The secret of good pizza

The secret of good pizza is something that I, and many others, would really like to learn. So I asked at the Italian Cultural Institute, maybe they would know.

“You’re in luck,” Lettore Dr Anna Porcheddu told me. “This week we have the second Tuesday of July and I’m opening the Magic Box. And as this is the last regular Magic Box before my summer break, we have something very special for you: The secret of good pizza!”

Ah yes, I’ve been looking forward to this one.

I asked Dr Salvatore Schirmo, the Institute’s Director, how about the Magic Box experience so far and whether it has reached expectations. “Reached expectations? No, it has far exceeded them,” he beamed.

“The response from our friends in Malta has been amazing, it has made all the effort so worthwhile.” And is this the last Magic box before the summer? “Well there will be a special Magic Box in August,” he confirmed “but this is the last official event until September. So Anna has a really great one this week, there’ll be standing room only!”

So who and what will be popping out of the Magic Box this month? I asked Dr Porcheddu. “As I said, the Magic Box holds the secret of good pizza. If you want to know more, you had better get here early.”

“This month I’m delighted to welcome Lo Spuntino, with Cristiano Bagnaschi and Carmelo Fiori, to the Italian Cultural Institute.”

Lo Spuntino is an Italian-run pizzeria near the university, and it is well known to anyone au fait with the area and its environs. For some years now Lo Spuntino has been known for making the finest of pizzas. They are also good friends to the Institute and the Magic Box: many of you who are regulars at the Magic Box have sampled their pizzas several times.

Lo Spuntino is run by Cristiano Bagnaschi, a native of Busto Arsizio near Milan, who has extensive experience with pizzas in many countries. Indeed it was while working in Norway that he met his Maltese wife. Likewise, Carmelo Fiori is married to a local girl. He is a native of Vittoria in Sicily and brings the Sicilian slant on pizza to Lo Spuntino. Between them they have years of experience in producing the finest authentic Italian pizzas.

The evening’s talk will be entitled ‘Storia della pizza e delle pizze oggi’ and Cristiano and Carmelo will be telling us a little about pizzas – such as how they developed and what makes a good pizza Italian. Questions are of course allowed and encouraged, and an informal chat afterwards over a little wine, and perhaps some fine pizza.

Like many of you, I spotted this on the programme several months ago and have eagerly anticipating the pizza event. As such I expect a big gathering on Tuesday. I think the expression “come early to avoid disappointment” would be appropriate. And in case you can’t find your programme: Tuesday 9 July at 6.30pm at the Italian Cultural Institute in Valletta.

Be early, I will.