Posted by sean on October 28, 2019 at 10:34 pm in Pizza with No Comments

I have been wearing an imaginary black armband for the past two days. I am mourning the death of a loved one.

No family member, friend or indeed any human has passed away. Neither has an animal. In fact, nothing living has died – that’s not to say that this death is not a tragedy.

It may surprise you, but this muscular bicep does not belong to me.

I said earlier that I was not mourning the death of a friend. That isn’t entirely true. A friend of mine has died, but this is of the pizza takeaway variety of pals.

I believe that I was first introduced to Pizzarella in 1993. We hadn’t been living in Bath long at that time, having moved from Bristol less than a year earlier.

As a family, we didn’t eat many takeaways, while my siblings and I were children. To be fair to my parents, they weren’t being tight with money, or forcing their kids to be health freaks.

Our childhood home was near to the infamous Gloucester Road. Even twenty five years ago, there were takeaway outlets up and down the road. I don’t know if hygiene ratings existed in the late 80’s, early 90’s; but I can only assume not, as I seem to remember every takeaway business looking disgusting.

I vividly remember Miss Millie’s fried chicken having a window smashed. A trail of blood ran from the broken glass to a house, a short walk away. It wouldn’t take Inspector Morse to work out who may have been involved in that break in!

Anyway, I think that I have established that I didn’t eat many takeaways in Bristol – and with good reason!

Therefore, when we moved to Bath and discovered Pizzarella, an amazing little Italian takeaway, we became hooked!

My loyalty to the takeaway continued throughout my teenage years and into adulthood. When I left home and was forced to fend for myself, my pizza addiction continued. An addiction rarely fixed by the likes of Dominos and Pizza Hut, I regularly called on Bath’s best Italian takeaway.

Pizzarella was owned and ran by a wonderful man. He was a stereotypical Italian. A fantastic cook, larger than life and always ready to explode at one of his helpers, should they make an error. Let’s just say that he was a perfectionist.

Not a Pizzarella pizza, but one from Naples, Italy. Hard to think that you could once buy pizza this good in Bath.

Sadly, this fantastic Italian hung up his apron, to start a much deserved retirement. I seem to recall this taking place shortly before I left Newbridge, to move in with Claire, a mile or so up the road in Weston.

Claire knew of Pizzarella’s famous reputation and despite not living around the corner anymore, I was more than happy to return to my old stomping ground, in order to pick up good quality pizza.

The legendary Italian owner had gone and so had much of the quality of pizza. Whoever had taken over the business certainly knew his onions – or pizzas, though. Maybe he had been well-trained by his retired predecessor, or perhaps the wonderful stone oven helped keep these pizzas the best in Bath.

In recent years, we haven’t frequented Pizzarella as much anymore. Looking at the menu, it appears that whoever runs the takeaway now has expanded the menu to include kebabs and the like. I have never eaten a kebab and never intend do, but I have heard bad things about these ones…

This Saturday, we ordered a pizza for the first time in about a year. Claire and I were both disappointed. My pizza was flavourless, what little cheese there was tasted cheap and the tomato sauce – one of the best parts of the traditional Pizzarella pizza – was awful by comparison.

Thousands mourn the loss.

It’s such a shame that what was once home to the best pizza I have eaten outside of Italy, has sold out to become a greasy kebab joint, with very average food.

Rest in peace, Pizzarella.

You will become the thing of myth and legend.

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