Food File: The weekly food news round-up
Pizza gadgets, books, implements and products
Splash out on a wood fired pizza oven
If you’re serious about making really good pizza, and you’ve got the funds, the Jamie Oliver range of wood fired ovens is worth exploring.
There are two options, a compact dome60 oven which comes ready to cook in, or a deluxe Valoriani oven which comes in a choice of shapes and finishes, and can be customised.
They’re quite an investment – the dome60 costs £1,300/€1,575, while the kit for the Valoriani oven (left), which you then build yourself, is £1,845/€2,240. A full spec oven can either be constructed in your garden, or built indoors in your kitche, like the one on the left. The kit costs excludes the oven housing, labour and materials.
Kate Sergent, marketing manager at Wood Fired Ovens by Jamie Oliver, says the company can ship to Ireland, “We’ve had quite a number of enquiries from Ireland and have sold a number of residential ovens.”
The dome60 is “perfect for someone who wants a complete oven delivered, while the kit oven is perfect for someone who’d like a DIY project as you build your own base and house,” she says. And of course they can be used for much more than just pizza.
Starter kit at a bargain price
Sweeney O’Rourke, the kitchen equipment shop on Pearse Street in Dublin 2, is waiving the VAT on these World of Flavours pizza stone and cutter sets for Irish Times readers, which makes them good value at €19.90. The stone comes with well designed handles to make it easier to get you pizza into and out of the oven. The offer applies while stocks last. Mention The Irish Times at time of purchase.
Books for pizza makers
If you’d like to build a pizza oven in your garden, without spending a fortune, there’s an illustrated step-by-step guide in Pizza Pilgrims: Recipes from the Backstreets of Italy (HarperCollins, £20). Another book that comes highly recommended is Pizza Defined (EstragonPress, €20 from guides.ie) by Bernadette O’Shea, who is opening a restaurant called Luna in Dromahair, Co Leitrim after Easter. “New Irish food”, is how she describes the concept, and yes, there will be pizza.
PizzaExpress has branched out into merchandising, so in addition to picking up the chain’s chilled pizza range at Tesco, you can buy its attractively branded pizza making equipment at Arnotts in Dublin 1. The range includes pizza stones, cutters, and this very professional looking peel – originally designed for loading your pizza into the oven with a confident flisk of the wrist – but more likely to be used for serving your cooked pizza (€25.99).
Pizza, the easy way
You can pick up this ready to pull – purists never roll – pizza dough at M&S. Each tub contains enough dough to make one 10-inch pizza. You’ll find them in chill cabinets, €2.19. There are also peshwari and roasted onion and cheese naan doughs in the range.
Rock on gadgets
This kitchen gadget (above) was a new one on me – it’s called a dough rocker and its purpose is to prevent air bubbles forming , so you don’t get those big bubbles forming in the base of you pizza when it hits the hot oven. It is available online from kitchencookware.ie (€9.99), where you’ll also find this nifty Joseph Joseph ‘Scoot’ pizza cutter (€14.50).
Castillo de Cañena in the Jaen region of Andalucia makes excellent olive oils, and this smoked olive oil would be the perefect finishing touch for more robust pizzas – those with roast vegetable for instance. It’s from Fallon & Byrne and a 250ml bottle costs €12.95.