<strong>A Turnip for the Book: Japanese News Channel to Feature Pizzeria that Said Sayonara to Tomatoes</strong>

A Turnip for the Book: Japanese News Channel to Feature Pizzeria that Said Sayonara to Tomatoes

A Suffolk pizzeria, which served up a satirical and ‘tongue-in-cheek’ pizza, having been told to say ‘sayonara’ to tomatoes and turn to turnips instead, has caught the eye of Japanese news network, Nippon, and is about to make international news.

The channel is about to give its Japanese online news users a story about Beccles-based Oak Fired Pizza, after the eatery made a political point about Britain’s ongoing tomato shortage, by creating a  rather unappealing sounding ‘turnip pizza’.  

This followed comments  from Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who declared Brits should eat seasonal produce like turnips, rather than bemoaning the lack of tomatoes on supermarket shelves.

After this Marie-Antoinette-sounding ‘let them eat turnips’ advice, Oak Fired substituted its generally required tomato-based pizza sauce with a turnip-based puree.  Adding spring onions and Stilton cheese, the ‘turnip pizza’ was launched, to tickle or terrify the Beccles taste buds!

Having created this satirical pizza, Oak Fired then issued an invitation to Thérèse Coffey – actually the MP for Suffolk Coastal – to drop in and try it.  Surprisingly, it’s been a no-show.

The pizzeria’s political dig is based on good business reason.  It was only the third pizzeria in the UK to earn certification that allows it to state that it serves ‘Real Neapolitan Pizza’.  To achieve this, it had to satisfy the rigid demands of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana in Naples, by adhering to every one of 10 points governing the preparation and cooking of Real Neapolitan pizza, one of which requires the use of authentic Italian tomatoes.

“Brexit first put this in jeopardy.  Now, turnips just won’t cut it for the AVPN,” says one of the pizzeria’s owners, Paul Jackson.  “We wanted to make a point to politicians about the impacts that Brexit and food shortages have had on businesses. Our turnip pizza is served up with a good lashing of irony, besides the other ingredients.  News editors in Japan have picked up on this and our turnip pizza is set to make international headlines.”

Ironically, however, it’s gone down quite well amongst Beccles customers, proving to be a white-based pizza that has actually had some “salivating”.  On this basis, ‘satirical pizza’ could become a regular thing on the Beccles menu.  The pizzeria’s turnip menu actually follows in the footsteps of Scotch Egg pizza, created by Oak Fired when George Eustice declared this delicacy a ‘substantial meal’ that would enable alcohol to be served with it, in tier-2 areas, after lockdown.

Despite the turnip pizza having a better reception than might have been imagined, the Havanas-smoking Secretary of State has not put in an appearance.  Close but no cigar, as they say.

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