There are so many variables that go into making a PIZZA. The hydration of the dough, flour, yeast and many more.. Amounts of any kind of yeast in a pizza can make a big difference. Most recipes posted on the web, use too much yeast in their recipes. What I have found out so far, is either bulk fermenting the dough or cold fermenting the dough will give a better flavor in the crust. I am still experimenting to find different flavors in the crust of pies. In my opinion pizza is all about the best flavor you can achieve in a crust. I still am on the journey about flavors in the crust. Even differences in temperatures in you home or times of the year can influence how much yeast to use. If you want a pizza to develop flavors in the crust, there are many ways to go about achieving this.


Preferment for Lehmann Dough Pizzas

Crust of Pizza

Crust of Pizza
Rim of Preferment Lehmann Formula

Adventure in Pizza Making

There are many ways to go about trying to make any kind of pizzas you want to create. PIZZA making is fun and also you get to eat your finished product. I learned to make all my pizza on http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php If you look on pizzamaking.com you can see all the beautiful creations of pizzas members make on this site. Members and moderators help members and guests achieve almost any kind of pizzas they want to create. Since joining this site, my pizza making skills have gone from non-existent to something much better. I invite you to take a look at this site.

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Sicilian Pizza

Sicilian Pizza
Sicilian Pizza with Preferment for Lehmann Dough

At my mom's home getting ready to bake in her gas oven

At my mom's home getting ready to bake in her gas oven
click on picture to go to post

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Drying Milk Kefir Grains for Freezing.............

I am drying out a few milk kefir grains to freeze.  I want to be able to see if these live milk kefir grains can be frozen and then brought back to life again.  I washed these milk kefir grains off with water, then have been letting them at room temperature.  I am going to put the milk kefir grains in non-fat milk powder, when they are dried out and then put them into the freezer for a month or two before trying to use them again.

1 picture is of milk kefir left in refrigerator for 3 weeks.
2 picture of milk kefir grains to dry out
3 picture of milk kefir grains drying out
4 milk keifr poolish for Paul's flour mixed with KASL
5 milk kefir grains almost dried out

Another Milk Kefir Poolish Dough for Paul's Flour..using different methods 12/17/2010

I am trying another poolish milk kefir dough for Paul’s flour.  The things I did different this time was changed the formula a little, used milk kefir in the poolish that was one week old, only put most of the formula water with poolish in, mixed in my Kitchen Aid Professional pro for 15 minutes on speed 5, then added the rest of the formula water with poolish and mixed at speed 5 for another 5 minutes.  Now I am going to let the milk kefir dough autolyse for 20 minutes and then mix the salt and oil in the dough.  This is the formula I am using and one picture after the dough was mixed, before the salt and oil were added.

I will post more pictures tomorrow of how the dough ball looks after adding salt and oil.  I am going to try and let this finsihed dough ball sit out over night at my ambient room temperatures.  This was done last evening.

This post is just to note what I did with the milk kefir poolish with Pauls’s flour, since last evening.  I forgot to note in my last post that I mixed the milk kefir poolish with KASL, because I didn’t have enough of Paul’s flour to make the poolish and then the final dough.  So now my flour and Paul’s flour are combined together.

After I took the picture last evening, I mixed the salt and oil in with the dough and had saved a little more of the milk kefir poolish to add at the end, after mixing the salt and oil into the dough.  My mixer went on speed 5 again for 10 minutes to be able to mix the extra milk kefir poolish into the dough.  I know this isn’t a traditional way to mix a dough, but I wanted to see what results this different technique will give in the final pizza, if any.  

I did reball or stretch and fold this dough several times before oiling the dough ball. Each time the dough ball would become less sticky and would hold its shape for a little while and then relax. The dough ball was left out overnight at the ambient room temperature of 72 degrees F.  The time for bulk fermentation was 8 hrs.  The dough ball now is in the refrigerator until Tuesday.  

