Bet­ter not ask for a Coke – the soft drink is fresh lemon­ade, with lo­cal lemons and honey

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - THE CUT - fran­co­;

fer­mented grapes from Mas col i’ s mal­va­sia vines, a va­ri­ety long grown on Salina and used to make wine. The fer­ment is the foun­da­tion of the sour­dough ‘starter’ used to leaven the pizza dough and was cre­ated espe­cially for the new restau­rant by Mas­coli’s Lon­don baker col­league Brid­get Hugo.

Other Salina in­gre­di­ents in­clude an­chovies (fresh as well as pre­served), aubergines, cour­gettes, pota­toes, olives, olive oil, ri­cotta info rn at a (cooked ri­cotta, see recipe), herbs and, of course, ca­pers. The only meat is cured pork (pancetta or guan­ciale), oc­ca­sion­ally used in the spe­cial. ‘ If peo­ple come here look­ing for a pep­per­oni pizza, they may be dis­ap­pointed,’ says Mas­coli. Bet­ter not ask for a Coke, ei­ther – the soft drink is fresh lemon­ade, made with lo­cal lemon sand lo­cal honey. A short list of nat­u­ral, un­fil­tered wines in­cludes the is­land’s de­li­cious mal­va­sia whites, both dry and sweet.

Salina’ s rev­o­lu­tion­ary pizze­ria is ‘plas­tic-free’, us­ing only glass bot­tles and nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als, and 50 cents from the sale of ev­ery bot­tle of wa­ter is do­nated to Batti5, a pro­ject ini­ti­ated by World Rise to ed­u­cate chil­dren on the ef­fect of plas­tic pol­lu­tion on the ocean.

Eleonora Var­aldo, Franco Manca’s open­ing man­ager, who has taken a bus­man’s hol­i­day to launch Salina’s pizze­ria, has rel­ished the sum­mer ’s task. ‘I love it here. I miss Lon­don, but this place is so beau­ti­ful and you can cool down in the sea on your break.’

In this ar­chi­pel­ago of fire and heat, the ac­tiv­ity of the wood-fired oven fits neatly. Into this fur­nace go the great in­gre­di­ents that feed off the is­land’s fer­til­ity, so the is­lan­ders feed from it. As Mas­coli says, it is per­fect, isn’t it?

Be­low, from left Freshly made lemon­ade at Franco Manca; Mas­coli (right) with his tomato grower, Bi­a­gio Ran­tuc­cio

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