Getta PIZZA This takes gourmet pizza to new levels with all-vegan ingredients./Photo byMaria DeForrest
For vegans, the odds of finding fresh, scrumptious pizza might be the same as winning Powerball. However, at the right farmers’ market or festival, wood-fired vegan pizzas come right out of the oven. Susan Pawlikowski, a veteran DelCastle Technical School carpentry teacher, makes and bakes vegan pizza in a mobile-catering, wood-fired oven called Getta PIZZA This.
Pawlikowski trailers her fire-engine red oven to public events and private parties up and down the state from her Lewes-area home.
A vegan for six years, this entrepreneur admits she didn’t even like vegetables as a child. “I cried at every meal,” she says. But as an adult, she switched her dietary preferences after learning about factory-farmed meat while listening to audiobooks during her daily commute.
Her part-time seasonal gig is not without challenges, of course. One of the first was locating a tasty cheese that melted … well, like pizza cheese. The quest included recruiting folks for taste testing. Finding vegan meats proved less time-consuming; she tops pizzas with soy-based pepperoni, sausage, chicken and bacon. “I don’t think you can tell the difference,” she says.
The pizza crust, Neapolitan-style prepared with Italian flour, is topped with seasonal, local and organic ingredients, and the six offerings boast catchy names such as Plain Jane, Basil Bliss and Popeye & Olive Oil.
While baking personal-size pizzas over a wood-fire stove may seem like a lot of work, customers who line up don’t see the real effort: the preparation at home. “It’s a lot. I need another me,” Pawlikowski says.
In addition, the oven needs at least two hours to heat up to 800 degrees, so Pawlikowski often lights the fire before she leaves home. She employs a cook to handle the baking while she builds the pizzas. “It just gets busy,” she says.
The pizzas are crowd pleasers not just at farmers markets but also at the Rehoboth and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Veg Fests; at Salted Vines Vineyard near Frankford and regional festivals.