Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Yorker in a Strange Land - The Case of the Cornmeal Crust


Cornmeal crust.  

That just happened at a place in Alameda - which shall remain nameless.

What is wrong with people?!

I am a pizza snob. I know this. I've been informed by many other people of this. It's so bad sometimes my husband is afraid to take me to pizza places because he knows we may never return. Thankfully I have slowly converted him to loving New York style.

Pizza is a deceptively simple thing to make. People think it's no big deal - cheese, sauce, dough, and toppings. What can go wrong? Well, everything dear Watson - absolutely everything.

If the cheese is poor quality, it won't melt correctly. If it's not mozzarella, it will taste strangely. Cheese should have a little grease form on the top. A good East Coast pizza will even have added olive oil to enhance the greasy goodness.

The sauce should have the right balance between herbs and spices and the tomato base. If there is too little, the pizza is dry. If there is too much, it begins to be California style or possibly a poor attempt at Chicago.

The dough, however, is a completely different story. Dough is an indication of geography, and certain preferences. If a pizza is to be a genuine New York style pizza, the pie should be large and dough should be hand tossed. This method is what makes the center of the pie incredibly thin while the crust is large and bubbly. If the yeast is right, the crust should be crunchy, while the inside melts in your mouth. The center should be so thin, it becomes necessary to fold your pizza twice in order to support the cheese, sauce, and any toppings. Literally, the center should come apart.

Anything less is not New York style pizza. People who claim something different is New York are either a) morons, b) delusional, or c) lying.

I am just about convinced that I need to start making pizza myself. I know if I decide to begin this adventure, it will be wrought with failed attempts. I will become frazzled, frustrated, and possibly fat from blobs of dough. I might even get dough stuck on my ceiling as I toss it. I don't know. It remains to be seen. If I do decide to embark on this venture, you will know it. I'll document every aspect. It's too good to pass up.

No comments:

Post a Comment