Savoring Artisan Excellence: Artisan Pizza at Tin Plate in Breckenridge, CO
Nestled amidst the picturesque Rocky Mountains, Breckenridge, Colorado, is not only a haven for outdoor enthusiasts but also a culinary treasure trove for food lovers. Among its culinary gems lies Tin Plate Pizza, a charming pizzeria that has taken the town by storm with its handcrafted artisan pizzas. In this blog post, we will explore the delightful world of Tin Plate Pizza and delve into the concept of artisan pizza.
The Tin Plate Pizza Story
Tin Plate Pizza, located in the heart of Breckenridge, is more than just a pizza joint; it’s a culinary experience. The restaurant was founded by husband and wife duo, James and Meagan Harris. With a passion for customer experience and a vision of elevating pizza to an art form, Tin Plate Pizza was born during an extensive remodel of the Tin Plate Pizza historical building, now over 138 years old.
Inspired by the artisanal pizza culture of New York and New Jersey, James and Meagan embarked on a mission to bring that same level of excellence to the high-altitude town of Breckenridge. In 2020, Tin Plate Pizza was born, and it quickly became a local favorite and a must-visit destination for tourists.
Artisan Pizza: A Delectable Craft
Before we dive into the specifics of Tin Plate Pizza’s offerings, let’s unravel the essence of artisan pizza. What is artisan pizza, and what does it mean to savor an artisan-style pizza?
Pizza, one of the world’s most beloved dishes, has a rich and diverse history that spans centuries and continents. While many of us may associate pizza with fast food delivery, the roots of this culinary delight trace back to the heart of Italy. In this blog post, we will take a journey through the fascinating history and evolution of artisan pizza, culminating in its modern-day presence at Tin Plate Pizza in Breckenridge, Colorado.
The Birth of Pizza in Naples
The story of pizza begins in Naples, Italy, in the 18th century. The humble origins of pizza can be traced to the city’s bustling streets, where vendors known as “Pizzaioli” sold flatbreads topped with simple ingredients like tomatoes, olive oil, and local cheese. These early pizzas were inexpensive and served as a quick and nourishing meal for the working class.
Margherita Pizza: A Royal Affair
The turning point in pizza’s history came in the late 19th century when Queen Margherita of Italy and her husband, King Umberto I, visited Naples. Legend has it that pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito created a pizza in her honor, garnishing it with tomatoes (red), mozzarella cheese (white), and basil (green) to represent the colors of the Italian flag. This iconic creation, now known as the Margherita pizza, gained royal approval and popularity.
The American Pizza Evolution
Pizza migrated to the United States with Italian immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, it wasn’t until after World War II that pizza truly began to capture the hearts of Americans. The introduction of pizzerias and pizza chains like Domino’s and Pizza Hut marked a shift towards mass-produced, fast-food-style pizza. While delicious in its own right, this commercialization marked a departure from the artisanal roots of pizza.
The Artisan Pizza Renaissance
In the late 20th century, a renaissance of artisanal pizza emerged in the United States. Pioneering pizzerias focused on quality ingredients, traditional methods, and wood-fired ovens. This movement aimed to recapture the essence of Neapolitan pizza, embracing simplicity and authenticity.
Tin Plate Pizza: A Modern Artisanal Pizza Haven
The Dough: At the heart of any artisan pizza is the dough. What is artisan pizza without the perfect crust? Artisan pizza dough is made from a simple mixture of flour, water, salt, and a yeast or sourdough starter. What sets it apart is the time and care taken in the fermentation process. The dough is allowed to ferment for an extended period, sometimes up to 72 hours or more, resulting in a complex flavor profile and a light, airy crust.
Quality Ingredients: Artisan pizzerias like Tin Plate Pizza prioritize top-quality ingredients. This includes locally sourced vegetables, premium cheeses, and carefully selected meats. The focus is on using fresh, seasonal ingredients to enhance the overall flavor of the pizza.
Handcrafted Excellence: Each pizza at an artisan pizzeria is handcrafted with precision. The dough is stretched by hand, toppings are carefully placed, and the pizza is cooked in a wood-fired oven at high temperatures, creating a beautiful char and crispy crust.
Tin Plate Pizza’s Artistic Approach
Tin Plate Pizza embodies all the qualities of artisan pizza, and then some. Let’s explore what sets this pizzeria apart and makes it a standout in the Breckenridge culinary scene:
Sourdough Mastery: At Tin Plate Pizza, the sourdough is a labor of love. James and his team have perfected the art of sourdough fermentation, resulting in a dough that’s both chewy and crispy. The long fermentation process imparts a rich, nuanced flavor to every bite.
