Monthly Archives: May 2011

Is Pizza a Health Food or Junk Food?

health food junk food imageThe question on whether pizza is a health food or junk food is a serious debate today given the obesity epidemic sweeping this country.

In answering this question we’ll try to remain impartial – after all most would say we have an incentive to keep you coming back for more pizza – right?

Well yes and no.

Our job is to give you the best pizza we can once you’ve decided to purchase so you continue to look to us for your pizzeria needs. We want to see you keep coming back and remain healthy so you can.

Let’s breakdown each major component of U.S. favorite dish and cover the good and the bad.


Pizza dough comes in all types and makes – most pizzeria places offer gluten-free dough now. The healthiest normal dough crust is crisp and thin and our version at La Befana Pizzeria is called Neapolitan-style and we also offer gluten-free pizza.

Dough made with whole grain as in whole-wheat crust includes the fiber, vitamins and minerals lost in the refining process. Whole grain crust is by far the healthiest kind and La Befana looks towards its customers to dictate our offerings including whole-wheat pizza.


The tomato sauce on your pizza contains lycopenes which are rich in antioxidants and because it’s a sauce makes it easier for the body to absorb. The strongest evidence suggests tomatoes helps in reducing the risk of prostate cancer.


Cheese as most people know contains calcium and is a source of protein which is good – but is also high in fat. Now our body does need fat – not all fat is bad – and it depends how much cheese and fat you consume in a week as to whether you tell your local pizzeria to go easy on the cheese or take it normal.

Most pizza places will put less cheese on for you if you ask them including us at La Befana.


Finally we come to the toppings and this where you can easily tip the scales from “health” to “junk.”

Meat toppings generally have a lot of fat and salt added in the processing of them and are going to tip the scale to junk status while vegetables and fruits such as green and red peppers, onions, broccoli and olives, pull the needle back over to a healthy pizza.

Now we’ve given you good and bad let’s put this into perspective.

Most families eat pizza once a week. It’s reserved for the day when you don’t feel like cooking or high activity level when there’s no time to cook. So while every pizza you buy isn’t going to be a healthy one, the concern is what you eat the rest of the week. Be balanced on your meals so you can enjoy your pizza.

Once you’ve decided on a pizza for your meal you can influence whether it’s a healthy or junk food version. Less cheese and meat and more vegetables is going to create a healthy pizza.

What’s your take on this issue? Leave your comments below to offer your opinion.

If you’d like to learn more about to create your own health pizza then check out this article:

La Befana Pizzeria serves gourmet pizza in Allston and Watertown and surrounding neighborhoods and you can order online here.

La Befana Pizzeria Team
15 N. Beacon Street
Allston, MA 02134

Best Reheating Pizza Methods from La Befana Pizzeria

cold pizza imageWhile La Befana Pizza is best eaten as soon as cooked to get all the flavor and goodness you expect we realize sometimes there are leftovers slices that can eaten next day, and the question is how best to prepare these slices?

The obvious easy answer is to eat pizza cold – this seems to be popular with students and the “pizza for breakfast gang” whom generally go for the quick no nonsense method. We spend our time around delicious hot food all day and so struggle with recommending this method and knowing how we want our pizza to look and the promise of piping hot pizza we deliver – cold pizza is just not in our repertoire.

So in this article we’ll provide information on reheating pizza. There are many schools of thoughts on reheating pizza which range from the simple and relatively quick to almost recreating a pizza oven in a conventional oven.

But there is one method that universally gets the “thumbs down” and this is the microwave method. Soft and soggy pizza is the usual by-product of microwaving your pizza treat.

If you stored leftover pizza slices in the fridge then take them out and let sit for 15/20 minutes until at room temperature before reheating. We polled the La Befana team and offer these following reheating methods as our choice for you along with instructions.

Toaster Oven Method:

Toaster ovens are good if you just have a just one or two slices to reheat and they’re also energy efficient. Preheat over to 400 degrees and put in slices on some foil for about 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. Like regular ovens, toaster ovens have unique properties and we’ve experienced “cold spots” using this method on very large slices. So get to know your toaster oven’s quirkiness.

