“翎”距离接触“美”国趣事 –芝加哥匹萨饼

“翎”距离接触“美”国趣事 –芝加哥匹萨饼

PIZZA!!!! Just the word Pizza brings happiness to most American’s faces. Pizza is a fun food and it is a party food. Pizza is one of America’s few communal foods – it is shared from a common pan. Otherwise, most Americans when they dine out, each order their own plate of food, but don’t share much. So pizza invites sharing and brings people together.

一提起匹萨饼,很多中国朋友第一印象就是中国的连锁饭店必胜客。不错,它的确和美国风味的匹萨饼迥然不同,而颇受欢迎的美国匹萨饼与传统的意大利匹萨饼更是大相径庭。然而,最著名的“芝加哥风味匹萨饼”(Chicago-style pizza)的特色就是深盘匹萨(Deep Dish Pizza)。对,就是那个既美味又热量高得吓人的“坏家伙”。不过什么美味都要尝试下,这辈子才活得很精彩!不过话说回来,匹萨饼馅料里的内容越丰富就越要细细品味,越品越有情调。情调不光是来自于厨师的精巧细工,用心体会,舌尖与美味的邂逅,盘里底蕴的诱惑,掷出那种脍炙人口的佳肴,那种感动,无休止,从此悄然升起…

 

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我不是诗人,但面对着混合了这么多营养丰富配料的美味大餐,怎能不抒发下我这个诗盲的想法?  说起来,所有在美国的“传统”美食都很难称得上有完全正宗和地道的美味。然而,美国风味的转变的确会让人回味无穷,因为它其中的原材料使整体都富有了生命。

 

芝加哥几大有名的深盘特色匹萨店包括 Connie’s Pizza, Gino’s East, Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, Aurelio’s Pizza, Pizza’s Uno等等都是游客的最佳首选。上等的匹萨饼一般需要用新鲜饼皮(fresh dough)、上等芝士(Tasty cheese)、顶级匹萨酱(great pizza sauce)和新鲜的馅料(perfect topping selections)完美搭配而成的。而以上那些比较出名的匹萨店自然也是因为上等的深盘匹萨的精致做工才受到大家的青睐。

我以前尝过国内必胜客里做出来的匹萨饼,国内就是有很多创意点子,匹萨饼的边缘是厚厚的,其实里面包有鲜虾或者烤肠。乍眼看上去,好像批萨饼周边镶嵌着一颗颗大珍珠,既别致又美观,当然,更是美味可口。这在美国匹萨店确实很难看到,但我认为前者味道跟美国匹萨店里的相比却是天壤之别,毕竟美国人的口味重嘛,喜欢多放料子!不管怎样,一个良好的匹萨取决于它的选材,纯正配料才是匹萨的灵魂,而这所谓的灵魂也就是富含蛋白质、钙质、多种维生素但卡路里较低的莫扎里拉(Mozzarella)芝士

在美国的传统习俗中,去饭店点餐都是自己吃自己的,很少像中国人那样每次聚餐都要一起分享桌上的美食。而在餐厅里点匹萨饼的话,每人的就餐方式也就打破了美国餐厅传统规矩。食用匹萨时,人们更喜欢和亲朋好友一起分享。因此,在美国,比萨盛宴也成为了绝大聚会中的标志性食物。

在正式场合下,注重饭桌礼节的话,你可以使用刀叉细细品味;不过平日随意进食的你,若是直接着手把绵绵长长的芝士美味比萨送入嘴中,也是别有一番滋味在其间。就像国内东北人吃拔丝地瓜一样,越拉痕越深,越长情越真。

The history of pizza in America is simple. Just one hundred years ago, it was an Italian food, mostly for the poorer Americans. It wasn’t easy to find it in a restaurant. The first pizza’s place most likely started in New York City due to its large population of Italians in the early 1900′s. Later Pizza’s spread to California. But Chicago pizzas wouldn’t start until WWII, during the 1940′s. Uno’s Pizza of Chicago was the first, or at least the first real pizza restaurant in Chicago.

