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Pizza with Capicola and Olives

Most of my good friends who have children describe their eating habits as adventurous, up to a point. In other words, as babies, they’ll eat almost anything: olives, capers, lemon wedges, even those tiny dried fish from Japanese grocery stores. My sister’s kids loved those! They’d eat them like popcorn; they loved the seaweed snacks, too. I’ve heard that babies love sour food like plain lemon wedges (typing these words makes my salivary glands overreact!) and can eat whole lemons with glee. But they also love to eat a whole range of unusual foods that, predictably, ends when they become a toddler.

This leaves parents shaking their heads, confused, wondering what happened, what did they do wrong? All of a sudden their little one will only eat pasta and butter. Or dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets. Or cheese pizza, without so much as a speck of oregano. Maybe a piece of broccoli sneaks under their toddler radar, but that’s it. Some kids seemingly never outgrow this phase, and others do. Only a few “lucky” parents end up having kids who still eat adventurously all through childhood. I know one little girl who can eat an entire jar of olives, if her parents let her, as well as a little guy who knows his way rather well around a menu at his parents’ favorite Thai restaurant. It’s a roll of the dice!

Science tells us it has something to do with developing taste buds, a mechanism built within us to protect ourselves and keep us from eating things that aren’t meant to be eaten. As we age, those taste buds develop fully and we start enjoying a wider range of flavors again. Hopefully. Except for some reason, not many adults can eat a lemon as if it were an orange. (Whoa, there goes my mouth again!)

When that time comes, then this flatbread pizza is bound to please any adult or adventurous kid. Salty olive tapenade, cured capicola, fresh mozzarella, and crispy flatbread: all big flavors that pack a serious tastebud punch. Capicola is glorious and even in small amounts makes a delicious, salty impact.

Make one to share with your favorite adventurous child, or keep it all to yourself and wash it down with an icy pilsner. SO much better than ground up chicken in the shape of a dinosaur.

-Amy at Flatout

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