No. 22: The Parma Italia Detroit Pizza at Blue Pan Pizza
Never let anyone say the pies coming out of Blue Pan Pizza in West Highlands are just pizza, especially when it comes to the Parma Italia option. Done “Detroit-style,” this deep-dish pie crackles with baked cheese around the crust and offers a firm chew once you bite down, a sensation highlighted by the gobs of gooey burrata and crisp, fresh arugula. But that’s not all, this pizza also comes topped with fine prosciutto di Parma, vine-ripened tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano and smoked scamorza, a type of cow’s milk cheese from Italy similar to mozzarella.
“It’s inspired from my travels in Italy and competing in the World Pizza Championships in Parma,” says co-owner and pizza master Jeff “Smoke” Smokevitch, adding that both the Parmesan and the prosciutto come from that region. “A teammate of mine, Laura Meyer on the WorldPizzaChampions.com pizza team, made a similar pizza in Parma at the World Pizza Championships and won first place in 2013.”
It’s easy to see how this glorious pie took home a prize given the balance of salty, fresh, savory and umami flavors that grace each bite. Not that this is surprising since Smokevitch honed his skills under the tutelage of eleven-time World Pizza Champion, Anthony Gemignani, a third generation Italian American from California who runs the International School of Pizza in San Francisco. Smokevitch also co-founded Brown Dog Pizza in Telluride Colorado, so he got some extra practice perfecting his pies before opening Blue Pan Pizza with Giles Flanagin this past June.
Of course, getting the $19 pie (or $30 for a large) from this tight shop can be a challenge since it only boast a handful of tables. But, if desperation for the Parma Italia hits, you can always order one to-go.