April 25, 2014 |

Pizza got game

By Denise Greer

buffaloLast week’s Pizza Headline about New Zealand-based Hell Pizza and its rabbit-pelt covered billboard sparked my curiosity about game and alternative meats. Rabbit meat is so plentiful in the region that it became a viable pizza topping for Hell Pizza’s LTO specialty pizza.

Alternative and game meats are not new to restaurant menus. With beef prices prices at their highest levels since the 1980s, why not take a look at other meats? The dining public is more adventurous than ever before, and curiosity may win over for that specialty pizza topped with local duck, bison, venison or boar. Bison has become so readily available that I can order it in almost any of my local, independent restaurants.

The National Restaurant Association gave notice to alternative red meats, like bison and ostrich and game meats, like venison, game birds, boar and rabbit, on its What’s Hot in 2014 Culinary Forecast.

Game and alternative meats can also fit into a locally-sourced menu. Take Evan’s Neighborhood Pizza, in Fort Myers, Florida, for instance. It has received regional and national attention recently for its “Everglades Pizza” topped with alligator sausage, python meat, frog legs, “swamp cabbage’ (palm hearts) and “Everglades Seasoning.”

Here are a few other pizzerias that have gotten into the “game”:

  • Katie’s Pizza and Pasta Osteria in Rock Hill, Missouri, is “wowing” fans and food critics with its wild boar papardelle.
  • Denver, Colorado-based Live Basil Pizza features The Colorado, a white pizza topped with bison sausage, goat cheese, fire-roasted green chiles, red onion, roasted sweet corn, olive oil and fresh cilantro.
  • Roberto’s Pizza in Martinsburg, West Virginia, menus the Wild and Wonderful pizza with venison, red sauce, red onion, black olives and green pepper.
  • Il Capo Pizzeria in Scottsdale, Arizona, features a Duck Prosciutto pizza with figs, goat cheese, garlic and EVOO.

So, who’s got game?