Friday Night Slice has been on hiatus throughout July, but will return next week continuing on our quest to find the best pizza in Middle Tennessee.
I took a break from the blogging as I traveled to Kenya to work with children in Kitui and in the Kibera slum of Nairobi.
During my stay in Kenya, I was served many local dishes (rice, kale, potato, roots, pumpkin leaves and other things), but pizza is not a commonly served dish.
Around Nairobi, there are several "Pizza Inn" take-out and delivery locations (unrelated to the American franchisee) that serve a wide variety of pizzas with unique topping combinations - a popular one, interestingly, is the barbecue pork pizza. But where I was able to order a slice of pizza towards the end of my trip was in the upscale Westgate Centre on the west side of town.
The pizza was a rustic, farmhouse-style pie baked in rectangular metal pans inside large electric ovens. The crust was good; it had a very average doughy flavor with a heavy dusting of flour where it was hand-rolled and pushed into the pan. The sauce was very distinct and while it was a thick, tomato-based sauce, it had spices that my palette was unable to identify. Overall, it was somewhat sweet with very earthy flavors and a little tiny bit of heat. Pepperoni was not a topping option (prosciutto, mushrooms, spinach and broccoli are the most commonly chosen), so I simply went with cheese. Like the Italians, these Kenyan chefs used a thick, creamy buffalo mozzarella. All of the buffalo mozzarella that I've tasted in the past (primarily on pizzas throughout central and Northern Italy) has a rich, buttery taste. The cheese on this pizza had the rich, complex flavor that I would expect, but it was a little more on the sour side and a lot heavier on the salt than I enjoy. Thankfully, I was not in Kenya for the pizza.
I had an extraordinary trip, but am glad to be home with my family and will get back to talking pizza with you again very soon!
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Coming Soon - Brothers' Pizza Company in Franklin, Mineo's Wings, Pizza and Raw Bar in Cool Springs and more!