Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is there a standard for great Pizza, or is it subjective?

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Is there a standard for great Pizza, or is it subjective?

There are many different kinds of Pizza out there. Thin crust, deep dish, stuffed, Sicilian...the list could go on and on. Are they all good? The town I live in has at least a dozen places that will deliver pizza to my house. They all manage to survive, yet, in my opinion, 90% of them serve pizza that is not fit for human consumption. Evidently, I have a standard for great pizza that is different from many of the people in my area.

So…yesterday while eating some terrific pizza at Frank Pepe’s (their White Clam pizza is pictured above), I had a discussion with my father and brother as to whether or not a pizza place like Pepe’s would be successful in my area (Northern Westchester). I believe it would…they were not so sure.

You see, Frank Pepe pizza is decidedly thin crusted and quite crispy. They were of the opinion that many people prefer a thicker, more doughy style to their pie. Not me…it is essential for the crust to be thin, and the cheese and toppings to be of the highest quality. It is not about volume…it is about flavor.

Would this go lost in some parts of the country? Perhaps. Is this opinion any more valid than that of people who like a thick slice piled high with filler? Of course not. I know plenty of people who look at a a sandwich (as an example), and immediately say it is sub-standard if it is not piled high with meat. Personally, I prefer a smaller sandwich that allows the individual flavors to shine through…no one of them so overbearing as to take over the others. But....I think this is true about every prepared food…let the individual flavors sing.

See…we started talking about pizza and stumbled on to something bigger. Thoughts?
-Lance Cerutti
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