Earth, Wind and Flour
- Prosciutto Pizza
- Chimichurri Pizza
- Jumping Bean Pizza
- Beets Pizza
- Sticky Date Pudding
All four of the pizzas were served on two medium sized half-and-half pizza bases, which allowed us to appropriately sample each of the new gourmet flavours. The Jumping Bean pizza, meant as an homage to Mexican flavours was a fantastic surprise as we didn't expect black beans to belong on a pizza, but the inclusion of another staple food really set the pizza up for the traditionally Mexican ground beef and a nice jalapeno bite, which was really well tied together with the Spanish onion and roasted capsicum.
Alongside it was the Chimichurri pizza, which, like the Jumping Bean, really pushed the cultural boundaries of what belongs on a pizza. Also with a heavy chilli bite, especially with the chorizo and salami, the real standout flavour was the green (verde) chimichurri drizzle, an Argentinian sauce laden with flavourful fresh parsley and minced garlic, distributed well for every bite.
The Beets pizza was revelation in that I was not really a fan of beetroot going in, but this ended up being my favourite pizza of the night, despite perhaps being the most unorthodox. The standard tomato and cheese base formed the framework for the sweetness of the apple (yes, apple!) and roasted pumpkin, the earthiness of the beets and the slight tartness of the goat's cheese to tie together, while pumpkin seeds add a bit of texture and crunch. The crispy sage garnish also added to this texture, but added little in the way of flavour, despite looking fantastic.
The Prosciutto pizza was definitely tasty in its own right and the pizza borrowed much of its flavours from the aromatic prosciutto and the fragrant tomato base. However, the prosciutto used on this occasion was rather rough and as a result, each bite resulted in the entire piece of protein being dragged off the base, leaving the rest bare. This could probably be rectified with smaller pieces of Italian cured meat. The drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar was very a welcome addition to the already flavourful combination and provided a nice zingy sensation, balancing out the rich cured meat.
Arguably the most important component of a pizza is its base, and while I think with the new flavours we tried, this holds slightly less true, I was looking for a bit more delight in the dough, which, while tasty, didn't really pop. Yes I know there are many types of pizza bases, but a crisper and more exciting base wouldn't detract from the toppings, elevating the entire dish.
Unfortunately, the skill in the production of pizzas did not translate to good desserts in this occasion. The Sticky Date Pudding was particularly firm and lacking in moisture. The butterscotch sauce was a nice distraction, but it seems desserts are not their forte here.
Earth, Wind & Flour's new selection of gourmet flavours are a great addition to the traditionally 'sacred' Italian pizza formula. I very much welcome the push towards new combinations, be it flavour or cultural.
I definitely had a great night, but I enjoyed the execution of a traditionally simple food in a new, flavourful context unbounded by any preconceived rules which allowed us to experience new notions of what pizza can be.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Definitely! While traditionalists might stab themselves through the eyes and Elwood might not be the most convenient location, I wouldn't miss the opportunity to have a thoughtfully different pizza when in the area.
I would like to thank Daron and his staff for their hospitality and for the opportunity to sample their fresh new flavours.