Pizza - The Only Time Topless Isn't Fun
After 22 years in Hungary, I feel I have been able to adjust well to most cultural differences. An exception has been Hungarian pizza. With over 1000 years of civilization under their belts and in their bellies, Hungarians still cannot make a proper pizza or pizza sauce. Instead, you get ketchup with your pizza because they cannot be bothered to make your basic tomato sauce. Any pizza you have to put ketchup on is not a pizza. I also cannot understand or digest canned vegetables on "vegetarian" pizzas when so much fresh veg is available year round, even in Italy. My favorite pizzas would include blue cheese and ruccola, and a proper garlicy sauce.
I remember while living in Beijing in 1987, even though the university had an excellent chef, we got pretty desperate for some familiar foodstuffs such as pizza. There is a Muslim minority called Uighur that have special permission from the government to eat and cook lamb. Near the university at the end of the open market some Uighurs had a small home bakery. While there was a French bakery in the French Quarter of Shaghai, bread as a rule is not a mainstay of the Chinese diet and a rarity. The Uighurs make a rounded flat bread with raised puffy crust around the edges. The mother of invention got into us and we bought some Uiger bread, sliced some tomatoes onto it, and spent a small fortune in foreign exchange certificates (FEC, money for foreigners in China) and bought some cheese at a luxury joint-venture hotel to put on top. Placing the creation on the radiator, we went off to classes and came back a few hours later to a very welcome warm "pizza."
For the history of pizza, see the Wikipedia entry here. For example, "On November 17, 2011, the United States Congress declared a serving of pizza to be an adequate serving of vegetables. This was mainly decided after much lobbying by the frozen food industries, despite protest from potato farmers." And some pizza fun facts here.
I wish I could recommend some great pizza in Budapest, but I have yet to encounter one. Il Treno used to have a good garlicy sauce on theirs, as did Via Luna, but it has been many years since I have been to either of these restaurants. New York Pizza's pizza is also good (everything else on their menu I have tried is great, especially their lunch menu). Any suggestions?