Catering Scotland

CC’s: Firing Up An Appetite For Healthier Pizzas

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CC’s: Firing Up An Appetite For Healthier Pizzas

October 21
20:07 2013
July13.HLA pizza landscape.jpg

Proprietor Graeme Rankin, whose enthusiasm for pizza perfection is matched only by his customers’, trained to the standards of the Associazione Pizzerie Italiane and mastered the complexities of the wood-fired pizza oven before opening his own pizza company on the south side of Glasgow, eighteen months ago.And a few months in, after reading an article condemning the higher salt levels typically found in takeaway pizzas as opposed to their supermarket equivalents, he resolved to create his own formula which would turn this unhappy fact on its head. ‘I was convinced that my pizzas could defy that reputation,’ he says emphatically.

‘I had already reduced the salt in my pizzas but I wasn’t satisfied that I had done enough, so I reduced it even further and got in touch with Consensus Action on Salt & Health (CASH). It was they who had written the article, and they put me in touch with the healthyliving award.

Aside from the health benefits of cutting down on salt, Graeme is adamant that too much sodium kills the taste buds, and that the quality and taste of his pizzas have actually been enhanced by his mission to reduce overall salt levels.

‘The production of the dough involves a 24-hour fermentation process that uses little yeast, so there is no need for extra sugar or fat to be added to the dough,’ he explains. ‘I also use only a small amount of mozzarella, because I believe you should be able to taste the base, the sauce and the toppings; not merely the cheese.

‘If a customer asks for extra cheese, I generally encourage them to limit it to half the pizza, and to first try the other half ‘our’ way.

‘And, if a child wants a less healthy topping such as pepperoni, I’ll suggest to their parents to get them to try a healthier alternative on the other half of the pizza.

Most customers are happy to take up our suggestions.’

Graeme’s pizzas recently received further accolades in the List’s Big Takeaway, where CC’s was named runner-up in the Best Pizza category in Glasgow, and third in the Something Special category for their low salt ethos.

Does he think that going for the healthyliving award has been worthwhile? ‘The changes I’ve made have definitely benefited my customers,’ he concludes. ‘Having the award means I can look my customers in the eye knowing that we produce a healthier pizza, and that they have that choice. It’s a win-win.’

And would he recommend the award to other takeaway outlets? ‘Absolutely! Scotland’s health record – and Glasgow’s in particular – is one of the worst in Europe.

‘However, my customers didn’t even notice the change when I reduced the salt; they just knew the pizza tasted great!’

www.healthylivingaward.co.uk

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CC’s Wood-Fired Pizza Company has become the first pizza outlet in Glasgow to gain the healthyliving award; no mean feat considering the fast food’s reputation for having higher than average levels of salt and fat…

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