Saitama restaurant offers pizza with local matcha

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Daisuke Fujii holds a pizza made with Sayama matcha in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture.

SAITAMA — An Italian restaurant owner in Saitama Prefecture is offering a unique frozen pizza using matcha made from Sayama tea, a local specialty.

Daisuke Fujii, who runs the Italian restaurant Delfino in the cities of Sayama and Tokorozawa, both located in the prefecture, created the pizza to enliven the local community in the hope that diners can enjoy a taste of their hometown.

The thin, crispy texture of the dough is kneaded with Sayama matcha, giving it a light green hue. The matcha’s unique bitterness and aroma, combined with the richness of local vegetables and cheese, create a sumptuous taste. Miyanoen, which locally produces and sells Sayama tea, supplies the matcha.

Fujii, 51, came up with the idea of kneading Sayama matcha into the dough about 10 years ago. Since sencha green tea does not turn the dough green and matcha alone is too bitter, he added honey as a secret ingredient and doubled the amount of yeast to prevent the dough from becoming hard.

Delfino offers two types of frozen pizzas that are about 23 centimeters in diameter. One is a buffalo mozzarella pizza, topped with seasonal local vegetables and truffles priced at ¥1,800. The other is a matcha Margherita priced at ¥1,400. They are available at YOT-TOKO, a tourist information and product promotion center in Tokorozawa and through online services.