It's been a tense month for Franco-Italian relations. Just last week, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi made the bold claim, during the Vinitaly trade show in Verona, that Italian wines are better than French wines now. France's president Francois Hollande retorted that Italy may be outselling France, but French wines are more expensive—thereby invoking a "quality is better than quantity" argument. Then there was the kerfuffle about a French video that attempted to remake pasta alla carbonara, which went viral and was mercilessly mocked. Now a decidedly un-Italian pizza has taken top honors at the Pizza World Championships in Parma.
Defying tradition, French pizza maker Ludovic Bicchierai crafted a bouillabaisse-inspired pie topped with tomatoes, bream carpaccio, mozzarella, courgette flowers, prawns, and Tabasco sauce. Fish-soup pizza? Sounds like a messy, bad idea. But it must have been delicious: It beat 650 other pizza-makers from 35 different countries to win the 25th annual competition. "This is the second time I've taken part in the competition, but this year I thought I'd use the traditional French fish soup as my inspiration," Bicchierai said to French news site The Local.
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This is only the third time that a non-Italian grabbed the top prize. But all is not lost for Italians; Sicilians Alfio Russo and Niccolo Cusumano grabbed second and third place.