 

There are “Chain” pizza’s such as Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s and Domino’s. Although they all offer excellent tasting pizza at good prices, they are still the “fast food” of pizza’s.

 

It takes 4 main ingredients to make a good pizza: Dough,Sauce, Cheese, and atmosphere.  Yes, thedecor of the building is very important to a good pizza dinner in Chicago. Modern tables, plain walls and bright lights don’t offer the correct atmosphere for a pizza. This is because a pizza is a social food. The atmosphere must make people relax and enjoy conversation. The pizza restaurant must have an interior that is interesting and comforting.

The most noticeable item about pizza’s is the cheese.They have to be “Cheesy”.  The cheese must be hot, melted and drip off the pizza like strings. The most common type of pizza cheese is Mozzarella. Originally, Mozzarella was made from Italian Buffalo milk. Mozzarella is a fresh cheese, it is not aged. Now it is made from cow’s milk throughout the world.  It is a white or slightly yellow cheese. It is can be eaten one day after it is made. This is due to its high moisture content.

If we look at a few of Chicago’s best pizza’s we can see that the building itself is important to the pizza dinner. Geno’s East, is famous in Chicago and the interior consists of all the walls, chairs, and tables being written on or carved on by the dining guests. Everyone gets to leave their name or remark when they dine there. There are very few restaurants where you can write on the walls and no one will stop you. At Uno’s you enter a hundred year old home converted to a restaurant where the tables are too small, the chairs are too close together, the rooms are small with low ceilings, yet you might have to wait an hour to get in for dinner. And the customers do wait for that interesting dining experience and their great pizza’s.

 

The decor makes eating pizza in Chicago a fun friendly experience. The Connie’s pizza that I visited was actually a new building but built to look like an old factory. Everything was designed to have a factory appearance. American’s love this type of decor. They don’t want to look at plain walls without decorations. Very old machinery was purchased and hung from the ceiling as decorations. Food cans and old books line the shelves. The brick work is beautiful. There are many eating spaces, that are not too small or too large. It gives the diners a comfortable feeling.  It reminds American’s about the time in the past when there were no computers and electronic devices, when life was slower and simpler.  This restaurant seats 400 diners.

 

当然,要想让自己的餐馆生意变得更红火,室内环境布置是最重要的。无论是从色彩搭配上,还是从有古典风格或有现代特色的装饰设计上来看,都能体现出餐厅打理人的生意头脑。快节奏音乐让人进食快,慢节奏音乐则让人进食慢,这都是众所皆知的。然而,要真正用环境设计拉拢客人,装置一些有历史纪念意义的物品还确实是个实在的点子。就在前段时间,我邀请了一些朋友专门到芝加哥有名的匹萨连锁餐厅Connie’s Pizza共进晚餐(我报道的这家餐厅就在芝加哥唐人街附近)。此家餐厅才有50年的历史,但餐厅主人专门把室内打扮得很有古典特色。当你走进餐厅时,可能第一感觉就是误入了一家工厂里的小食堂。环绕四周,再抬头仰视,上边工厂旧物铺天盖地,而下边却富丽堂皇,历史珍品满目琳琅。的确,很多老美就好这口。空间大,布满老照片的墙壁,罐头旧书统统都推挤在壁架上,这样才能显得很大气。

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Connie’s is celebrating their 50th anniversary in business. They are the busiest pizzeria in America. They offer a full menu of pizzas, salads and other foods including Italian pasta. They have 30 delivery trucks that deliver pizza and other foods to customer’s homes.

 

今年是Connie’s Pizza匹萨店成立50周年纪念,所以他们也开展了不少优惠活动。Connie’s匹萨店里不仅有匹萨,您还可以享受到其它的意大利美食呢!此家刚好坐落在香港市场的隔壁,呵呵,看来很多“香港人”也享着口福了!Connie’s共有30辆送餐车,他们的私家司机们可是随叫随到哦!

