Emma Gallimore is currently living in Japan

This is what she wrote after a day at PizzAmore

Monday, June 29, 2009

New York's got nothing on this

I'm in Maine again; visiting my family and stateside friends while Grant is out to sea. I'll be here for a little over a month and I'll keep blogging so you can follow the whole adventure.    

Drive through one tiny town, down a country road, and through a slightly larger tiny town. You'll know you're going the right way when you pass a public library the size of a roadside vegetable stand. The driveway is marked by a discreet sign reading Doug Spalding Landscape Photography. It says nothing about pizza. You turn down the drive. A few guests are already clustered under a patio umbrella eating homemade sourdough flat bread. It's raining but they're not going to let that spoil the party. You are greeted by Marian Spalding, a small woman with huge patience. She's a teacher and a town selectman. You say, "That's impressive." To your left is a hut, built entirely of glass wine bottles held together with cement. "You know" Marian said, "I asked for a garden gate, so I could get into the garden when the deer fence was up and this is what I got."

Doug Spalding stands between a rolling counter and the oven, making pizzas.

You go inside. The heat hits you first. A 900 plus degree pizza oven heats up even the wettest Maine days. The mouths of what seems like thousands of bottles gape at you. You gape back. Never have you seen anything like this outside of a modern art installation.

Doug Spalding makes chicken pesto pizza while my father looks on.  
"Why don't you throw it up in the air?” Someone asks.
Doug explains that the crust is hand made with 8 grains and low gluten. "That gluten stuff that you hear everyone complaining they're allergic about, that's what holds dough together," he says. If he spun this dough it would probably break. But the taste is amazing.
Doug adds. "Any idiot can make a round pizza. It takes a real pizzamia to make a heart shaped one."
Listening to Doug speak is like listening to a college lecture given by Robin Williams on uppers. It's usually funny, often educational and almost always exhausting.
He pops a pizza into the oven and immediately starts making another, talking all the while. Pesto Chicken, BBQ pulled pork with gouda and shrimp scampi with asparagus pizzas take shape under his hands as he explains about the home grown, locally raised ingredients. Even the wine comes from a local winery, a place called Bartlett wines that makes the best wild blueberry wine you'll ever taste.
As each pizza comes out of the oven, one of the guests rings a bell and sings the pizza toppings to the tone of its knell. Even the bells here are little works of art. There are two made out of an old dive tank and two more made from the workings of a clock.
The bells ring, the banter flies, the bottle hut smells like a gourmet kitchen and the mist falls silent on the party.
Who would have thought you'd find the best pizza and the best company in the world in a little glass hut in Saint Alban's Maine?

For more information on the Bottle Hut pizza oven visit and

For more information on Bartlett wine visit

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