I despise giving up on anything. Yet, I must admit that it has to be done sometimes. Contrary to popular belief, Andrea and I are not professional food connoisseurs. However, we both have a little idea about what exactly we like. Several times we have tasted something superb at someone’s home or at a good restaurant, then gone home to imitate it. I think that all of the times we have been able to get it pretty close.
Then came la Nave Pizzeria in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. We ate there twice during our Mexico vacation, and fell in love with their brick-oven pizza. I thought to myself, “I can imitate this. It’s just thin crust pizza cooked at a high temperature.” Not. For the last few months, I have tried at least a half-dozen times. Each time has been slightly closer, but still not there. I don’t have a clue what it is. So I gave up trying at home in our oven. I thought maybe we just didn’t have the right kind of oven. “Ahhh! I can just find something at another pizzeria somewhere here in the states.” Not. Nowhere I have tried here is anywhere close. la Nave was just so unique that it cannot be imitated easily.
Here are my observations of the uniqueness of their pizza:
- The crust was extremely light. It was crispy, but not like a cracker. It was also extremely thin, but also flaky–almost the consistency of phyllo dough, but still different. My wife and I thought the closest thing to the taste of the crust is the bread that is partaken of during the Lord’s Supper. Go figure…
- The pepperoni (or spicy salami, as they called it at la Nave) was the best I have ever tasted. It seemed far less processed than any other, and much more spicy than what we have in America.
- I think that the cheese was real, fresh mozzarella. The kind that comes from Italian Water Buffalo milk.
- The sauce was spiced with something…possibly fresh cayenne pepper.
Nonetheless, I have given up trying to find something or making something like it. Alas, La Nave Pizza Napoletana is only at the place on the main avenue in Tulum, owned by a real Italian from Rome itself. I greatly look forward to going there again someday! Until then, though, all other pizza will just be normal…normal…not quite there.