OK, this will be my last pizza review from my June vacation in Vermont. But I couldn't not report on Woodbelly Pizza.
Woodbelly is a mobile operation, and does a lot of catering. But they have a regular gig at the Stowe Farmer's Market on Sundays, which is where I ran across them the day after we arrived.
Fresh pies were coming out of the oven every few minutes, and I got a cheese slice.
The crust was thin, but not paper thin, and crisp, but not brittle. Underneath, it was dotted with charred spots, and it had a pleasantly toasty flavor and aroma. As you can see in the photo, the slice also passed the "fold test," meaning that I was able to fold it, and hold it by the edge, without the tip flopping down.
On top, the tomato sauce had a natural sweetness; not sugary sweet, but sweet from the tomatoes themselves. I would've preferred a little more cheese, but the crust was so good that it was no big deal. In any event, I preferred this to a slice laden with a thick blanket of melted cheese.
The slice was lightly sprinkled with shreds of basil, which added some subtle aroma and flavor.
As you might expect from a wood-fired pizza operation at a farmers market in Vermont, Woodbelly uses a lot of organic and local ingredients. Their dough is made from freshly milled organic wheat, which they get from Elmore Mountain Bread in Elmore, Vermont. The sauce is made from organic Muir Glen tomatoes.
Surprisingly, and I think partly due to supply issues, the cheeses on my slice included Sorrento shredded mozzarella and Parmesan from Buffalo(!) and Cabot cheddar. But they also make use of local goat cheese, cheddar curd, imported Italian Parmesan, as well as organic veggies and organic beef sausage.
Woodbelly's oven typically runs at about 900 degrees. Pizzas generally start on a metal screen before they are transferred to the hearth. Dave, the pizzaiolo, tells me that he would prefer to "cruise at 775-850 and go straight onto the hearth," but that's simply not practicable with the volume of pizza that he's usually cooking.
Well, if Woodbelly's pizza can get better, I'd love to try it. Because my slice was pretty damn good. I've said before that a wood-fired oven is no guarantee of good pizza. It's a tool, and like any tool, the user has to know how to use it, to achieve optimum results. Woodbelly is there.
Capitol City Farmer's Market
Saturdays in Montpelier
9 AM til 1 PM May - October
Stowe Artisan Market
Sundays on the Mountain Rd
10 AM til 3 PM mid-May - October
phone: (802) 552 3476
snail mail: 34 Langone Rd, Cabot, VT 05647