As an eager eater, I burn my mouth quite often. Pizza is particularly dangerous, as cheese never cools as quickly as you want it to. (Also, pizza just tastes best scorching hot! Facts don’t care about your feelings!) If—like me—you are prone to such injuries, I have a solution: Drape cold slices of mortadella over your hot slice of pizza.
I did not come up with this plan all on my own, but was inspired by Bon Appetit’s NYC100, which features such a pizza. I don’t know if Ops intended for the mortadella to serve as thermal insulation, but it totally does. Last night, to test my theory, I made a (not pictured, very ugly) cast iron pan pizza with many handfuls-worth of bubbling cheese. As soon as I removed it from the oven, I placed several slices of the fancy bologna on the pizza, cut it into slices, and took a (not entirely unfearful) bite. It was hot—the sauce that touched the corners of my lips told me so—but the roof of my mouth remained unscathed, protected by the beautiful pork product. Also, the mortadella tasted amazing. The heat from the pizza melted, but did not fully render, the little circles of fat, and got the flavours flowing.
It was a very pleasing experience, and we must once again thank charcuterie for the many gifts it gives us. Could you use other types of fancy meat? Maybe, but I think some—such as prosciutto—might be too slippery, and slide right off with the first bite. Mortadella has a more textured surface that helps it stay put, guarding your mouth ‘til the last bite.