When looking at member Warren’s (UnConundrum)  Baguette - no knead - larger loaf, different times in the past at http://recipesonrails.com/recipes/show/436-baguette-no-knead-larger-loaf
, and watching the video Warren had posted at the end of that formula and directions to make the no knead Baguette, this was how I was able to make high hydration Sicilian pizzas in the past. Warren also posted a picture of his Sicilian pizza he made at Reply  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9633.msg87635.html#msg87635
Where Warren has a formula for Focaccia - No Knead  http://recipesonrails.com/recipes/show/518-focaccia-no-knead  , he also was using a high hydration dough. I also wondered how his techniques would work with making a regular pizza with a higher hydration, something like I am doing with Paul’s flour or the recent Bagel dough I have been experimenting with.  Although Warren mixed this dough for the no knead Baguette by hand and then did a number of stretch and folds and other things to his dough to make the dough more manageable, I think that these are some tricks to be able to work with high hydration doughs, when trying to make a pizza.  I don’t know since my mix times are longer and my speeds on my mixer are higher, if this helps achieve a better dough or not.  I will have to experiment with this more in future doughs.

Pictures below


Friday, December 17, 2010

This is a Tom Lehmann Pizza

I just wanted to show one type of a Tom Lehmann pizza.  This is a preferment for the Lehmann dough pizza.  It starts out with a poolish that first bubbles, and then is incorporated into the final dough.  It is then left to cold ferment in the fridge for three days.


May 22, 2010 Ultra-Thin 1/16"..Any Ideas?

I started a thread about trying to make an Ultra-thin pizza at pizzamaking.com  Topic: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11044.0.html

Thinking back to when I had a crispy thin pizza at the New York Restaurant Show and Pizza Expo, I would like to try to make something like this if at all possible.  The pizzas were called Ultra-Thin pizza shells.  I enjoyed this Ultra-Thin pizza very much.  It reminded me some of a cracker-style crust, but had some characteristics of a New York style pizza.  I tried to purchase some of these ultra-thin pizza shells, but couldn’t find a distributor in my area.                                                                                                                                                      
The Nutrition Facts for a 14" pizza are under The Original 1/16" thin. This is the size pizza I would like to try if I can figure out a formula.

The nutritional facts say the serving size is 8oz -8.5oz,.or 225g for a 14" pizza shell.  It also says there are 7g of fat, so I think that would mean some kind of oil is used in making this ultra-thin pizza.  The sodium amounts seem high to me.  That also appears to be sugar in this formula.

Under the baking instructions, it says the dough should be docked to prevent bubbling.  Baking instructions also say it these ultra-thin shells can be baked on a pizza stone, screen or metal deck oven, at 525-550 degrees F.  It also says to sauce the shells to the edges.


Since this pizza was very different than I have ever tried, I wonder if anyone can look at the nutrition facts and get an idea of how I could proceed. I do want to use IDY in this formula. This ultra-thin pizza says it is par-baked, but I don’t think it would have to be in a home setting. Maybe the pizza shells would need to be par-baked, but this would have to be tried. The ultra-thin shells or flatbreads they sell are frozen and then baked at your location to the best of my knowledge.  I think this ultra-thin pizza could be rolled out with a rolling pin.

Under their website it says Grandfather Joseph Salamone, born in Northern Italy, created the original Ultra-Thin pizza shell recipe.


There are also many recipes for topping this style of pizza halfway in this page.  You can see how thin these pizza are if you look under these recipes.


Peter (Pete-zza) replied back to me:


I don't like groping around in the dark. So, I'd like to suggest the way that I think I would approach what you are trying to do. We are talking here about a fairly simple product, a par-baked crust without anything on it. We know the weight of the product (8.5 ounces), its size (14"), and we also have some nutrition data (more on this later). We know how much sodium there is in a sample size (8 ounces) and we know how much total fat and saturated fat there is in that sample. However, before I would start making a dough that might pass muster, and before trying to come up with a dough formulation, my first line of attack would be to call the company. As a professional in your case, and one who might possibly consider using the company's product, I don't think it would be out of line for you to want to know what is in the product, including type of flour (which relates to taste and texture), whether the flour is bromated or not (for health reasons), and the type of fat used in the product (mainly for taste reasons). I would perhaps also ask why a sample size (8 ounces) is less than the 8.5 ounces that is given as the weight of a 14" par-baked crust. Next, depending on what I learned, I might ask if it is possible to get some samples to try out (and to examine more closely for clues).

