the first time that my husband and i traipsed merrily to the baltimore farmers' market, we ran across an artist. he was working with equal merriment alongside two egg-shaped grills tricked out as pizza ovens. i think that the temperature that day was roughly equal to the surface of the sun. when we approached his stall, i saw this:
i wish that you could taste photos.
look at that. THAT is pizza perfection - a crust crisped by leopard-spots of char, a perfectly tangy tomato sauce, rich mozzarella cheese, and unadulterated basil.
needless to say, i bought one. i gave my husband one bite. and i ate the rest of it.
a few weeks later, the pizza maven needed some help manning his stall. i leapt at the opportunity. and in casual conversation, i discovered just why he embodies artist as much as if not more than the sculptors and painters and writers of the world. see, as a writer, i know the limits of my medium. i know that words, and language, are inherently flawed and dense and that you, reader, will never see what i see in my head when i write about pomegranates spilling rubied seeds or dates crusted with sugar. your idea will be different from mine, because words are filtered through intellectual understanding [my high school english teacher, who lectured us on heart of darkness, would completely agree with me]. maybe it's easier for the painter, like van gogh, who can make the night sky ripple with texture.
this pizza maven asked me what i cook and bake. i told him that i was thinking of trying, possibly, to pursue a good, solid challah recipe - but that i would never try pizza, for example, or home-cooked indian food.
he gave me a very...funny?...look. not funny, but amused.
"why not? it's all about the hunt."
he is chasing pizza perfection, pursuing it with all of his senses - the feel of the dough, how it springs back from his fingers, how it smells faintly of sourness. he isn't restrained by the idea [or fact] that his medium is incapable of conveying his love for what he does. and it shows.
my g-d, does it show.
baltimore - i implore you, if you have the opportunity, track the pizza maven down. his pizzas are works of art.
and now, i am hungry. at my desk. the perils of writing about delicious, delicious pizza.
update, update, update: the pizza maven is potentially POSSIBLY PLEASE going to open a place in hampden. prepare your appetites, baltimoreans.