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Amanda Ponce, Director of Sales & Catering, is of Chinese descent.  She explained to me the entire process of making a famous Connie’s Pizza.

Amanda Ponce女士是这家芝士店的酒席服务(包括团餐)负责人及媒介理事主管,她也是生活在美国的华裔女强人哦!

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Many people shake Parmesan cheese on top of their pizza after the pizza is served. Parmesan cheese is a hard cheese that is aged 12 months before being ground into a powder. It is shaken on top of the pizza and adds a slightly bitter taste to it.  Parmesan cheese is also eaten by shaking it into a dish of virgin olive oil and then dipping freshly baked Italian bread into the mixture.

很多美国人都喜欢在新鲜出炉的匹萨饼上撒上多余的帕马森芝士干碎沫,起到画龙点睛的作用。在意大利菜系里,很多人也很喜欢把帕马森芝士干碎末和精炼橄榄油调和在一起,之后便用意式面包片蘸着吃。自从我照这种方法尝试后,每次去意大利餐厅就一直使用这种方法吃小零食呢,很香,很诱人!

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The dough at Connie’s Pizza is made 24 hours before it is ready to be made into pizzas. The dough is kneaded and then wrapped and placed into a temperature controlled room for 24 hours. The next day they can use this dough for their pizza’s.

 

Connie’s Pizza匹萨店的工作人员特意告诉我说:他们家的匹萨饼之所以这么好吃,就是因为他们家匹萨饼的底层面包是“现做现卖”的,并不是为了节省而使用剩下的隔夜面团。同时,又为了让自己家的匹萨面饼吃起来松软有弹性,Connie’s厨师们在发酵时间、温度以及用料上下的功夫也很大。一般情况下,他们都会在每天早上把生面团包装好存入仓库里进行24个小时的发酵,第二天则用发酵好的面团做新鲜可口的匹萨面饼。

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On top is good dough. The dough needs to be spread onto the pan about an hour before it is used. This gives it a chance to rise more.The dough on the bottom didn’t rise properly and it will not be used for afamous Connie’s pizza.

 

如图中所示:上边的生面饼在盘中铺好后还要让它在室温中发酵1个小时;而下边的却没有达到想要的发酵效果。工作人员说,下面这个面团尽管有多美观,也花费了不少时间和精力,但没有完全发酵好的它,最终的归宿也只能被抛弃在垃圾桶里。

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Here they are making pizza’s per each person’s order.There are dozens of different toppings that can be added.

 

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Here is a “Deep Dish” pizza. The crust is put  into a shallow pan similar to a pie. Sauce and toppings are added and then cheese. These pizza’s are thick. After they are cooked, more sauce is added to the top and then some cheese is sprinkled on top. Generally this needs to eaten with a knife and fork due to the thickness of it.

下图是深盘匹萨饼的基本制作过程:第一图已经是一盘刚出炉的封闭式匹萨,所谓的封闭式,就是面饼上铺好芝士酱和各种馅料,最顶层是完全融化的黄芝士。整个馅料都被黄芝士包括在里面,所以看起来很封闭。第二图中,在刚出炉的“封闭式匹萨饼”芝士上再铺上一层厚厚的匹萨番茄酱。第三图中,也就是回炉前的最后一步:撒上厚厚的一层帕马森芝士干碎末。这也就是芝加哥鼎鼎有名的深盘匹萨基本的制作方法了!

 

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在Connie’s 比萨店的馅料选择有很多。蔬菜类(Veggies)包括: 墨西哥青辣椒Jalapeno Peppers, 蘑菇mushrooms, 西葫芦瓜片zucchini, 西兰花broccoli, 洋蓟artichokes, 醋腌制混合蔬菜giardiniera, 烤红辣椒roasted red pepper, 菠菜spinach, 彩椒bell peppers 等等;肉类(Meats)包括: 培根腊肉Bacon, 意大利烤制猪肩肉Capicolla, 美国烧烤酱风味鸡肉BBQ  Chicken, 火腿肉Ham, 意大利圆片香肠Pepperoni, 肉丸Meatballs, 意大利牛肉片Italian beef, 辣味烤肠Spicy sausage, 意大利风味烤肠sausage, 意大利萨拉米香肠Salami, 火鸡碎肉Ground Turkey等等。其它各种配料包括:凤尾鱼Anchovies,切达芝士Cheddar Cheese, 蒜蓉Crushed garlic, 菠萝pineapple, 硬质波萝伏洛干酪provolone cheese等等。

