Until the 1960s, most people in the UK had no idea what pasta or pizza even looked like, let alone what it tasted like. But in recent years, Italian cuisine has become an everyday staple for a lot of home cooks.
Alongside home cooking, there has been an explosion of Italian themed restaurants.
All across the UK and Ireland, Italian themed eateries have sprung up, from small independents to takeaways and large chains.
There are very few places where you can’t find an Italian restaurant. For example, if looking for an Italian restaurant in Dublin, you could consider http://www.forno500.ie/.
Pizza itself has fuelled a growth in big brand chains, which specialise in pizza sales, and the range of toppings available has grown exponentially, with almost every possible combination covered. There are even pizzas topped with vegan cheese, as shown here: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/pizza-hut-vegan-cheese-trial-vegetarian-dairy-free-a7953871.html.
The growth of dips
Originating in the US, but now just as common over here, dips specifically for dipping your crusts in have grown in popularity over the last couple of decades. From barbecue, to sweet chilli or even creamy style sauces like garlic and herbs, there are dips for every taste. But would the Italians ever dip their crusts?
Taste the quality not the dip
If asked, most Italians and Italian chefs would say they never dip crusts. It is very definitely an invention and used predominantly by the mass catering pizza companies.
A better quality dough for your pizza base and natural, flavour filled toppings should ensure you don’t need that extra taste boost the dip provides. A quality dough should produce a quality base that will have tasty, good quality crusts that will be a treat on their own, without any other additions.
Sadly, the reality is that some companies use dips to cover lower quality pizzas and to provide an extra flavour boost that their mass-produced dough is lacking.
Another option is simply to avoid eating the crusts. Many Italians see the crust as the handle which allows you hold and eat the delicious centre of the pizza in a convenient, fast way. Once finished, they are discarded on the edge of your dinner plate. Your neat little pile of crusts provides a handy way to keep track of how many slices you have managed to finish off!