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Monday, June 30, 2014

Vermont Vacation, Part I: Pizza on Earth

After a week's vacation, and some down time before that, I feel way behind in my postings. I do have a backlog of local pizzeria posts to get to, but in the interests of getting something posted sooner rather than later, here's a post on the most recent place I visited.
While researching Vermont pizza for my upcoming trip, I ran across Pizza on Earth, and after reading about it I knew that this was the one must-visit on my Vermont pizza itinerary.
What did I find so intriguing? I'll let the owners speak for themselves:

"Pizza on Earth is located on our farm in Charlotte, Vermont twelve miles south of Burlington. In our wood oven, we make thin crust pizzas, and hand formed artisan style breads, with a unique smoky flavor and rustic appearance. In our bakery, we make a selection of desserts and breakfast pastries. During the summer months, we offer our own homemade gelato. We use local dairy products, King Arthur Flour, and produce from our own farm and other area farms when available."

PoE's hours vary throughout the year, but currently they're open Thursdays and Fridays from 4:00 to 7:30.
Now all of that could add up to nothing more than pretension, if the pizza's no good. But Pizza on Earth delivers (figuratively speaking).
From that Friday's menu, which was printed on a chalkboard above the counter, we ordered two pies, which was just about right for the three of us. One was a "Chicklet," topped with garlic oil, red onion, chicken, red peppers, and Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. We also got a pepperoni pie, sans cheese, for my daughter, who doesn't tolerate dairy too well.
About ten minutes after we ordered, our pies were ready. Both were terrific. The crust on both was translucently thin in the late-afternoon sun (we ate outdoors; more about that later). The underside was crackly-crisp and nicely charred but not burnt.
The toppings were excellent as well. I was particularly impressed by the mozzarella, which I was told comes from New York State. It was delightfully smooth and creamy, and made a great base for the other toppings on the Chicklet.
Despite the absence of cheese, the pepperoni pie was quite tasty as well. The pepperoni was sliced very thin and was nicely crisped. The sauce had a fresh tomatoey flavor, complemented by a sprinkling of dried herbs.
But simply to describe the pizza here would be doing a disservice both to the reader and to Pizza on Earth. While there, I realized yet again how much more there is to the experience of eating than merely consuming food. As good as the pizza was, the overall experience was greatly enhanced by the surroundings. PoE bakes its pies in a wood-fired oven, in a small structure, in a bucolic farm setting. There is no indoor seating, but diners are free to avail themselves of the several picnic tables available. You're also welcome to BYO beverages, although water and soft drinks are available for purchase. There's also a selection of gelato and baked goods to satisfy your sweet tooth.
On a warm summer afternoon, surrounded by green fields amid the rolling hills of western Vermont, this was about as pleasurable a pizza experience as I've had. I won't assign the pizza a rating, since PoE is far outside the geographical scope of this blog, but Pizza on Earth has earned a spot in my best pizza memories.

Pizza On Earth
Address: 1510 Hinesburg Rd, Charlotte, VT 05445
Phone: (802) 425-2152

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