Noted pizzaiolo Dick Cami shares the following pizza tale, exclusively for The Pizza Therapy Pizza Blog:
Hiya Albert...here's a story that happened to me when there were only about four or five pizzeria's in the Bronx...that's going way back:
We opened the Daiquiri Palace about twenty two years ago in Palma, Majorca and my partner's son Gil Davis runs it now as a seasonal business, besides daiquiri’s we serve fresh made pizza’s on the beach. I'm a transplanted New Yorker that moved to Miami in '59 and I've been in the nightclub and restaurant business all my life, I now live Portland, Oregon
My grandfather was a chef who came over from Faenza, Italy to work at the Ritz Hotel in New York City in the early 1900’s and when he retired he still kept his hand in the business by making sauces for local restaurants in the upper Bronx and he also made a lot of specialties for Mercurio's market in Mount Vernon, an Italian specialty store. As a little boy I remember going with him every weekend when he made all their sausages, salami's and other varieties of cold cuts plus dessert items like Zuppa Inglesia.
One of my jobs was to prick holes in all the sausages he had just made with a brush that had a thousand tiny little needles in it. Another job he gave me was to grate the Parmiggiano cheese. I remember him saying, "Dickie make sure I’ma hear you whistle...OK?"
"What for Grandpa?"
"So I maka sure you no eatta the cheese."
He was no dummy.
I don’t know who invented the first four-cheese pizza but I’ll never forget
The first time he made me one. In these restaurants he always made me a pizza for lunch…I always looked forward to it but on this one particular day as I sat in the booth waiting for my pizza to arrive he finally came and slid an all white pizza in front of me. I was shocked because I thought he was playing a joke on me…I didn’t see any sauce so I asked him,
“Hey grandpa…what happened you forgot the sauce?”
He gave me a slow burn look and said, “Mangia e sta zito.” Which translate to, “eat and shut up.”
I honestly can't tell you what was in that cheese pizza he made...I just remember it was fabulous. As far as an Alfredo sauce...I'm not much in favor of putting a lot of liquid on a pizza...I'm from the old school of picking up the slice, bending it over and eating it from there.
Now that's some pizza story Dick!
Thanks for sharing,
The Pizza Promoter
Here is some charming pizza you may want to discover. 14 K White Gold!