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I don't think he's going to get much a cheering section here, considering the following, and the fact that he considers those Chicago casseroles pizza:
A word here about Naples, the home of Italian pizza. That’s supposedly where the pie reaches its pinnacle, in a distinct and idiosyncratic style that some American pizzamakers — let’s resist calling them pizzaioli, as the Italians do — are trying to emulate. They’re going for hotter ovens, puffier crusts, and weepy buffalo-milk mozzarella on top. I’m not impressed. Not by the genuine pies in Naples, and usually less by American imitations, although the mission has a certain nobility of purpose.
I’ve eaten in Naples. From the ancient, brutally hot ovens emerge pies that most Americans wouldn’t recognize. The crust is charred and puffy in spots but tragically thin and pale beneath the toppings. The sauce is chiefly chopped tomatoes, sometimes fresh and sometimes canned, but almost always vivid and bright. (Those San Marzano tomatoes are as good as advertised.) The cheese is mozzarella, but the Italians are proudest when they can substitute fresh mozzarella from the milk of buffaloes and label their pies Margherita DOC. (It sounds like a wine thing, but it’s also a pizza thing.) In my opinion, buffalo mozzarella is pizza’s second-worst topping, exceeded only by whole anchovies — no hot, smelly fish on my pies, thank you. After that, those pizzaioli guys add oil, lots of it, and more liquid is precisely what tomato pies do not need.
This is what happens when a Neapolitan pie comes out of the oven, after it’s been cooked a remarkably short time: The nearly liquefied glob of buffalo mozzarella — now resembling a snowman melting on a warm March afternoon — has become runny. Water drains from the tomatoes. Oil joins the flood. All that excess liquid has to go somewhere, which is why the bottom crust turns to mush, not that it was ever particularly crispy.
This is why Italians need a knife and fork. This is why our pizzas are better than theirs.
We have, remarkably, seven distinct kinds of pizza in this country, starting with those Neapolitan imitations that represent style over sustenance.
I agree it is reasonably well written but the title sucks. WHY should the 25 best pizza restaurants all be in 10 cities and HOW does he know there aren't better elsewhere! Yes, its picky in a sense but...I have eaten at several of his list (which interestingly does not overlap much with some other lists I have seen) and I have one that is not on his list, not in his 10 cities, and knocks the socks off of those that are on his list that I have been to. So...I tend to discount it as hype and hot air.
Great Article....We live in Providence RI where 2 of the 25 are; have eaten at both and they are fantastic. In fact the Executive Chef from Al Forno lives around the corner from us. I think he may want a back yard brick oven himself...every time he and his pastry chef wife walk by they have that brick oven envy look!! LOL!!
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