by Thomas Clay-Smith
Goshogawara is a great place to make pizza and pottery.
Friends and I found a pottery house and restaurant out in the middle of apple orchard country, a recluse little place of odd clay statues and polished wood interiors.
The restaurant was hot and reeked of burning logs. The pizza oven doubled as a furnace for the whole restaurant and it gave the place a glow of camping or Canadian winters at least. It was part magical, part hunger-evoking.
We sat down, drank some water, then got up and made our own pizzas. No pizza tossing like a boss, though I did try a couple tosses, I noted a few cultural differences right away.
My Korean and Japanese friends all opted for the radial symmetry tactic, aligning their bits of squash and peas and sausage into neat little radiating lines. I, on the other more awesome hand, knew I wanted to taste everything with every bite. Their process insured you would taste everything almost individually, while my process of mashing and crushing and pureeing all my ingredients with my hands/pizza cutter made sure every bit was packed into every square inch of pie.
When we sat down, the pizzas began arriving one after another and we all began sharing our slices. Mine, was, divine. You tell everyone their pizza rocked, but really, mine was the most “umai” of the lot. Then we made beer mugs, drank Starbucks, ate Italian food for dinner, and bought 8 happy meals because one girl wanted all the shinkansen-densha train happy meal toys.
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