Looking at some of the nutrition data at the Ultra-Thin website, I think it is safe to say that the product you are considering does not contain animal fats or shortening. I believe they are using an oil of some sort. Examples of oils that meet the 7 grams of total fat and 1 gram of saturated fat include olive oil and soybean oil, but no doubt there are other oils with the same lipid profile. If you do some research at the nutrition data website at http://www.nutritiondata.com/, you should be able to find them. I would look at the one tablespoon values since they are more likely to apply to the weight of a typical 14" par-baked crust. FYI, for a lipid profile of 7 grams of total fat and one gram of saturated fat, it appears that we are talking about 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil for an 8 ounce sample of the product in question. However, that 8-ounce sample is apparently on a par-baked basis, not raw dough. There is some loss during baking but I would be surprised if it is more than say, 5%. So, in arriving at a baker's percent, I would adjust the weight of the sample before calculating the baker's percent.

In a similar vein, there is 750 mg of sodium in an 8-ounce sample. There is a very small amount of sodium in flour and in oils in large quantities, but I believe the bulk of the sodium is from added salt. 770 mg of sodium represents about a third of a teaspoon of table salt. That value might enable you to calculate the baker's percent on the "adjusted" weight of the par-baked product (that is, adjusted to compensate for losses during baking).

It is also possible that there is some added sugar in the product under consideration. There may be some sugar in the flour or released by enzymes or transformed during baking, so it is hard to say how much without doing more research. Or maybe the company can tell you if there is any sugar in the dough (which could be a legitimate concern for those on low-glycemic diets).

There are still some missing items, like the hydration and amount of yeast and the nature of the fermentation, but I would rather address these issues after I gather the information from trying the other approaches mentioned above.

For your additional information, if we assume that an 8-ounce sample loses 5% during baking, an unbaked sample would weigh 8.4 ounces. For a 14" dough skin, the corresponding thickness factor would be 8.4/(3.14159 x 7 x 7) = 0.05457. It might be worth weighing a 14" skin both unbaked and par-baked to ascertain more accurately the extent of the weight loss. Then, one might be able to come up with a set of baker's percents to use in future iterations.

I replied back to Peter (Pete-zza)

I did try to purchase this ultra-thin product and talked to many sales representatives before about their product.  I also email ultra-thin, in an attempt to find someone in my area that handled this product. This was before I opened my pizza stand.  I had thought along the lines of offering this ultra-thin pizza along with a NY Style pizza.  I didn’t have any dough formula at the time.  This was at the end of February 2009.  I saw how easily they baked the pies.. The dough was already defrosted and just looked limp. The taste of these Ultra-thin crusts were great.  They almost melted in your mouth.  Plenty of other people at the Restaurant Show also were commenting on how good they were.  I tried Sysco Foods in Harrisburg and the sales rep even said they had the product.  I went there and thought I had purchased three cases of this product.  When I got home, I found out they were only par-baked crusts that were thicker. They weren’t even Ultra-Thin crusts. After I tried a few crusts out, I then gave the rest to a homeless shelter in Lancaster.  They sure weren’t good, in my opinion.  I then tried to purchase the ultra-thin crusts from Philadelphia and gave up when they told me I needed a 500.00 minimum order.  I know that I always do things backward, but eventually things do work out.

I can see that your idea is good to call them and ask all the information you told me.  Maybe I can get some information about the crusts from them this time instead of worrying about purchasing their products.  I also will do some research at the nutritional data website.  Thanks for providing that and the instructions for finding more information.

I made a test batch today, but surely don’t know what I am doing.  I will just see how this test batch works out in the crust taste.  I can’t decide if I want to parbake it or not, but probably will.  When I made the Bittman cracker style, the crust even rose without yeast while par-baking.  Since I made a high hydration and high oil formula, it should be interesting to see how this crust turns out.

Thanks for your help,


This is a video I found for the Ultra-Thin pizza crusts.  This will give an idea of what I am trying to create.  This was taken at the Western Food Service and Hospitality Expo in 2007.

This website says to contact ultrathin pizza girl for a sample.  Hmm, guess I will try and contact her.

