Why New York Pizza is so Tough to Replicate

Wired contacted a chef, a food development consultant, and a food scientist to investigate the difference between pizza in New York and in San Francisco. The differences are in the ovens and in the water. Consultant David Tisi explained the oven.
"As you cook, some ingredients vaporize, and these volatilized particles can attach themselves to the walls of the baking cavity," Tisi says. "The next time you use the oven, these bits get caught up in the convection currents and deposited on the food, which adds flavor." Over time, he says, more particles join the mix and mingle with the savory soot from burned wood or coal — the only fuels worth using — to create a flavor that you can't grow in a garden: gestalt, if you will.

Author Joe Brown is partial to the New York style, and describes how he brings home six pies every time he visits. Link -via Digg

(image credit: David Owen)

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Nothing beats Swedish pizza. Laugh if you will, but every single American I've ever introduced to a real Swedish-style Capricciosa has come away deeply impressed. The ranking goes; Swedish (Scandinavian if you're generous), Italian, Chicago, NYC.

The big problem is US over-reliance on tomato sauce and generally inferior cheeses.

So there.
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Talking about homemade, my wife makes a really tasty philly cheese steak pizza with a store-bought crust, roast beef, onions, and assorted cheeses.

I pack it away by the plateful, and clamor for more!
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As a Chicagoan who grew up in New York and New Jersey, I still crave New York-style pizza and lament that fact it's so hard to find here. The commenters you wrote about Midwestern square-cut pizza being designed to share - um, why would triangular slices be any less shareable than squares? Here, people just end up taking four or five tiny squares - a New York-style slice's worth - per serving, anyhow. Square-cut doesn't serve any more people per pie.

I agree, the square cuts are probably more a means of dealing with the dry, crackery Midwestern pizza crust ... or a nod to Chicago's "grid" style city street plan. :)
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I think the best way to get a good pizza is to make it yourself. I'm partial to an extremely thin sourdough crust myself, partially cooked in a very hot oven before adding the toppings, then cooked a bit longer with the toppings in a slightly cooler oven. I'd love to have a wood oven for it (and for bread), but that's a bit outside my budget right now.
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