For dinner one night in Gdansk, Poland, we decided to look for a restaurant outside the main tourist zone. After wandering for a while, we settled on pizza and a salad from a “Pizza, Pasta & Kebab” restaurant. When placing our order for their “Hawaii” pizza our waitress asked what type of sauce we would like. We paused, slightly confused. Our friendly waitress proceeded to offer us a couple of suggestions: garlic or tropical sauce? Kevin asked if simple tomato sauce was an option. The waitress responded yes and we confirmed our order. After all, that’s what traditional pizza sauce is right? We weren’t accustomed to having to choose our sauce, so we were caught a bit off guard.
The waitress returned with our order. Accompanying our pizza was a small bowl of “tomato sauce”, otherwise known as ketchup! And the pizza itself appeared to be sauce-less, with the toppings placed directly onto the crust. Not quite what we had in mind, but we enjoyed our sauce-less pizza nonetheless choosing not to taint our “Hawaii” flavors with ketchup.
One Week Later
At lunch a week later, we stopped at a small street vendor for pizza. There was a slight communication gap, as we do not speak Polish and the women spoke broken English. After we placed our order, the women asked if we would like ketchup or garlic sauce on our pizza. Thinking that it was just a translation issue, and that she was referencing tomato sauce, I selected ketchup while Kevin (leary about our earlier experience) elected the garlic sauce.
While waiting for our pizza, Kevin questioned my sauce selection and proceeded to remind me of last week’s pizza encounter. Yikes! Did I just order ketchup sauce for my pizza? Sure enough, ketchup meant ketchup! My pizza was drizzled with a healthy amount of ketchup! Again, it appeared that the toppings were placed directly on the crust, and that the pizza did not have a layer of sauce.
Pizza in Poland
We now appreciate that when ordering pizza in Poland:
- Pizza sauce is not always the base layer. Sauce can be served on top or as a dipping sauce on the side.
- Ketchup is a viable pizza sauce! Although we are not a fan, it appears that others may be.
It makes us wonder: What would Italy say about this practice?