Ah the provolone pie! We went to Franny's the other night and tried a uniquely deliciously pie. It had provolone piccante, tomato sauce, and onions. It's quite refreshing to see another cheese compete for the spot light on pizza's center stage. Far too few pizzerias are willing to venture outside the mozzarella safe zone. This pie is an edible monument towards the glory that is provolone. Every other ingredient is (for better or worse) an aftertaste. Like Chris Bianco's Rosa, you'll probably love it or hate. But at least you can applaud the tenacity to try to pull this thing off.
The provolone piccante begins with a tangy, almost nutty flavor which leads into a zestly slightly spicy finish. It’s less salty and more full-bodied than either parmigiano-reggiano or pecoro romano but no less sharp. This is an aggressively present cheese which, unlike mild mozzarella, demands your entire attention. As a result, the pie is not very nuanced or balanced. Occasionally I could taste the onions that were trying to cut the provolone's intensity. But they weren't doing a particularly good job. In a way, this pie reminds me of a less sophisticated Mari. That being said, I loved this pie. I loved that someone thought enough of provolone to put it on their pizza and service it to their clientele.