.

The placement of the pepperoni underneath the cheese ensures that it cooks instead of bakes, giving it a succulent as opposed to crispy character. The large amount of pepperoni (enough to cover the entire surface) together with the fact that its juices stay trapped within the pie instead of dissipating into the atmosphere from the top, seasons the whole pizza in a uniquely delicious way.

Cornicones, as mentioned in the article, should be large and fluffy, and are really a type of bread in their own right, and not just the toppings-less outer edge of the crust.

They're even better with bacon and anchovies- which was the full, original meaning of "all dressed", although by now most places chrage extra for those two things.

They're best enjoyed after an evening of hard drinking with one's buddies, which is when the flavour really comes alive.

JLP
Scarsu d'ogghiu, e riccu di provolazzu ::)


Offline Ev

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Re: Obscure Regional Pizza Styles: Montreal
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 07:39:08 AM »
Yum! That sounds great! That was a good article too. Montreal water huh? ;)

Offline habsnutt

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Re: Obscure Regional Pizza Styles: Montreal
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 07:54:45 AM »
Great article.  I used to live in Montreal, but live in Toronto now   :(  We have to make our own pizza at home now, since there isn't a place in Toronto that can match the Montreal flavor.

If anyone has a recipe for the sauce they use on pizzas in Montreal, I'd be forever in your debt.

Thx in advance for any help.

Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: Obscure Regional Pizza Styles: Montreal
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 11:04:30 AM »
Great article.  I used to live in Montreal, but live in Toronto now   :(  We have to make our own pizza at home now, since there isn't a place in Toronto that can match the Montreal flavor.

If anyone has a recipe for the sauce they use on pizzas in Montreal, I'd be forever in your debt.

Thx in advance for any help.

I'm pretty sure most places used one or another of the standard canned sauces made for use by commerical pizzerias. Read through the sauce sub-forum here for more detail. You'll be able to find them at restaurant suppliers who sell to the general public on a cash-and-carry basis. I'm also pretty sure that most places don't cook it, but just spread it directly onto the pie from the can.

JLP 
Scarsu d'ogghiu, e riccu di provolazzu ::)

Offline habsnutt

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Re: Obscure Regional Pizza Styles: Montreal
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 03:44:01 PM »
Thx for your reply... even if it destroyed my image of Montreal Pizzerias, who I imagined all had a similar home made sauce recipe that they made luvingly in the wee morning hours.  Even the article you posted from the Gazette says that they all hand make their dough and sauces.  Oh well, one more myth dashed  :'(

I'll check the forum you suggested.  Maybe the good news is that I'll be able to buy a couple of cans the next time I'm in Montreal.

Thx again.

Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: Obscure Regional Pizza Styles: Montreal
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2011, 12:00:39 PM »
The Montreal style has finally gotten a notice over at Slice. Unfortunately, the notice isn't altogether positive:

Quote
A classic Montreal pizza is characterized by its excess of almost everything: too much sauce, cheese, and toppings; all haphazardly piled onto a thick, dense crust...Many Quebeckers profess a nostalgic affection for the doughy slices, but it's just bad pizza.

Read the rest here: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/07/dagostinos-old-school-montreal-pizza-at-its-best.html#comments

I think the author has either been getting some bad exemplars (which, sadly, isn't difficult to do these days) or just doesn't get it. The old-school Montreal pizza is certainly topped very generously and is supposed to be. But, far from being "excessive" or "haphazard", it is (or, at least, once was) defined by the proportion of its toppings and, above all, their order of placement, and in a fairly rigorous way.

JLP
Scarsu d'ogghiu, e riccu di provolazzu ::)