When you put anchovies on top of a pizza you end up with bites of pizza with a large proportion of anchovy to bite. The flavor of a tinned anchovy may certainly shock some people and warm the hearts of others. Recently we had an everything pizza with anchovies. The pizza was delicious and the bites with anchovy certainly had more presence, an elevation of flavor, a distinct characteristic which improved the overall enjoyment of the pizza. I know for certain the anchovies hightened the experience because a week prior I ordered the same pie without the anchovies. The difference was remarkable. In following along my train of thought I began thinking about the integration of anchovies in food. I remember braising duck legs on the Vineyard and adding a can of anchovies to the braise to increase the savoriness. While I did not tell the owner, sorry Marco, the resulting braised duck legs and the pasta it was folded into won raves. By the way, the pasta recipe was not ours either, it to was Marco's and if you are lucky he may be serving it at one of his restaurants. And I wouldn't mention this whole anchovy thing. I also remember working with anchovies at Olives. There we cooked the anchovies down with CRP, capers and I believe some onions until all the moisture was evaporated. We then strained off the cooking oil and reserved this crispy flavorings. I do not remember where we used this condiment though in steak tartare or on french fries would not be a bad place to start.
I return to the pizza. What if instead of landing the anchovies on the pie we folded the anchovies into the pizza dough itself to add another element to the dough. Purists are looking to string me up for these thoughts, though the idea is sound. Along this same thought process what if we smoked the flour for our dough to have smoked pizza? Not everyone has a wood fired oven. Now we may begin to extrapolate. We have had smoked salmon with cream cheese. Have you had smoked cream cheese with salmon? What if we smoked the bagel or added anchovies to the dough? Sure everything bagels are Aki's favorite though what if we made a kimchee bagel or kimchee seasonings to sprinkle on our bagel.
Take some time to think about where you put flavor and why you do it? A moment like this can change what you do and at least let you begin to understand why you do it.