What’s the best way to lure a husband to an outdoor craft fair on a cold and rainy fall day?
Set up a wood-fired pizza stand complete with wood-burning oven.
Apparently, the coordinators of such events in southwestern Wisconsin have gotten wind of this fact, because they’ve rewarded me on back to back drizzly cold weekends to get out of bed and attend an early outdoor craft fair with made-to-order wood-fired pizza. Thank you and thank you.
Fall is the perfect season for orchards, hayrides and markets and oh boy, does my wife love a good market, especially one that’s outdoors, in her favorite season and loaded with crafts.
For me, a fall weekend is a great time to sleep in and recharge my batteries, eventually popping in frozen pizzas and binge-watching Netflix shows and football in my comfiest of outfits. But, when Tess (and wood-fired pizza) beckon, I follow.
Two Wood-Fired Pizza Stands in Two Weeks
Round one: Firepie Pizza at The Makers Market, Sun Prairie
The annual Makers Market in Sun Prairie is an event that naturally brings great joy to Tess as local artisans present clothing, candles, jewelry, soaps, and artwork.
I sought out the waterlogged tent that sheltered a neat little stack of chopped wood and a petite portable metal oven with flames flickering out the back end. Through the veil of rain droplets falling from the canopy, I could see a duo busy in action; rolling out mini dough balls, pinching toppings and rotating 10-inch pizzas through a mini oven.
Firepie is described on facebook as “Utilizing the most mobile pizza oven on the market, our Ooni Pro delivers authentic wood-fired pizza in as little as 60 seconds!”.
The pie indeed had a nice flame-kissed outer crust and a chewy, slightly thick center which provided proper support for the cheese and a balanced portion of toppings. Each pizza was assembled to order from a list of about 7 different classic options like pepperoni, Hawaiin and deluxe.
We settled on deluxe and took turns swapping the umbrella for the pizza.
Round two: It’s Good For You Pizza at Fall Village Vintage Market, Mount Horeb
The Fall Village Vintage Market in Mount Horeb stretches along three blocks of the downtown area of the small community and has all the same clothing, candles, jewelry, soaps, and artwork as Makers Market but even more. It has more food vendors, live music, trolls and you could order drinks at establishments and walk the streets with them (that’s right trolls, they take their Norwiegen heritage seriously).
In the middle of the festival sat the concrete dome for which I came.
It’s Good For You Pizza sets a high bar for any pizza truck or stand. It’s Good For You goes for quality over quantity, with only three options to choose from and all three of them executed incredibly well. Their enormous traveling oven (I honestly can’t believe they haul that thing around!) and high-caliber ingredients definitely give them a leg up.
I went for the pepperoni pie and it was exceptional. The crust was the star and the wood-fired method really elevated its flavor and texture; it was super thin, but crispy and chewy at the same time—a balance that seems hard to strike for many pizza joints.
The sauce was as simple, but that’s what made its bright tomato flavor shine. The pepperonis were slim and crisped up and the mozzarella blistered to a nice brown.
Pizza made from scratch is the perfect accompaniment for browsing the craftsmanship of local artists.
I hope this trend of mobile wood-fired pizza stands continues to climb, especially at events I wouldn’t usually attend, so I get off my butt and go experience them.
Regardless of which pizza was better the spirit behind all those vendors to lug around, assemble and display their art for the community in the damp early morning in Wisconsin is admirable.
What pizza taught me:
Perhaps it’s worth getting out of bed for the local scene, even if there isn’t a slice on the line.
What I’m eating: Deluxe pizza (sausage, pepperoni, onion, green pepper) at Firepie Pizza at Makers Market in Sun Prairie and Pepperoni at It’s Good for You Pizza Fall Village Vintage Festival in Mount Horeb.
What I’m reading: Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur –Derek Sivers