People in England have difficulty with the concept of Pizza and America. They also have difficulty with the idea of jocks and cheerleaders in the classroom (and outside of it), but that is easily laid to rest with assurances that yes, they do exist.
Pizza, on the other hand, takes a little more explaining. Yes, we have pizza just like yours. We have flopsy New York pizza. We also have doughier crusts, like Dominos. And then we have deep dish from Chicago. Yes, they count as pizza. No, Italy doesn't hold copyright on pizza.
And then I usually feel obliged to mention that England unapologetically bastardizes every cuisine it gets its hands on, sometimes with delicious results (take Chicken Tikka Masala, for example) and that I don't understand how England even has a high horse to climb on when it comes to food.
But the terrible consequences of all of this are that I am left craving pizza, and not just the kind we can get in this country. The Chicagoan kind! And then I feel the bitter irony that has Xan "NoCheese" Xan living in the heart of deepdish land and me living very far away.
So I set out to make little deepdishes. They are a jumble of compromises, because this country isn't very into things like cast iron or cornmeal. So my deepdishes are made in a springform. This, on the bright side, makes serving easier since you can just despring the form once it's cooked. And I use very finely ground cornmeal, but that's all right. (To make the dough biscuitier, you add a little cornmeal in place of flour. ...and some butter.)
And, this country doesn't have italian sausage, so I have to make my own. (By buying sausage meat, and then adding in chili flakes and fennel. That does just about well enough, since it's going into tomato sauce anyways.)
But they are super delicious! Just look at that cheesy, tomatoey center. With basil sprinkled artistically on top.
Yum yum yum.