Is NY Pizza really better why
The MUNCHIES Guide to: Pizza in New York
8.4 million inhabitants: There are a hell of a lot of people living in New York. But one thing is certain: almost everyone loves pizza. And especially the New York pizza.
It's no secret that New York pizza is pretty great. But there is not just one reason for this, but numerous. Hard-working pizza makers and pizza deliverers, pizza slices for 1 dollar that you pull into at four in the morning, which are supposed to somehow alleviate the consequences of the nightly alcoholic chap—New York's pizza culture makes a lot of things lovable.
Every pizza in New York is spectacular: whether it's from the high-end pizza baker with a specially built oven or the cheap pizza that you whistle into from a cardboard box as you walk. For the following reasons:
There aren't really any rules when it comes to pizza toppings in New York, but New Yorkers are pretty puristic when it comes to that. When you have a delicious piece of cheese pizza, why mess up with tons of olives, vindaloo chicken, salsa or other oh-so-original stuff? New York pizzerias know that. That is why it is clear to them that choosing the right cheese (or several) is crucial.
Anyone who grew up in some boring suburb (most New Yorkers are newcomers) knows pizza from the local family restaurant or high school cafeteria. That's why these people think it's perfectly fine to sprinkle some powdery, grated "mozzarella" on your pizza - or whatever horrible thing you find in the cheese counter. It's different in New York, unless it is you end up in the really bad pizza place, a booth somewhere next to a subway entrance in Times Square.
In any case, there are two main types of cheese in New York pizza: either Mozzarella di Bufala (no doubt why) or, if you are already using grated cheese, the Grande Cheese East Coast Blend, the most popular cheese mix in the best pizza spots in all of New York . It is advertised on the Grande website with its "exceptional taste", uniform melting and high resistance to burns. In addition, the cheese is "excellent warming up", "it pulls beautiful threads and melts on the tongue" - just a few advantages Probably nobody notices when they are eating this very good cheese, but we always recognize a damn good slice of pizza.
It's debatable whether the tap water makes New York pizza what it is (see below), but in any case, the water has an impact on the texture. A store that sells the piece for a dollar with a thick, soft crust will certainly use a batter with about 67 percent water and a little olive oil, which is then baked in the oven long enough without drying out. The thin Neapolitan pizza dough in the slightly better shops is made with a little less; the Sicilian version, which is a bit reminiscent of a focaccia, has more water.
Another difference between the typical Italian version and the dough from the $ 1 stall around the corner is the flour: The former often uses finely ground Italian "Tipo 00" flour, while the latter are more satisfied with the good old commercial wheat flour .
New York City has one of the world's largest urban water systems. This means that millions of residents and tourists can be supplied with water every day. So far there has been a lot of discussion about the role that tap water plays in pizza dough. But somehow that doesn't matter anymore: If you just stick around long enough that the water is crucial for the dough, then the masses of New York City will believe that the pizza tastes better here because of the good water. This is where positive thinking and mass telekinesis come together.
Pizza and bagel restaurants in other US states, for example in Florida, have installed special filter systems in order to get a little closer to the water in Brooklyn. What not to do for the perfect dough. And also Frank Pinello, owner of Best Pizza and host of our new show The Pizza Show, is convinced that the simple H2O has the perfect pH value for a good dough.
The pepperoni salami
Angela Dimayuga from Mission Chinese Food (who also make great pizza) once revealed to us that she absolutely uses salami, which curls slightly upwards during cooking, so that small cups filled with spicy meat fat are created, a bit like frozen pizzas. The type of salami can change the whole pizza, both aesthetically and in terms of taste.
In New York people still prefer the classic variant: large, bright red slices - but nowadays there are also other types of sausage on the pizza: guanciale, soppressata and others, depending on your taste. The salami (or whatever sausage) makes the pizza - and that's why pizza shops in New York pay special attention to it.
The pizza oven
A coal oven, like the one used at Lombardi's, makes New York pizza so incredibly crispy, yet soft. In the 1880s. When the first Italian immigrants came from Naples, everything in New York was heated and fired with coal. The newly arrived pizza bakers then used coal instead of wood to heat their ovens. Overall, that was more space-saving and more efficient. After gas ovens became more and more popular after the Second World War, there were more and more pizzerias in the city that could also sell individual pieces of pizza. However, the pizza from the coal oven is currently experiencing an upswing.
The Lombardi's Pizza oven is still traditionally heated with coals.
Each of us has a little pyromaniac who appreciates a good pizza oven. But wood stoves are so ideal because of the hellishly hot temperature - 260 to 370 ° C, after all. That's why the pizzas at the best pizzerias are so incredibly tasty and ready faster, a pizza takes between two and five minutes in the oven.
The wood-fired oven at Best Pizza.
Anyone who wants to hang a bit of bling-bling around their neck as a rapper quickly calls Jacob the Jeweler, the choice of a (desperate) housewife falls on Louis Vuitton. If a New York pizza maker wants to show off his oven properly, there is no getting around Stefano Ferrara, third generation oven maker. When he's finished with your kitchen utensils, they'll look like Liberace or Midas touched them.
