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Old 06-20-2012, 10:06 AM   #1
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Pizza, Flatbread. You Tell Me

I've given this some thought and frankly see no consistent difference that would clearly identify one vs. the other. Except flatbreads are usually more expensive.

So, what's your take on the subject? They both have a relatively flat crust, often round but sometimes not. They both have toppings. They both are baked.

Do exotic toppings make it a flatbread with pizza toppings limited to more mundane items such as pepperoni or onions? Is it that pizzas have a sauce? Is the crust the difference?

Is it a pizza or is it a flatbread? You tell me.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:25 AM   #2
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In my opinion, the term "flatbread" covers an entire category of breads, including pizza, which is really nothing more than flatbread with toppings. In fact, the word "pizza" itself derives from the same word as "pita", which is a type of Greek flatbread. This leads me to believe that an unleavened bread came first, perhaps in Greece, and was later embellished with toppings by the Italians.

Also, not all flatbreads have toppings. For example, Indian and African flatbreads (naan, chapati, roti, injera) are most always served topless (), or at least they were until influenced by Western cuisines. Now we have variants like garlic and onion naan.

So, if it's flat, I call it flatbread, regardless of whether there is stuff on top or not.

That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:57 AM   #3
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Is there any simple way to make garlic naan bread without having a tandoor?
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:04 AM   #4
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I've made it on the grill. It works great.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:44 AM   #5
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Buonasera,

Good post.

I agree with Steve on this vocabulary below.

Flatbread: various types of breads made from unleavened dough and baked in flat form ( Sardinian Music Sheet Carta di Musica, Ligurian Focaccia, Campagnia Pizza, Indian Nan etcetra.)

Pizza: a pizza is a baked pie originally believed to be created in Napoli and Sicilia, consisting of shallow bread crust with a tomato sauce, cheese, tomato, and other toppings.

Pizza is only one type of a flat bread. In Sicila the flatbread, a Calzone, is rolled with stuffings.

The Greeks, The Moors and the Indians as well as the Mid Eastern Tribes, all have flat breads, even today, both in savoury bread form and sweet form.

I believe the Corn Tortilla ( Aztec: 13th Century ) is a good example of how ancient some are.

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Old 06-21-2012, 03:53 AM   #6
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i like my pizza very thin & crispy with a minimum of simple toppings.i always use flatbread when i make them at home.costco used to do a fab moroccan fb which was perfect,but they don't sell it anymore.they do sell the pittas from the same manufacturer,menissez it think it is,so i just "butterfly" a couple of those.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
Is there any simple way to make garlic naan bread without having a tandoor?
Greg this is what I do. TNT - Naan
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
In my opinion, the term "flatbread" covers an entire category of breads, including pizza, which is really nothing more than flatbread with toppings. In fact, the word "pizza" itself derives from the same word as "pita", which is a type of Greek flatbread. This leads me to believe that an unleavened bread came first, perhaps in Greece, and was later embellished with toppings by the Italians.

Also, not all flatbreads have toppings. For example, Indian and African flatbreads (naan, chapati, roti, injera) are most always served topless (), or at least they were until influenced by Western cuisines. Now we have variants like garlic and onion naan.

So, if it's flat, I call it flatbread, regardless of whether there is stuff on top or not.

That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.
Thanks Steve, lots of good info.

I should have been more clear when I posed the original question.

I wasn't thinking of a comparison between pizza and pita, naan or chapati. I was picturing a flatbread with toppings as you would order in a restaurant for an appetizer or a meal. I had intended the comparison to be between a topped flatbread and a pizza.

Why is the first image a flatbread and the second a pizza?

...or is it the other way around?
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I wasn't thinking of a comparison between pizza and pita, naan or chapati. I was picturing a flatbread with toppings as you would order in a restaurant for an appetizer or a meal. I had intended the comparison to be between a topped flatbread and a pizza.

Why is the first image a flatbread and the second a pizza?

...or is it the other way around?
If they were set in front of me at a table without explanation, I would probably call both images "pizza" - simply because that's what most people call a round flatbread with toppings. However, in restaurant lingo, "flatbread" appears to be one of those trendy euphemisms that they use to make something old appear to be something new - and thus charge an appropriately inflated price. Similar to the way the Patagonian Toothfish became known as Chilean Sea Bass.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:04 AM   #10
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Foccaccia with sea salt & fresh herbs

Buonsera,

Interesting thread.

In Italia, it is very rare that someone would put cheese and tomato on a flat bread, the most renowned being Foccaccia. It is normally prepared with just sea salt, Evoo and fresh herbs, sage, rosemary or oregano or basil.

Furthermore, it is dipped into Evoo with herbs ... Nothing more ... Just a glass of wine of choice ...

Have nice Thursday.
Margi.
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