By Shruti Tomar
We trotted over to Shahpur Jat in the national capital, where the gourmet pizza takeout and delivery brand, Anna Perenna, is tucked away in a corner, having skipped breakfast and lunch and poised to dive into wood fires, oozing cheeses and what have you.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the owners, Smita Beri and Anuradha Madhusudhanan, who graciously explained to us who Anna Perenna was. “Anna Perenna is the Roman Goddess of long life, good health and plenty. Inspired by her, we decided to create this brand using traditional ingredients, ie, the purest, healthiest, Organic and unprocessed ingredients: whole grains instead of processed refined flour, handmade instead of processed cheese, and made fresh from a scratch, every day.”
We blazed the trail with a cooling refresher, Basil Lemonade (Rs 65), a sweet and tangy lemonade made with tons of fresh basil— pure paradise in a mason jar. Not only does it quench your parched throat on a sultry day, the uplifting flavour of basil, which is a great herb to work with, had me in my happy place instantly. Before I could say Jack Robinson, there magically appeared a plate of minty greens, earthy browns and creamy white flakes. The Rocket, Pear, Baked Figs and Parmesan Salad (Rs 175) was that and more. The warm baked figs proved to be a delightful surprise when I took a spoonful while the crispy romaine and sprightly rocket vied for attention. Toasted walnuts and pomegranate added the crunch in each bite. Crumbly parmesan brought saltiness to the palate and the peppermint dressing, a much needed zing.
Moving on to their section on the menu called ‘Super Sides’ (Rs 150), I first got to taste a portion of Foccacia and Salsa. This no-maida (all purpose refined flour), 100 percent whole grain foccacia bread was baked with caramelised onions and sun dried tomatoes rendering a delicious flavour of tangy blended with sweet. Next came a portion of flat Olive Bread created with flavour-bursting olives and rosemary. Accompanying this was the perfect partner from the Middle East, hummus. Before you think I was being led up the garden path, please know that this fare had my appetite adequately seduced for what was to come.
Yes, the pizzas. It all began with the Mushroom Babycorn Parmesan (Rs 350) which was a 10” pizza with 100 percent wholegrain bread and topped with 100 percent handmade unprocessed cheese. On the list next was the Jalapeno, Olive, Sun dried Tomato and Gorgonzola (Rs 350) which is a stronger cheese in flavour than the flaky parmesan. The pungency of the jalapenos, salty olives and tangy sun dried tomatoes had me salivating for the next perfect bite. For those who are vegetarians, these are must haves from their menu of over 10 kinds that boasts of toppings such as roasted walnuts, figs, zucchini, hummus, kebabs, paneer (cottage cheese) and so on. In their non vegetarian options, there’s about five to choose from and I got to try the Chicken, Pineapple, Sundried Tomato and Rocket (Rs 460). The freshly tossed rocket and juicy pineapple really set off the happy dance in my mouth. It was truly wholesome excess!
Time for the sugar after the spice and out came a Lemon Glazed Cake Slice (Rs 100). Soft and of melt-in-the-mouth quality, I was taken aback after the first bite when Smita told me this was a cake made of whole wheat flour and there was absolutely no maida. Last but definitely not the least at Anna Perenna Pizza, I had a slice of the Super Moist Carrot, Fruit and Nut Cake (Rs 150). After the first hint of carrots, roasted nuts and boozed dried fruits, I knew I had to devour this cake slowly so as to make it last.
What’s great about Anna Perenna Pizza is that your typical junk food is rendered “junkless”. All their ingredients are organic. Their crusts and sandwich breads are 100 percent whole wheat. Their cheeses are rich in 100 percent absorbable calcium, and protein; A2 Allele in the milk from native breeds of cows. What’s more, almost everything on their menu has a vegan alternative, and gluten free pizza bases and breads are on offer for those with celiac disease.
|Location: Shahpur Jat, Siri Fort, New Delhi, India|
Cuisine: Gourmet ORGANIC pizzas
Meal for 2: Rs 750
How you can get it: Dine indoors in Anna’s Tasting Room or order online. Delivery in South Delhi
Popular toppings: Jalapeno, Olive, Sun dried Tomato &Gorgonzola, Rocket, Pear, Baked Figs & Parmesan Salad, etc
What’s great about Anna: Fresh, Organic & handmade. Preservative free, no flavour enhancers or added colours. Umpteen options for the gluten-sensitive and vegans. Pocket friendly & home delivered. With much love
This article appeared in the April 2016 issue of Pure & Eco India