May 23, 2010

Well, that day was one of those days, that nothing wanted to work out right.    First I was trying to make sorbet, that I had made many times before.  I had purchased all the ingredients I needed and even bought fresh strawberries, yesterday.  After I made the simple sugar syrup, cut and washed the strawberries, squeezed out lemons and used the blender to puree the strawberries, I thought I was then ready to put the mixture into the ice cream freezer.  Well first the blade didn’t want to turn.  Then I thought I had that fixed and then the motor died, half way though the freeze.  Then it was clean up the mess and put the mixture into the freezer.  Now it is has been, stir ever half hour.  Probably I will end up with Italian granita instead of sorbet.  Time will tell.  I even was taking pictures to post under off-topic foods.

Next the ultra-thin pizza.  I made too much dough for my ultra-thin pizza.  I first rolled out half of the dough, then put it in a deep-dish pan.  I wanted to try and parbake the crust.  That worked out okay.  I then dressed the pie with my regular sauce and mozzarella cheese.  I put the pie back into the oven.  When I saw the top was getting finished before the bottom, I tried to take the pizza out of the deep-dish pan and put it onto the stone.  The pizza was too thin, and tore in one place.  Either it was that or maybe my formula wasn’t the best.  Just a part of pizza making.  The pizza did come out thin, but not like I wanted it to. On the one picture I held the one slice up to the light.  It can be seen on that picture that the light shines though the crust.

I tried another pizza with the extra dough, using different methods, but that pizza didn’t turn out right either.

At least when I was at the grocery store that day, I found another brand of mild cheddar cheese to try for the Mack’s clone.

The journey will continue for awhile, until I am able to successfully be able to make a thin-crust pizza like the Ultra-thin company made.  I will posts those attempts, later.



 A very finely-divided strain of dry yeast that, because of its particular strain and its smaller particle size than active dry yeast (ADY), needs no re-hydration, or "proofing", in water or other liquid to activate it and can thus be added directly to the flour and other dry ingredients. Moreover, instant dry yeast contains more live cells than active dry yeast, further facilitating its activation. Once in the flour, the instant dry yeast can tolerate liquid temperatures of 120–130̊F Because of all these factors, the instant dry yeast will start to work faster than active dry yeast. Like active dry yeast, advantages of instant dry yeast include convenience of use and long storage life, especially when sealed and frozen in an airtight container.

The information for IDY was copied from The Pizza Glossary at: pizzamaking.com


Picture of Jim Lahey's Pizza Attempt on Slice

I sent a picture of my first attempt of a pizza like Jim Lahey makes at Sullivan St. Bakery, in Manhattan, NY on Sunday evening, for Monday's pies.  Slice did post the picture of my finished pie on a Slideshow.

If anyone is interested, this is the link.


Thanks Slice for posting my picture!


New Preminum Yeast from SAF!!!!!! 12/17/2010

There is a new Premium SAF yeast, but it isn’t on the market for retail as of this date. I am going to try and get a sample of this yeast to experiment with, to see how much better it works in my market pizza dough and also try the SAF-Instant Premium, in breads and bagels.


Lesaffre has many varieties of instant yeast available. Each is designed for specific baking applications with the ability to rapidly rehydrate when added to the dough.

SAF-Instant® Premium is a granular free-flowing yeast for use in doughs with sugar levels of up to 12% (Baker's Percent).

1. Can reduce proofing times from 15% to 30%, and is recommended for no time doughs and high speed processes.
2. Can provide finished products with significantly larger volumes and has a much better oven spring.
3. Allows you to reduce your dry yeast usage as much as 30% in most formulations.
4. SAF-Instant® Premium performs up to 30% better than standard dry yeast in colder doughs.
5. SAF-Instant® Premium performs better than standard dry yeast in formulas containing low  amounts of preservatives, allowing you to use it in a wider range of formulas.
6. Uniform fermentation throughout your baking system.
7. Vacuum packaging ensures freshness, consistency, and minimal activity loss until opened. Available  in a 50 lb. bulk vacuum pack under the label SAF-Instant®  Purple
8. Improves machinability.
9. Free-flowing properties make it easy to scale and meter as other dry ingredients.
10. Unopened, SAF-Instant® Premium yeast packages need no refrigeration.
11. Can reduce mixing time 10% to 30% compared to compressed yeast.