Skillet Method:

The skillet method is popular with those wanting to recreate the crispness of the original pizza. Cast iron skillets seem to be the preferred choice but a frying pan can work as well. Reheat your pizza slices one at a time in a covered pan over a medium-low heat until warm – this will keep the crust crispy while reheating the upper layer

Conventional Oven Method:

A conventional oven is likely to give you the closest to original texture and taste for your reheated pizza slices. It’s also the most practical for reheating lots of slices at once.

Reheating pizza in an oven is definitely one of those “know your own oven.” Times and temperature will vary between ovens and depending on whether you use a pizza stone or unglazed tiles. If you use tiles then keep the stones clean by putting the pizza on a sheet of foil. If you don’t have a stone or tiles then use a flat pan to lay the pizza on top of foil. A pizza shop oven is 650 – 700 degrees but for reheating pizza set the oven to preheat at 450 – 475 degrees and put pizza in oven and leave until oven preheats to set temperature or until you see cheese bubbling.

La Befana Pizzeria offers Gourmet pizza for Allston and Brookline neighborhoods of Boston. We hope you enjoyed our tips for reheating pizza covering different preferences and equipment.

Get a great pizza from La Befana Pizzeria by ordering pizza online from us today.

La Befana Pizzeria Team
15 N. Beacon Street
Allston, MA 02134

La Befana Pizzeria Gluten-Free Pizza

Gluten-free pizzasIf you’re on a gluten-free diet then you know pizza was probably one of those foods you thought you’d need to give up for the rest of your life.

For those not familiar with a gluten-free diet it was developed to help the many people who have celiac disease. This disease is triggered by the protein gluten found in foods containing wheat, barley, and rye. Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease and so far the only known way of combating it is a lifelong gluten-free diet.

Here at La Befana Pizzeria none of us are medical students and so we’re not experts in the disease and don’t know anything about celiac disease beyond what we’ve just shared. But we do know there is no reason now why those with this condition can’t enjoy our gourmet pizzas.

In recent years gluten-free diets have also been introduced to those wishing to lose weight by reducing their wheat intake, and so requests for gluten-free products are on the rise generally in North America.

La Befana Pizzeria in Allston Massachusetts offers gluten-free dough upon request when you call in your order. This is dough made without traditional wheat flour. We will explain what is offered daily in our gluten free pizza selection so you can make appropriate choices.

Be aware gluten-free dough is made in same kitchens as using wheat flour and there is always the possibility of cross-contamination.

Gluten-free pizza is just another way La Befana offers Gourmet pizza for our Allston and Brighton customers. We hope you enjoyed learning about how we’re doing our very best to serve the pizza lover’s in our neighborhood.

Call us today at 617.987.0086 to learn about our selection of gluten-free pizzas.

La Befana Pizzeria Team
15 N. Beacon Street
Allston, MA 02134

The Classic Pizza Margherita at La Befana Pizzeria

Pizza Margherita ImageHere at La Befana Pizzeria in Allston our gourmet pizzas are carefully chosen to offer a variety of traditional Italian and American pizzas and our own concoctions.

In the category of traditional pizzas we offer the Margherita Pizza.

We keep the ingredients according to Italian Chef Raffaelle Esposito who named the pizza after Queen Margherita.

The recipe calls for red sauce, white mozzarella cheese and green basil, and when cooked the colors of the pizza resemble the Italian flag.

The story goes that Queen Margherita of Italy visited Naples in 1889 to escape an outbreak of Cholera in Northern Italy. While visiting Naples the Queen sampled the pizza and enjoyed it so much she wrote a thank you letter to Esposito who decided to name the pizza after the Queen.

Just imagine if it had been the Queen Victoria of England visiting whose colors would have been red, white, and blue? Esposito would’ve been scurrying around to think of something blue to add on a pizza – blueberries maybe? Hey we have pineapple “Five-O” pizza so why not?

I’m sure with his talents he would’ve been up to the task and then named it Pizza Victoria if she liked it.

But back to Pizza Margherita at La Befana and while we keep strictly to the classic ingredients of the pizza we use the freshest of ingredients prepared in our own way to give it the distinctly La Befana gourmet taste.

This is just one of our classic gourmet pizza for our Allston and Boston customers. We hope you enjoyed learning about roots of the Margherita and look for other posts about our restaurant offers.

Order our Margherita Pizza online here.

La Befana Pizzeria Team
15 N. Beacon Street
Allston, MA 02134