I hate people who are not serious about their meals. -- Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pizza Vomito Santa Marta

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: All the slices of pizza here are bigger than my head. Is that a good thing?

I avoid eating pizza when I travel South bluntly put, it does not look appealing at all. Even the ones that claim that they have wood fired ovens, the pizza comes out looking like undercooked frozen pizza or you attempted to reheat a pie with a blowtorch. However, I could not help but notice that in Santa Marta, there was a lot of pizza being made…on the street. These carts had gas pizza ovens and the proprietors were actually rolling out fresh dough and making pizzas. 

Curiosity may of killed the cat, but it just makes me hungry (not for cat) and I finally rolled up to one to see the pizzas they were making literally in an open kitchen. They are sold by the slice and reheated as such so I started off simple with a ham and cheese topped slice. First thing to notice is that crust does not exist. The toppings go all the way to the edge. Those that do not like crust, come to Colombia. The next I noticed is it is a pretty pale pizza. As an advocate of pizza char, I was a bit apprehensive about how this will taste. Queue flashbacks to frozen pizzas in College.

However, I was surprised that the pizza was actually pretty good. The crust…well the dough element I guess I will call it was actually a bit crispy and spying a bag of cornmeal on the side I think helped. The tomato sauce was clearly canned or some sort so it was on the sweet side but the saltiness of the ham and cheese worked well with it and also, they were easy on the tomato sauce which ensured an edible product.

I was feeling good, then I encountered a pizza guy setting up on the side street in from of a flower shop with a sign in proud, dripping letters, “Pizza Vomitto 6ta”. This obviously caught my eye and weirdly hungry. I of course, had to try this Pizza Vomitto. Having already experienced the culinary creation of the Colombian hotdog, heavy on the toppings was no surprise to me but the stuff they put on it, left me laughing. It starts off with the tomatoes sauce base, then the cheese like any normal pizza. Next comes an array of meats, sausage, ham, pepperoni, and shredded chicken.

Then the vegetable, of chopped red onions, peppers and corn and that gets all thrown into the oven. When it comes out, they are not done yet, with the addition of parmesan cheese, a squirt of Caesar dressing, mayonnaise (mayonnaise is a popular topping I noticed) and finally, a blanket of potato sticks.  I have no clue how this creation first came out, but I can assume the Vomitto name is very, very figurative rather than in the taste and look. In broken Spanish and cursing 9th grade me for not paying attention in Spanish III better, I asked from what I could understand, it was created for late night clubbers which makes sense. 

The taste? It was actually good. You could actually taste all the ingredients and they all worked together somehow. The potato stick topping on the pie is great, adding a lot of crunch to it. It sort of reminds me of back in school, and what I will occasionally do, sticking potato chips into my sandwich. The pizza in Colombia surprises me ad being interesting and not bad. It is obvious that we cannot compare this to the pies in New York or even a Neapolitan pie but it is a pizza in its own right and it tasted better than some of the pizza I have eaten in the US. The pizza here is more closely related to a heavily topped flatbread and they are quite stringent on getting an even layer of toppings that encompasses the whole pie canvas ensuring a perfect bite each time. So do not be turned off by the pizza in Santa Marta and give it a try, the Pizza Vomitto is worth a try and if you actually finish the whole thing, I applaud you, for I ate ¾ of that thing and it sat in me like a rock. 

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