What Is a DOP Tomato?...posted on Slice

Posted by Adam Kuban, December 16, 2010 at 10:00 AM
This one goes out to anyone who's ever asked whenever talk of canned tomatoes has come up on Slice...


Adventures in Trying to Make a Boardwalk Pizza first pizza 8/21/2010

If anyone is interested in seeing what kind of adventures and escapades other forum members and I had on pizzamaking.com and in trying to create a NJ Boardwalk Pizza, this is the link.  The whole thread was kinda like a soap-opera and it still isn’t finished....lol It was always going back to the drawing board, in that thread.  I will post the pictures of my other attempts in trying all the attempts I did, when I was trying to make a clone pizza.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9068.0.html  If you look down in this thread, you can see my first attempt to make an attempt on a Mack's clone.
I have gone back to the drawing board in trying to formulate a starting point for a clone Mack’s or Mack and Manco pizza.
I have thought about the longer ferment and what I might try to possibly get better results.  I looked though the New Kitchen Aid Dough Making Method starting at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.0.html 

I was going to keep my current formula, but go about making the dough in a different way for the first test.
I was striving for a final dough temperature of around 65 degrees F.  I planned on just mixing the water and flour and then incorporating the IDY, salt, and then finally the oil later in the mix. Since scott r thought this dough might be a longer mix time, it got me thinking about how to go about the mix and then the longer ferment.  The reasoning behind this is, if I am trying to stimulate what Mack’s might be doing to get a longer ferment, this might be something they are doing, in the heat and humidity of Wildwood or one of Mack's or Mack & Manco pizza businesses.
I don’t want to try sugar at this point in the experiment.
I might need to go back to the drawing board many times.

Flour (100%):     1559.77 g  |  55.02 oz | 3.44 lbs
Water (60%):       935.86 g  |  33.01 oz | 2.06 lbs
IDY (0.20%):           3.12 g | 0.11 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.04 tsp | 0.35 tbsp
Salt (1.75%):           27.3 g | 0.96 oz | 0.06 lbs | 5.69 tsp | 1.9 tbsp
Olive Oil (2.5%):      38.99 g | 1.38 oz | 0.09 lbs | 8.67 tsp | 2.89 tbsp
Total (164.45%): 2565.05 g | 90.48 oz | 5.65 lbs | TF = 0.09
Single Ball:   513.01 g | 18.1 oz | 1.13 lbs

Links to some more recent attempts..lol






Another White Pizza with Bacon 2/27/2010

I made two White Pizzas 2/27/2010  The one is was made in the afternoon of 2/27/2010 with pretzel dough at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10286.msg91547.html#msg91547

and the other White Pizza I made tonight was from a frozen dough ball that was the regular Lehmann dough.  The White Pizza I made the same evening was a Buffalo Chicken Pizza with bacon, that Peter had directed me to before.  This time I didn’t use crumbled blue cheese, but had Ken’s Blue Cheese Dressing and drizzled on before eating.  This White Buffalo Chicken Pizza was excellent in my opinion.  The pie was dressed first with Ken’s Ranch Dressing, then chicken I had fried with white sweet onions and garlic, added some Frank’s Red Hot Original with added butter, mozzarella, and bacon.
While I did really enjoy this Buffalo Chicken Pizza, what I can’t understand is how my crust got so nice and airy in my home oven, only at 450 degrees F. The crunchy rim was delicious in my opinion.  I am now wondering if my pizza oven at market needs to go down a notch to achieve this light and airy crust.


Eating my curds and whey by: Norma–Miss Muffet White Pizza Pie-with my home made mozzarella!..used my whey leftover from making mozzarella in the pizza dough


Eating my curds and whey by: Norma–Miss Muffet White Pizza Pie-with my home made mozzarella!..used my whey leftover from making mozzarella in the pizza dough


Little Miss Muffet,

Nursery Rhyme & History

Story of the Little Miss Muffet Rhyme
Little Miss Muffet was a small girl whose name was Patience Muffet. Her stepfather, Dr. Muffet (1553-1604) was a famous entomologist who wrote the first scientific catalogue of British Insects. Whilst eating her breakfast of curds and whey Little Miss Muffet was frightened by one of his spiders and ran away! This particular Nursery Rhyme of Little Miss Muffet reputedly dates back to the late 16th century as indicated by the birth date of Dr Muffet! Unlikely story about Patience Muffet!

