Fellow dopers, I have some disturbing news to share.
For the better part of my life, I have been a dedicated pizza lover. This love eventually grew into pizza snobbery where I refuse anything but the best New Jersey style pepperoni pie available. You know, the small places that follow the old rules.
Moving down to Florida from Flithydelphia didn’t change that fact at all. In fact, it strengthened my resolve to find a pizza joint that truly lived up to my pedigreed standards.
About 10 years ago, I found the perfect place. A small mom-and pop (transplants from pizza heaven – Jersey) place that had the most phenomenal pizza. Truly a slice of heaven in this geriatric-ridden redneck infested sauna that touristas call “Florida”.
However, and this is my conundrum, I believe that I’ve lost my taste for the heaven-sent manna that is the Holy Pepperoni Pizza. In the past few years, I’ve found myself eating less and less. First it started out only being able to eat a few slices instead of the whole pie. Now I find myself not having much of a motivation to have pizza at all.
I don’t think life has anything more to offer me at this point. Goodbye cruel world!
You know: Italian-style pizza. Thin, crispy crust, (with time-consuming bioactive leavening) and real (non-stringy) aged mozarrella cheese.
Contrasted with the Pizza Hut approach of offering an inch thick, 30% baking-powder dough topped with baloney and pinapple, covered in greasy processed cheese, dripping with oil, and with an injection-mold crust filled with ranch dressing, served with a specimen jar of sweet & sour syrup for dipping. (Or whatever the hell it is they’re pushing today.)
We moved from my Jersey Shore hometown to the western central part of the state over the summer. A few weeks ago, I was back at the old stomping ground doing some visiting, when my wife asked what I’d life for lunch.
“Oooo…time for some Enzo’s Pizza!”, says me. Now, Jersey pizza, as the saying goes, is like sex – even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. Well, Enzo’s is the $500/hour hooker of the Jersey Shore pizza business. Unbefrickinglybelievably good pizza.
We head over to Enzo’s, and I could’ve cried. Closed down, shuttered up, boards on the windows, no more Enzo’s for me, ever again.
In Italy I had a pizza with Prosciutto on it. Lots of Prosciutto. Curling up all over the thin crispy crust. A TINY bit of tomato, a shaving of parmesano regiano (sp?) and covered with Prosciutto. No one could be too jaded to fall in love with that.
Ahhh - went to a Gourmet Pizza place in Dunedin, NZ while we were visiting last year. Absolutely wonderful. Thin Crust, toppings piled high, tasty (the mexican was really spicy). Great meal. Good time.
Back in the UK - Pizza Express, Dominos or Pizza Hut. meh.
I went to Napoli last year, supposedly the home of pizza. I ate pizza there twice and can report that it was good but nothing special. On the other hand, I was recently in Vienna, where there is a surprisingly large number of Italian restuarants and pizza joints. I had a pizza there that I think was probably the best I’ve ever tasted, anywhere in the world. Weird. Sweden’s also an interesting place to go for lovers of Italian food. There are many Italian places, but what they serve up is an interesting ‘re-think’ of Italian food that one might best refer to as Swedalian cuisine. And it’s very nice. Sweden is the first place I ever encountered penne a la vodka. Yep, penne pasta served with a sauce that is in part vodka flavoured. And it was delicious!
Pizza dough is available fresh in most grocery stores (around here, anyway), you can buy a ball from any pizza place, or if you can’t find it there it’s really not that hard to make.
The best is that you are in control of the quality and amount of toppings, the thickness of the crust, etc. It’s really easy. I make my own pizza and calzones all the time, even though there is no shortage of good pizza around here (I’m in NY).
How about these pizzas covered in premium beef product? I like italian sausage, and when I’ve ordered, they said we have beef product, at which point I have to settle for that or chicken meat pepperoni. Like that’s a choice. Who the Hell ever decided to call it premium beef product?
My favorite is the Green Mills pizza restraunts. I stopped at the original in Minniapolis on vacation, and was thrilled to find they opened a restraunt in Wisconsin Dells. Prosciutto with italian sausage and canadian bacon.