Years ago, my husband and I were in Italy, the morning having turned to early afternoon, and we were tuckered out from all the sights we had seen. We found ourselves in one of the small cafes we found just off a secondary road. It appealed to us because the menu was not translated into English, because it was quiet, and because it seemed to be frequented by locals. We sat down to a bottle of cooling water, pondered what to eat, and noticed that they had a pizza oven. The menu was suitably small -- on it was Pizza Margherita. We decided to share one, and oh, my! This was such perfection. Three simple ingredients melded to create a symphony of unforgettable of scents and flavors. That moment will forever be photographed in my mind and embroidered in my heart -- Pizza Margherita one of the dishes I associate with our first trip to Italy (tortellini in brodo is another).
So today, as I sat down to a simple lunch of JC's Pizza Margherita and Diet Coke, I was wonderfully overwhelmed to find that the first bite brought it all back. I loved its crunch as I bit into it. The sweet taste of the tomatoes as they burst into my mouth. The goodness of the cheese. It was a good, healthy, delicious, satisfying lunch. For me, it also resonated with memories of Italy in the autumn, of a small cafe with a few tables and a pizza oven, of a world that I hope will be open to us again. Proust had his madeleine. I have my pizza. Perhaps more prosaic, but no less evocative. Never mind my tea today. I think I need an espresso. Thank you, Jenny Craig.