Saturday, 12 August 2006

Damn this ham

I have just finished making (and eating) a ham and pineapple pizza. Or two. Well, maybe 1.5 pizzas. I have also just figured out another reason why I don't like the ham I purchased from the Big Wog Deli.

The buggers don't peel it before they slice it.

I can see you don't understand what I mean.

When you have a big, fat ham (aka Michael Moore), you generally find that it is sold with the skin still on it. Before putting it on top of the finger slicing machine, the staff at the Small Wog Deli get out a knife and cut off the skin around the top end of the ham before slicing it into paper thin slivers of ham. At the Big Wog Deli, they just stick it on the finger slicer (plus they slice it slightly thicker).

I don't know about you, but I prefer my ham with no skin. Yes, it's a personal preference, but it's my preference. Thank goodness for a competitive market. If you like ham with skin, shop at the Big Wog Deli. The small one is going to get my business instead.

I discovered the difference whilst assembling my pizza. Normally, I pick up a paper thin slice of ham and the thing practically falls apart in my hands, which is great as I want to cover the pizza in shreds of ham, not a big monolithic bloc of stuff. If the ham slice has skin on it, it doesn't fall apart evenly - the skin acts as a kind of wrapper and you end up with a mess of ham on top of the pizza.

Yes, I am a real pedant when it comes to pizza toppings. But one must pay attention to all the finer details in order to create the perfect outcome.

I am still having problems with achieving a crunchy crust. This week, I went 50/50 with plain flour and wholemeal, and saw some improvement. The addition of wholemeal also produces a "fluffier" dough for some reason. I left out semolina - it might be the semolina that is creating the biscuit-like crunch that I am aiming for.

Ah well, next week it will be a 50/50 dough mix with a good handful of semolina thrown in.

The Big Wog Deli does have something going for it as far as bocconcini is concerned. I bought a tub of little balls and as an experiment, I pulled one apart tonight instead of cutting it. The internal texture was like a ball of wool - it's hard to explain, and you'd really need to do it for yourself with top quality cheese to see the effect. The cheese from the Small Wog Deli doesn't do this.

Does it make any difference?

Buggered if I know. I just thought it was interesting, and I have read cheese articles that rave about this sort of texture.

No comments: