A Trade Wind Pizza

 This post has only a marginal link between book and culinary interest.   Trade wind by M. M. Kaye, is set in Zanzibar, so I had thought of investigating the food of that Island and making something.  Never got to it.  Anyway, I don't really recall  much  local cuisine being mentioned in the book.

However, that is a digression from the central point of any review of her novel.  It is so well written and researched, with fabulous characters who come alive, right off the pages; pirates, slave traders, concubines and sultans included.  The setting is a tropical paradise, though contrasted with the filth, disease and squalor of the time.  Ameliorated by romance, and fascinating history worked into an amazing plot and story.  I absolutely loved this novel.

"The year is 1859 and Hero Hollis, beautiful and headstrong niece of the American Consul, arrives in Zanzibar. It is an earthly paradise; it is also the last outpost of the slave trade. A passionate opponent of slavery, Hero is swept into a turmoil of royal intrigue, abduction, piracy, smuggling, and a virulent cholera epidemic. There in Zanzibar, the most cruelly beautiful island of the southern seas, she must choose her love and unravel her destiny." (from Goodreads)

Kaye is more famous for her book, The Far Pavilions, one of the great stories to emerge from British India, and I have also enjoyed all of her Death in Berlin, & etc. mysteries.  This one though is my favorite. I want to read Shadow of the Moon, which is out of print, and "lost" at our library.  No worries, though, they have ordered another copy.  Thanks Hawaii State Library system!

You will be wondering what in the world pizza has to do with a novel set in Zanzibar during the 1800's.  Well, nothing exactly.   I can say that my pizza has tropical fruit on it, so there would be the tenuous link.  A Trade Wind Pizza.  Though probably by this date, Pizza places are all over Zanzibar.

I saw some ripe and lovely, locally grown figs in the market and we have lots of pineapple happening, so in the style of ham and pineapple on pizza, we have here pineapple, figs, chopped soppressata, and  Mindoro Blue and Jarlsberg cheeses, with arugula thrown on top after it came out of the oven.  What a delightful treat of exotic flavors.  Do you know that Zanzibar boasts a real mingling of cultures, so this pizza fits --  right?  The Northern cheeses and tropical fruits.

I've been making my pizzas in a large cast iron pan for some time now, and believe in sticking with what works so fabulously.  The recipe for which perfect pizza was shared in a previous post.  This one took about 7 fresh Mission figs, quartered, 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut in chunks, as much pepperoni, soppressata or ham as you like and I used blue and Jarlsberg cheeses here.  I layered with the cheese at bottom, then fruits and meat on top.  Truly delicious.  One for the books.

Will share with the lovely folks who post and visit Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking event.  Be sure to stop by for some good reading suggestions, as well as lots of culinary interest.


Mae Travels said...

Your figs, cheeses, and arugula make a really tempting combination! Unfortunately, we rarely get very nice figs, and when we do they cost a fortune as they do not travel or keep very well. Maybe someone someday will hybridize a northern-climate fig tree.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Beth F said...

I can't believe I have never read any of her books -- but I'll add her to my list. I love the sound of that pizza, which indeed evokes an island mood. By the way, your link seemed to have worked.

Carole said...

Love a good pizza. Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

Tina said...

Sounds like this book has it all- tropical theme with romance, history and pirates. Plus you brought a pizza, I am always on Board for that. Nice tropical twist for the pizza. As Mae mentioned, we don't get figs too often here either and they are expensive but so worth it.

Vicki said...

I'm not sure about the figs and blue cheese, but I'd give it a try.

Claudia said...

Luckily we have various micro-climates here, so figs will grow in Kona and these were from Ocean View, which is also drier than our place on the Hilo side.

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

I love fig on a pizza, yours looks so delicious.

Judee@gluten Free A-Z Blog said...

I adore fresh figs. They look delicious on your pizza..