The bedazzled custom pizza oven at Paulie Gee's in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
A perfect pizza needs a perfect oven - that's for sure.
The pizza master
One of the owners of Artichoke Pizza, Francis Garcia, says very clearly: "A pizza only becomes great when people make it with their own hands." Dom DeMarco, pizza master at DiFara, takes the time for each individual pizza.
You can taste how much love there is in every piece. At the same time you can taste - and it has to be that way - how crazy the pizza baker is about pizza. A New Yorker knows: Pizza is life - probably only in Italy are there more people who subscribe to this motto.
The pizza deliverers
New York's pizza delivery people are the city's silent heroes. Even during the biggest snowstorm, during a hurricane, or on every damn day that you're so hungover you can't move an inch, they'll ring your doorbell. They whiz through the streets on their crazy e-scooters with a couple of pizzas on their backs. These are the saviors in need who won't let you down like your friends.
A decent tip is extremely important. If you tip less than 20 percent during a snowstorm, you will immediately die in the most embarrassing way and end up in what is arguably the most terrible part of hell.
The $ 1 pizza
The great thing about New York pizza is that even a piece that you bought with the last of your spare change that you scraped together still tastes great. You can get pizza for a dollar (or 99 cents) anywhere and the best is of course either near your home or work. That's the way it works here.
These $ 1 stores are like sobering up cells after half past one in the morning, but in a beautiful, almost cozy way. At this time of the day everyone here tries to get a little less drunk, but not by getting arrested, but because they made the wise decision to simply soak up the alcohol through a slice of pizza. The boys (and girls) in these shops are arguably the most patient and insensitive people on this planet and we take our hat off to them for that.
The "Grandma Pizza"
The Grandma Pizza, a square piece of pizza that tastes like it was baked by the Italian mom (or the Nonna) herself, is a real New York original. Square, with a lot of sauce and garlic, just grandma pizza. Somehow like the Sicilian pizza version, but not quite, it is baked on a large baking sheet. The crust has risen nicely and is airy, a bit like a focaccia. Something very special.
Nobody knows exactly where the Grandma Pizza comes from, probably from Long Island. But in any case, we think warmly of our grandmas. And more grandma pizza.
No matter what hipsters get their hands on, they make something funny out of it. But New York has hipster pizza creations that are traditional and innovative at the same time. In New York you can easily turn the classic pizza - thickly topped, dripping with mozzarella and incredibly soft - into something completely new, and only by going back to the Neapolitan roots of pizza. Roberta's Pizza managed to lure the eternally shiny hipsters away from the $ 1 stores and convinced them to spend a little more money on a pizza: with a thin crust with these beautiful bubbles and a colorful all sorts of traditional and unusual ingredients. Then there's Danny Bowien from Mission Chinese Food, who serves pizza with mapo tofu. Why? Because pizza and Chinese food go together so well, like Britney Spears and Fred Durst.
Pizza at Paulie Gee's is served with an optional spicy honey sauce, Mike's Hot Honey, reserved for your leftover crust.
You can gossip as much as you want about hipster trends like honey pizza - like the Bee Sting Pizza at Roberta's or the Spicy Honey Pizza at Paulie Gee's in Greenpoint - but it's kind of a hell of a brilliant idea that hipsters made trending. But pizza is also an important part of pop culture in other ways. Hang in at Roberta's Brokeback MountainImage in which the faces of Gyllenhaal and Ledger have been replaced with human-like pizza slices. At Artichoke, Eddie Murphy is seen eating; the owner bought the actor's portrait from a fellow student fraternity guy because he found it too nice to throw away. Vinnie's has pizza topped (yes, you read that right) and pizza inspired by Bill Clinton, El Chapo, David Bowie and Bjork, simply because they can. The day tickets are real works of art.
In addition, there are T-shirts from all countries that give the old skater shirts a lot of competition. Every good pizza place should have a T-shirt that's so awesome that you'll love to wear it on the street and not just to sleep - Roberta's, GG's, Paulie Gee's and Vinnie's definitely made it.
The folding of the pizza
If you want to be a real New Yorker, you fold your pizza. For this to work, the pizza slice has to be symmetrical and the crust has to be the perfect thickness, easy to chew and not too hard.
When you fold the pizza in, a perfect symbiosis of cheese, crust, sauce and topping is created. Without flaps, the individual aromas cannot be distributed as ideally. Anyone who doesn't fold is a Pizza-N00b.
The New Yorkers
Fuck bagels, what really holds New York together inside is pizza.
The pizza shop is, next to the subway, the only really democratic place where everyone can find a place: the pizza rat, cops, homeless, Bill de Blasio, drunks, goths, Wall Street brokers, hipsters, the Hell's Angels , Female students on girls' evening and scientists. United in the spirit of hunger, they indulge in a (not necessarily the last) supper with sauce, cheese, batter and fat. Strangers make new relationships in pizza shops, if only for five minutes. You make friends with everyone immediately, even if you probably never see them again because they are all pretty drunk.
Why is New York pizza really so great? Because it just belongs to all of New York.
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