In communist times Cluj was famous for its pizzeria – yes, just the one – and students who studied here then, of which there were many, felt very privileged to have been through its portals. There are more opportunities now, and though the quality of Romanian pizza rarely rises above “average”, they do make a nice change from the usual, with all the usual suspects such as Margherita, Quattro Stagioni, Hawaiian, etc. But I noticed one here recently called “Bismarck” - is that normal?? And it featured slices of hard-boiled egg. Was The Iron Chancellor known to be fond of pizza? Did the battleship named after him sink because it took on too many hard-boiled eggs at Gotenhafen?? There were other, similarly strangely named ones; I think the menu went something like this:
Bismarck: Hard-boiled eggs (obviously), sausage, sauerkraut, iron.
Tirpitz : The one that never sees a pizza the action! With Operation Sauce.
Graf Spee: A “pocket” pizza, conforming to weight restrictions demanded by the Treaty of Versailles - it packs a punch but will meet its destiny on The Plate.
Hindenburg : A calzone-style pizza, the dough turned over to enclose the tasty, piping-hot hydrogen and then coated with a layer of special, (highly inflammable) anti-glare paint.
Charlemagne: Holy romano pizza. Tomato, mozzarella, oregano, Papal authority.
“Mad” King Ludwig of Bavaria: Prosciutto, anchovies, Coco Pops, baked beans, banana, Marmite.
“Mad” King Otto of Bavaria: Pineapple, sardines, Smarties (but not the blue ones ‘cos they’re bad for you), gravy, Monster Munch.
Kaiser Wilhelm II: Pickled artichoke, pickled gherkins, Pickelhaube.
Adolf Hitler: Vegetarian.
Willy Brandt: (Deep-)Pan-European.
Helmut Kohl: Cabbage.
Gerhard Schröder: Quattro donnicciole
And if you can think what toppings an Angela Merkel pizza or even a Konrad Adenauer pizza would have on it, then you’re a better man than I am!