Pizza rehab: from junkfood to superfood

Pizza has a bad reputation. Sure, it’s bad for us, but we can’t resist indulging every now and then. But what if you could enjoy tasty pizza that packs serious nutritious punch? Wizardry, you say? Not quite. The transformation from cholesterol catastrophe to sustainable superfood is here, it’s in Copenhagen, and it’s cruelty-free.

local vegetables fresh vegan plant based organic italian pizza chef streetfood papierøn
Bruno at work at ‘Made in Italy’ in Papierøn (Image courtesy of Bruno Cirrilo)

Italian student Bruno has taken his passion for pizza and the nutritional knowledge he’s learnt at GNH to his student job at vegetarian pizza joint ‘MadenItaly’ (meaning ‘Food of Italy’ in Danish) at Copenhagen’s streetfood island, Papirøn.

Having mastered the art of professional pizza making in Italy at the age of 18, Bruno started out creating deconstructed gourmet pizza at Angolo Palladio Restaurant in Italy . Before long, he was making traditional Italian pizza all over the world to fund his travels.

While cooking and eating his way across the planet, Bruno gained insight into the importance of food for health on a global scale, which led him to study Global Nutrition & Health at Metropol in Copenhagen.

vegan pizza vegetarian cruelty-free plant-based copenhagen harbour
Madenitaly pizzas at Papirøn, Copenhagen.

‘Madenitaly’ is a organic, vegetarian restaurant. But in the past, the outlet sold traditional Italian pizza, often loaded with processed meats.  Health concerns led Danish owner Eva De Masi to switch to a vegetarian diet, and to develop a meat-free menu for Madenitaly, with only vegan and vegetarian options. A brave move in a land where there are 2.5 pigs to every person, and Danes consume more pork per capita than anywhere else in the world!

Madenitaly rhubarb asaparagus vegan pizza sustainable organic plant-based
Madenitaly rhubarb and asaparagus vegan pizza (Photo: Madenitaly)

Pepperoni lovers initially took their business elsewhere. Under Eva’s direction, Bruno was able to put the nutrition knowledge he’d learnt at GNH into practice . With a philosophy “the first bite is with the eye” MadenItaly began to benefit from the vibrant aesthetic of colorful, seasonal vegetables and organic, local produce to attract new customers, and business was back on track in no time.

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Tastes like crispy bacon, looks (a bit) like crispy bacon (Dulse seaweed) photo credit

Traditional pizza has the famous, delicious umami flavour, which is present in salami and pepperoni. Cautious not to compromise on taste, they replaced the pork products with a seaweed called ‘dulse’ (handpicked in Iceland), which tastes just like bacon and is a great plant-based source of potassium and magnesium.

mystical pizza gif

Astonishingly, the delicious pizza bases are completely organic, stoneground, and wholegrain.  This pumps up the protein content to an average 17g per slice. A normal pizza is around 1,200 calories. A slice from Made in Italy is around 250-350. Fiber from all the wholegrain and vegetables slows down digestion, leaving you fuller for longer. A low glycemic index rating from the complex carbohydrates means the pizza regulates your blood sugar, unlike refined sugars and carbohydrates. The abundance of plant foods means there is no cholesterol in any of the slices (helped by mono-unsaturated, heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil).

Bruno is currently developing nutritional content for each slice, which you can find on their website.

Change begins at the local level. We’re proud of our students’ contribution as a catalyst for change.

Pizza is dead. Long live pizza!

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