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我们几个人一共点了四种不同的匹萨 Our pizzas consisted of four types:

 

1] A small single person thin crust sausage pizza on the right on the white dish.

(置右边白盘里的匹萨是一盘单人份量的意大利风味烤肠的匹萨饼)

 

2] The large square pizza is a Margherita pizza. It has Ricotta cheese, sliced tomatoes, Basil, Mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce.

(左边玛加列比萨,影射了意大利国旗。上面撒有乳清芝士,蕃茄片,罗勒调味片,比萨酱,还有最重要的莫扎里拉芝士。)

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3] The pizza with the strips of dough across the top is a Fry Pan pizza. It is Garlic Butter on the top and the ingredients are; Italian beef, Giardiniera, Jalapenos, Carrots, Cauliflower, Roasted Red Pepper and Olive Oil.  Giardiniera means”pickled food”.

(远处上角的那个十字交叉形状的匹萨是煎锅匹萨饼。馅料包括:蒜味黄油、意大利牛肉片、墨西哥青辣椒、椰菜、烤红辣椒、橄榄油、胡萝卜、醋腌制混合蔬菜等等。)

 

4] The round pizza on the far right is a BBQ Chicken with BBQ sauce, Onion, Cheddar Cheese (yellow), Mozzarella Cheese and Chicken meat.

(置最右边上方的那盘黄黄的匹萨是美国烧烤酱味鸡肉匹萨。馅料包括:美国烧烤酱、鸡肉块、洋葱、切达芝士、莫扎里拉芝士等。)

 

Here are their deserts that feed the whole table.  A Pizza Sundae, with Brownies, Vanilla ice cream, candied pecans, bananas, strawberries, powder sugar, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup.  It is put into pizza dough deep fried. The other desert is a Brownie Sundae, with Brownies, Vanillaice cream, whipped cream, powder sugar, and chocolate syrup.

为了答谢我们,又加上当时是Connie’s 匹萨店的50年纪念,主餐完毕后店主还送给我们两盘甜品大餐:一个是匹萨圣代,另外一个是巧克力方糕圣代。匹萨圣代对于普通中国人来说,口味真的是太甜了,估计吃完之后你得喝上一大杯水综合下,呵呵!它是由一个偌大油炸酥脆面皮里面装着以香草冰淇淋、糖炒核桃粹、香蕉、草莓、糖粉、泡沫奶油、巧克力酱和巧克力方糕混合而成的“摩登”甜品系列。而这个巧克力方糕圣代跟匹萨圣代很相似,只不过是少了一些水果配料罢了。主要就是在巧克力方饼上铺上一大层的香草冰欺凌和巧克力酱。

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除各种匹萨饼之外,Connie’s Pizza店还有很多各式各样的意大利特色菜系,比如说一些意式焗面、意式海鲜面以及意式鸡肉面等等。

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Ranch Dressing and pizza sauce for dipping pizza bread into.

牧场沙拉酱在美国是最受欢迎的酱料了,所以在意大利菜系餐桌上,这个是必不可少的抢手配料。有很多人也喜欢用面包条配合意大利特色番茄酱来享用餐前小点。

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Drivers for Connie’s Pizza。Connie’s pizza 匹萨店的外卖司机们。

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If you are living in Chicago’s Chinatown, then you know all about the great Connie’s pizza, but if you are visiting from China, you will want to stop in and have the best pizzas in Chicago: Connie’s Pizza.

 

2373 South Archer Ave., Chicago, Il

 

conniespizza.com

 

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