Marcellina’s Turns 50

Fresh pizza toppings
Spread ready to go!

date of visit: Tuesday 30 May 2017
disclaimer: I was invited to the dinner

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART: On Monday 5 June, to celebrate 50 years of pizza in SA, Marcellina’s in Hindley Street (and note, the Hindley Street store only), from 11am – 4pm, will be selling the original Marcellina special (9″) for just … EIGHTY CENTS. Limit of two pizzas per person.

I grew up in Pizza Hut’s heyday. In fact, before Pizza Hut even did the all-you-can-eat thing. And even then, my parents would talk about Marcellina’s and how it was a revelation when it opened on Hindley Street. I was amazed that there was a time when there was so little Italian food in Adelaide, let alone that that time was within living memory.

So finding out that this year Marcellina’s celebrates 50 years as a proud South Australian business kind of made me feel … old.

The recent gelid weather is perfect red wine and pizza weather, so on Tuesday night, I collected a friend and we headed to Hindley Street to help the Marcellina’s team celebrate. We had no idea what to expect and when we arrived we were a little concerned to see the shop looking quiet and empty. Of course, the great thing about a pizza shop is that there is always pizza.

Marcellina’s original store on Hindley Street is also home to a large function room (Bebe’s Room) at the back of the store … and there, across the length of the room, the most beautiful table had been set up.

A quick introduction revealed that guests would be making their own pizzas from the amazing spread in front of us! The original idea had included us rolling out our own dough and while that had been shelved as being impractical (thank goodness!) balls of fresh dough were included in platters across the table, just so we didn’t forget why we were there.

There was also plenty of food for immediate grazing, along with the all-important red wine, but we didn’t have to wait long before a pizza base (in an individually numbered box) arrived and we could load it up as we wished. The Marcellina pizza ovens are capable of turning out a pizza in just SIX minutes so any delay in eating was solely on our own heads.

pizza
The finished product!

Obviously I enjoyed my pizza (although I do rather wish I’d added the char-grilled capsicum to it) and, because I managed to eat just over half of it, it meant I had a rather tasty afternoon tea the following day!

I don’t normally do this but I’d like to commend Sassafras PR and Marcellina’s on what was easily one of the best events I’ve attended. It was well planned and interactive, with a brief, but informative, introduction. The area in which we were hosted was well lit and beautifully set up (important for photos and social media!). Crucially, for a Tuesday night, it ran to time. OK – super-speedy pizza ovens and getting your guests to build-their-own undoubtedly helps in that respect – but for anyone who has to get up the next day (whether that’s for work or for loud children – or a combination of both) this is crucial.

Even if you’re not able to take advantage of the 80c pizza special, I’d recommend taking the time to make a pizza pilgrimage to Marcellina’s on Hindley Street. A slice of South Australia’s culinary and restaurant-trade history.

Marcellina
273 Hindley Street
Adelaide SA 5000
8211 7560

Gelatissimo x Trolls

gelati
Poppy’s Frosting & Branch’s Cupcake

disclaimer: I was a guest at the gelato masterclass

A couple of weeks ago I was invited up to Gelatissimo at Norwood to a gelato masterclass which also celebrated the launch of two limited edition Trolls flavours.

For some reason, I’ve always been under the impression that gelato is non-dairy based (unlike ice cream). However,  I have been wrong. Sorbet is water-based, gelato is milk and cream-based and ice cream may be milk and cream-based or it may be custard-based (in which case it also contains eggs). At Gelatissimo, the range also includes sorbets – so if you don’t eat dairy, you can still enjoy an icy treat.

We started with a quick run down of the theory of making gelato, before being shown the ropes. The Gelatissimo stores all make their product on-site and in the Norwood store, the action takes place behind a wide window, so you can get an idea yourself.

