Gunge Pizzeria

In most countries you can find pizzerias. Many produce ‘authentic pizzas’, that is, according to the original style that was first developed in Italy with the red tomato, white cheese and green basil, the colors of the Italian flag. Then there are pizzerias that introduce new ideas into their products. Here I’ll say, Welcome to Gunge Pizzeria.

What’s so different about this pizzeria?

Founded in March 2012, by Shiro Ikuma and his wife. The pizzeria is located in the Gunge area of Tamba Sasayama, a 5 minute walk from Sasayama castle.

It boasts a hand-made pizza oven, built by Shiro San, that is heated using locally produced wood, giving the pizzas a very natural flavor and making the oven Eco-friendly. Some of the tables and furnishings are hand made by WOOFer’s who visit and work at the pizzeria. (See footnote about WWOOF)

Shiro’s pizza style

“A good pizza begins with an appetizing aroma” is Ikuma San’s cooking philosophy. The base of the pizza is made using sour dough, giving it a different flavor to a regular pizza base. The filling is tomato, topped with cheese and dressed with locally grown seasonal vegetables, fruits  or my favorite, wild boar meat. There are quite a few different flavors and styles to choose from. Alcoholic beverages, including Italian beer and wine, as well as coffee, juice and other drinks are served. Lunch time just turn up, but you need to make a reservation for the evening dinner service.

WWOOFing

“World Wild Opportunities on Organic Farms.”  As their mission statement says: (WWOOF) is a worldwide movement to link visitors with organic farmers, promote a cultural and educational exchange, and build a global community conscious of ecological farming and sustainability practices.

Ikuma San is a host for Woofers and has had many visitors come and stay for awhile. A couple of year’s ago, a retired French carpenter who came built a large group table for the restaurant. Because of COVID, everything has been on hold, hopefully next year things will start moving and you may meet some staff from a far distant country.

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