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey,
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away

So, the story goes or other versions of it.

I had made fresh mozzarella, ricotta and pizza dough with whey to replace the water, yesterday.
The dough was made into a white pizza today.

2 ½ cups KAAP flour and ½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 cup of fresh warm whey
2 tablespoons olive oil

Left the dough in the refrigerator to cold ferment for 24 hours.  The dough more than doubled in size until today.  The dough ball was okay to open and I decided to try this dough in the deep-dish pan because I liked the results when trying the preferment with poolish of the Lehmann dough in this pan.  I oiled the pan with Crisco.  The pie was dressed with cherry tomatoes, panko seasoned bread crumbs, 3 garlic cloves, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes,1 large shallot, that were mixed with olive oil and broiled in the oven. The dough was brushed with olive oil and then dressed with the above mixture.  Fresh mozzarella was cut into diced pieces and dollops of ricotta were dropped on the pie.  The pie was baked in the middle rack of the oven.  The crust on the bottom didn’t seem finished, so the pizza stone was already on the bottom rack, so I transferred the pie to the bottom rack for a few minutes.

I really enjoyed the taste of this pie.  The hot pepper flakes gave it a little kick and the fresh mozzarella and ricotta really added to this Little Miss Muffet White Pie.


I forgot to mention, I needed to add a little more water to the whey for the dough to be moist enough.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another White Pizza 2/09/2010.. Buffalo Chicken

I made another White Pizza 2/09/2010.  This White Pizza was made with the poolish preferment for the Lehmann dough.  After reading about Peter’s Buffalo White Pizza, I decided to make a Buffalo White Pizza.

The White Pizza was dressed with Ken’s Ranch Dressing, Franks Cayenne Hot Sauce, chicken I had baked in the deck oven with a little fresh parsley, fresh garlic, and fresh basil, mixed with olive oil, some mozzarella and crumbled blue cheese.  I added the Franks Cayenne Hot Sauce and butter to the chicken and mixed together.

Even my daughter, who is getting sick of me making all these kinds of pizza, really liked this pizza.    She is getting to the point of saying..No, not more pizza..lol  We all like hot wings, and this White Buffalo Pizza tasted just like hot wings.  She even said this was the best pizza I made.

I still must say, baking a pizza in a deck oven is easier than my home oven.


I tried an experiment with making Pizza Cones 3/02/10

I used the Giordano's style dough when trying to make the pizza cones. I first rolled out the dough and tried to form them on a wooden waffle cone mold.  I pinched the end of the dough.  It was easy to do this with all the oil in the Giordano’s style dough.  I then put the cone mold and dough on a screen and put them into the oven.  I rotated the cone different times. On the pictures it can be seen the marks on the pizza cone from the screen. Then the cone was filled with sauce and dressed on the top with cheese and small triangles of pepperoni.  I cut a hole and made a holder out of an aluminum pan and put the pizza cone back into the oven until it was finished.  The resulting pizza cone was very good and the crust was crispy. The pizza cone didn’t leak. There would have to be some modifications in the size of the cone, but this was a start.  The Giordano’s style dough did work out good and it held the topping in well.  Giordano's Style dough recipe, that I had used for a deep-dish pizza was about 41% hydration.  With all the oil used in that formula it is easy to roll out the dough and also to make it stick when pressed.


My Friend The Pasta Lady at Root's Market-Pizza in Italy :)

The lady that owns and run the Pasta Plus Stand at Root's Country Market and Green Dragon Farmer's Market, told me she had been on a trip to Italy for 10 days.  Her favorite food is pizza, too! :)  She has owned many businesses and even ran and managed two restaurants at one time.  She makes all kinds of great fresh pastas salads and some are even vegan Pasta Salads.  I had asked her about her trip to Italy.  She gave me a few pictures of pizzas she ate there.  The one photo is of pizza cones she saw on her trip, but I don't think the pizza cones were in Italy.