Local Sourcing: Breckenridge is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, and Tin Plate Pizza takes full advantage of the local bounty. The restaurant sources its ingredients from nearby farms and producers, ensuring that each pizza is bursting with freshness and flavor.
Creative Combinations: While Tin Plate Pizza pays homage to classic pizzas, they’re not afraid to get creative. Their menu features a wide array of artisan pizza toppings that showcase inventive combinations. Whether you’re a fan of the classics or seeking new artisan pizza topping ideas, there’s something for everyone.
Beyond Pizza: A Culinary Journey
While Tin Plate Pizza is renowned for its pizzas, the restaurant offers more than just these delectable pies. Their menu includes a variety of appetizers, salads, and desserts that are equally noteworthy.
Appetizer Delights: Start your meal with their bread and cultured butter for a burst of flavor. The fresh Colorado cow cream is cultured for 24 hours then whipped into the fresh, silky butter that is served with our made-to-order bread. With the remaining buttermilk, we make our house-made ranch dressing.
Fresh Salads: For those looking for something lighter, the salads at Tin Plate Pizza are a delightful choice. The Golden Beet Salad with lemon ricotta and pistachio vinaigrette or the Chopped Ceasar Salad with house Caesar dressing and parmesan crisps are both refreshing options.
Sweet Endings: Don’t forget to save room for dessert. Tin Plate Pizza’s sister restaurant, Dynamite Cookies, specializes in sourdough cookies as well as the only soft serve ice cream in Breckenridge. They’re a decadent way to conclude your culinary journey.
A Taste of the Rockies: Tin Plate Pizza’s Commitment to Locality
Tin Plate Pizza isn’t just about crafting exceptional pizzas; it’s also deeply committed to its community and the environment. They embrace the farm-to-table philosophy by sourcing ingredients locally whenever possible, supporting nearby farmers and reducing their carbon footprint.
Furthermore, the restaurant is dedicated to sustainability. They use eco-friendly packaging, recycle waste, and work towards reducing food waste, making each visit to Tin Plate Pizza not just a culinary delight but also an eco-conscious choice.
Crafting Artisan Pizzas: The Tin Plate Pizza Experience
Now that we’ve explored the fundamentals of artisan pizza and Tin Plate Pizza’s commitment to this culinary craft, let’s dive deeper into the experience of savoring one of their artisan pizzas.
The Perfect Crust: A hallmark of artisan pizza is the dough, and at Tin Plate Pizza, the dough is a masterpiece in itself. Made from high-quality flour, water, salt, and a sourdough starter, it undergoes a slow fermentation process. This results in a dough that’s not only airy and light but also carries a delightful hint of sourness that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.
Thoughtful Toppings: When you order an artisan pizza at Tin Plate, you’re not just getting ordinary toppings; you’re getting a symphony of flavors. From locally sourced vegetables to premium cheeses and carefully selected meats, every ingredient is chosen with care. Whether it’s the freshness of the produce or the richness of the cheeses, you can taste the quality in every bite.
Creative Combinations: While classic options are available, Tin Plate Pizza’s menu also boasts inventive artisan pizza toppings. These combinations are a testament to the creativity and passion of the culinary team. Whether you opt for a traditional Margherita or venture into more adventurous territory, you’re in for a flavor-packed journey.
A Slice of Community: Dining at Tin Plate Pizza is not just about food; it’s about being part of a community. The restaurant’s commitment to sourcing locally fosters a sense of connection with the region and its people. It’s an opportunity to savor the flavors of the Rockies while supporting the local economy.
Conclusion: Savoring the Artisan Pizza Experience
In the world of culinary delights, artisan pizza stands as a testament to the marriage of tradition and innovation. It’s about taking simple ingredients and transforming them into a work of art through time, skill, and passion.
Tin Plate Pizza in Breckenridge, Colorado, embodies this ethos. From their meticulously crafted sourdough crust to their thoughtfully chosen toppings, each pizza tells a story of craftsmanship and love for the culinary craft. Dining at Tin Plate Pizza is not just a meal; it’s an experience that celebrates the art of pizza-making and the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
So, the next time you find yourself in Breckenridge, don’t miss the opportunity to savor an artisan pizza at Tin Plate Pizza. It’s a journey of flavors, a slice of tradition, and a taste of the Rockies all in one delightful bite.