We both tasted Pizza for the first time around 1973, for example. Before then, we'd been aware that it existed from US TV shows, but weren't exactly sure what the heck it was.
Considering some of the stuff served at the local pizza joints, we're still not certain.
But now, Australia shows once again its culinary superiority (!) having won the America's plate. From The Australian :
Australia today can boast being home to the best gourmet pizza in the world, after taking on the rest of the globe at the America's Plate competition in New York, and coming out on top.Hmmm... might just slip down to one of the local take-aways after writing that. Turkish Pizza with Beetroot and Lamb, a Quatro from Zeffereli's, or the traditional Aussie Bacon, Egg, Chilli, Mushroom, Olive, Ham and Pineapple?
The double team of Theo Kalogeracos from Mundaring in WA, and Andy Parisi of La Trattoria restaurant in Adelaide, concocted a bewildering array of recipes to beat the best of the rest, including teams from Italy, the US, France and New Zealand.
The America's Plate competition – known as the America's Cup of pizza – has been traditionally held for more than a century between Italy and America, but for the first time this year other countries were allowed to enter.
Held at the inaugural New York Pizza Show, the Australian pair cooked up an Oyster Kilpatrick Pizza, a chocolate pizza known as Mud Honey and a pizza based on the traditional American desert Pecan Pie to take out the prize.
Mr Kalogeracos, who runs the Little Caesar's restaurant in Mundaring, 30km east of Perth, said fresh ingredients as used in Australia were the key to their victory.
"I think the difference in Australia is that we really rely on fresh ingredients. Over here, no offence meant, but the New York pizzas are terrible," Mr Kalogeracos told ABC radio in Perth.
"They are nothing compared to what we do. They fold them in half and oil dribbles out of them – if I served that in my shop, I wouldn't make any money like that.
"We don't realise how lucky we are in Australia to get fresh produce at a really good price."
BTW the best pizzas in Sydney are over at Alex Cordobes, in Newtown near Sydney University. Whenever we go up there, we often stop off just to buy a half-dozen to take back to Canberra. The only pizzas as high as they are wide, 95%+ filling on a thin but tasty base.
The Sydney Eating guide is accurate : "Food 10, Atmosphere 6, Service 8, Value 9".