The word "fried" usually brings up a lot of images for people. Whether it's grease-drenched fried chicken, egg rolls, calamari or Twinkies, fried food is usually classified as "soul food," or "comfort food," — aka, food that's not good for the waistline. In the world of pizza, deep frying isn't a fresh concept, but the new wave of fried pizza is certainly on the newer side, especially in Denver. Mark "Marco" Dym's montanara pie at Marco's Coal-Fired Pizza is of the fried variety, but it's surprisingly light in nature. Dym says he was introduced to the montanara by Italian pizza mentors Roberto Caporuscio and Antonio Starita, both masters of their craft at Don Antonio and Kresté in NYC. Once he tried the fried and wood-fired creation, he was hooked, which has been the case for most montanara newbies. The Italian montanara-style gained traction in New York City back in 2011, and as Pete Wells of The New York Times points out, the "hot-fat baptism" yields a pizza that outshines even the best Neapolitan-style pizza, "and not just because it is coated with oil. Frying can add a dimension to dough that is otherwise unremarkable."
Surprising, this gem of a pizza is not the most popular at Marco's, and Dym thinks that's partly because people just don't know about it. That, and it's only available at the Englewood location. His technique goes something like this this: Dym works his dough in a pat and flap motion, never tossing it in the air. He gently places the dough in hot palm oil, where it floats for a matter of seconds. The fried disk is then topped with wood-fire roasted tomato sauce, smoked bufala, fresh basil and garlic. After it's lightly charred in the oven, it hardly looks fried. Dym tells Eater that it might not be long before he rolls out fried pizzas at the ballpark location, but if he does, he's taking his offerings to the next level. Until then, a trip to Englewood might be calling.
· From Europe, Lessons on Frying Pizza [NYT]
· All Marco's Coal-Fired Pizza Coverage [EDen]
· All Pizza Week Coverage [EDen]