Yes, it's universal, and the concept is pretty much the same, though the variations of pizza are huge! I have willingly featured some version of pizza in just about every one of my TV series to date. If I'm not cooking it, I am always on the lookout for good pizza in my travels to share with you.
I have a sixth sense for pizza and boy did I strike gold in Dubrovnik, Croatia, of all places - that's Yugoslavia pre 90s. You may question my pizza radar, but I ask you to keep in mind the many cultural occupations of mediterranean rulers in Croatia; Austrian, Italian, German, Turkish, French and Hungarian - since the seventh century.
The prosperous history of the walled city of Dubrovnik, aka Ragusa in Italian, is as clear as the deep waters surrounding it is blue. The medieval white marble covered streets and its rich architecture are examples of how powerful this Adriatic trading-port kingdom was. Today it is a popular tourist destination and popular sailing port. Within the confines of the city wall, the pedestrian streets and narrow alleys are lined with boutiques, pastry shops and cafes with a relaxed atmosphere.
At the far end of the main walk and at the entrance of the prominent St. Blaise Church is the open market with fruits, vegetables, local honey and nuts. I purchased a bunch of grapes and continued with my search for pizza. Within a few alleys from the main walk I found it - Pizzeria Oliva. I ordered a simple margarita pizza and paired it with a refreshing cold Karlovacko Pivovara Beer. Even if pizza wasn't invented in Croatia, the quality of the pizza is excellent. The dough is homemade, topped with local cheese; and the pies are wood-fired oven baked. Karlovacko is the local brew, in existence since 1779; which BTW has been a Heineken property since 2003.
Pizzeria Oliva, Lučarica 5, 20000 Dubrovnik Croatia
images: George Hirsch