Gelato is made by mixing the milk, cream and sugar at temperature (in order to dissolve the sugar) before cooling and adding flavourings.  It is then churned at near freezing temperatures in order to both set the gelato and ensure there are no crystals.

gelato machine
Where the magic happens

While gelato is hardly health food, Gelatissimo does keep one eye on nutrition and there’s an emphasis on using natural products. Despite its very scary purple appearance, the Trolls-inspired Branch’s Cupcake gelato is actually coloured with beetroot! Quite a few of the standard flavours use Stevia in lieu of extra sugar and where possible, natural flavourings and colourings are used. The great thing is that the staff in the Norwood store (at least) were across all of this, so you can quiz staff about their product and they will actually know.

We sampled the two new flavours – Branch’s Cupcake and Poppy’s Frosting. I was really scared by the purple of Branch’s Cupcake (purple and blue are two colours foods are just not meant to be!) but I really enjoyed it. Not sure I can nail a flavour description for you – Gelatissimo describes it as ‘cupcake’ so I guess that kind of vanilla and cake batter vibe is what you should expect. I really wasn’t a fan of Poppy’s Frosting. It’s described as a bubblegum flavour but to me it was more along the lines of banana or banana sweets. 

As these are limited edition flavours, if you want to try them out you should do so during the school holidays. But never fear if you do miss out, as Gelatissimo has a very impressive range of flavours to choose from!

Gelatissimo Norwood
1/198-200 The Parade
Norwood SA 5067
ph: (08) 7225 4320

Two Ingredient Pizza Dough

2 ingredient pizza dough

The idea of a two ingredient pizza dough recipe has been floating around the internet for a while. This hit my inbox at some stage and while I noted it, I never really thought there was anything wrong with my existing pizza dough recipe.

We had pizza a week or so ago and had some mozzarella hanging around in the fridge, so I was determined to use it up before it needed binning.  Unfortunately, inspiration was a bit thin on the ground at the end of last week so … pizza it was. However, given that we always have yoghurt in the fridge I thought maybe it would be worth a bit of an experiment.

I don’t know where the two ingredient dough originated but kidspot seems to stake an early claim. However, by both my standards and those of many of the commenters, the recipe given is really rather deficient.

  • Serving size? 1 pizza base. Because there’s some kind of universal standard for pizza bases …
  • Greek or natural yoghurt is given in the list of ingredients … but the recipe creator says in the comments she hasn’t tried with natural yoghurt …
  • There are a ton of complaints about the ratios
  • There’s no cooking temperature
  • There’s no cooking time

And that’s before I complain about the fact that the flour quantity is given in cups, rather than grams.

I’m all for playing fast and loose with recipes but I suspect that had you never made pizza dough before you’d be facing an uphill battle with this one!

The following recipe makes a thin crust for a 30cm diameter pizza tray. We find that this is perfect for dinner for the two of us (the small child won’t touch pizza on account of the bread component).

Of course, the really important part of all of this is … how did it taste? While it was OK it was … just OK. While it was a thin and crispy base it had a slight but discernible taste of raw flour and the texture was slightly too crumbly (for want of a better word). The dough is also very soft which makes it difficult to work with.

I can see the appeal in this dough – no yeast and no rising time. But with dried yeast so readily available and the rising time for pizza dough less crucial (and, indeed, for ease of dinner prep I made this dough in the afternoon so there was no advantage to me at all there) I’m not sure that the compromise in taste, texture and easily workable dough is worth it.

We’ll be returning to our standard recipe.  Yes, it’s 4 ingredients but so worth it!

 

Two Ingredient Pizza Dough

Ingredients

  • 200g self raising flour + extra for kneading
  • ¾ cup plain yoghurt (I used Paris Creek B-D Yoghurt)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°C fan (or as hot as it will go).
  2. Mix the flour and yoghurt until they come together in a soft dough.
  3. Knead well on well floured board and roll out to fit 30cm pizza pan (greased with olive oil).
  4. Top with your favourite toppings - we use a base of tomato paste, oregano and chilli flakes, topped with mozzarella, bacon, red onion, hot salami and capsicum (for example).
  5. Bake for 10 minutes and serve immediately.
http://eatingadelaide.com/two-ingredient-pizza-dough/