18 Mar Purezza
It’s been a while since I’ve been in Camden so when I was researching lunch options on my commute into town, Googlemaps was my best friend. I try to find places with a point of difference and Purezza certainly fits the bill. To look at the menu it seems relatively normal for an Italian restaurant – pizza, lasagna, calzone, so far so standard. Yet this is the UK’s first vegan pizzeria! Founded in 2015, Purezza (which means purity) is all about cruelty free ingredients and also looks out for its gluten free friends.
They have three types of pizza base – sourdough, hemp flour or gluten free. The original sourdough is based on a traditional family recipe made fresh daily and matured for at least two days before being served. That is proper sourdough! Not only that but they make all their dairy-free cheeses in their other home, Brighton. The mozzarella was the culmination of over two years work and uses organic Italian brown rice milk. Other cheeses include raw cashew cheeses, cheddar and ricotta styles. That is a lot of work and dedication right there!
Quick FYI – the tomato sauce used on the pizzas does not contain onions or garlic so hooray for those of you who are allergic to them or are doing FODMAP
I had an hour off so thought I’d pop along for lunch. What’s cool is that they’ve arranged counter seating around the pizza kitchen so you can watch all the action around the huge wood fired oven. My pizza was called Season.4.Pizza.1 which presumably is their trendy way of calling it a four seasons pizza. This comes topped with artichokes, black kalamata olives, smoked beetroot carpaccio (super thin rounds of beetroot), wild forest mushrooms and mozzarella on a tomato sauce base. Micro herbs of parsley and basil add Spring/Summer’19 vibes.
I chose the gluten free base because I was all kinds of curious to see whether it would deliver in texture. More often than not g/f pizzas can be dense and claggy – side note here, if you’re wanting good frozen pizza for home I highly recommend Schar’s gluten and lactose free pizza. You can find it in most large supermarkets and it’s the best I’ve found so far! Pimp it up with chilli flakes, oregano, thyme and ground black pepper ?
Back to Purezza. Their style of pizza is slightly thicker than a Neapolitan. It has a smoky, slightly bitter charred taste and texture from the wood fired oven. The crust shows off the quality of the dough with its many air pockets whilst retaining an element of chew. The toppings are in full supply, you won’t have to worry about divvying them up for each bite! I love olives and artichokes – their hint of vinegar and salt works perfectly with the sweet tomato sauce and smoked beetroot, which btw is super tender. Fresh notes of parsley enliven the mushrooms’ earthy quality and all together these four seasons create a great tasting pizza!
As a lunch, this was extremely filling. I definitely waddled back to work! If you’re planning to do the same, you could share this with a friend and get a side salad as well or get the left over to take away. Staff are very calm and knowledgable, they can answer any questions you have about the ingredients, how they make the cheeses and so on.
You may have noticed I’ve been rather into matcha lattes recently ?Purezza’s version was thickened with a little coconut powder which made it unique to the (many) others I’ve tried. This adds richness and makes the latte more creamy. It’s served with coconut sugar on the side. I love how they let you sweeten it to taste rather than just bunging two sugars in there straight away.
Purezza is a fantastic option for anyone fancying quality pizzas, regardless of whether you’re vegan or not. It’s encouraging for those amongst us with dietary requirements to know that not only are our needs taken care of, it’s also delicious! I’ll include the details for their Brighton restaurant below as it’s a five minute walk from Brighton Dome concert hall.
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See you next week! ???
Total receipt (one person): £19.14
1x Season.4.pizza.1 11.95
1x Freedom pizza base 1.95
1x Matcha latte 3.5
Optional service 1.74
Rating: 8.5/10 Happy making food
Purezza, 12 St James’s Street, Brighton, BN2 1RE