The “upside-down” slice at NY Pizza Suprema is not to be missed. So called because the cheese goes on before the sauce, it is a slice whose crust is light and crisp. The sauce is thick, rich and savory-sweet, and the mozzarella practically melds with the dough, giving it a unique texture. NY Pizza Suprema: 413 Eighth Avenue, New York NY 10001
I 100% agree, this one’s my favorite slice at Suprema and one of the absolute best Sicilian slices in NYC. Right across from Madison Square Garden, too!
Queens food ambassador Jeff Orlick leading a midnight street food tour.
Last week I went on a Midnight Food Crawl down Roosevelt Ave in Queens with local food ambassador Jeff Orlick. We hit a bunch of food carts, trucks, booths and even a couple semi-legal shopping cart vendors. This isn’t the Manhattan food cart scene, so we’re not talking about grilled cheese and Korean tacos and wood-fired pizza and funky ice cream — these are traditional dishes made by immigrant families just trying to make ends meet. Jeff translates the cuisine to people like me who need a nudge before going off my personal culinary map.
One stop we made was a new Dominican truck and one menu item really stuck out — PIZZATON. It starts with “pizza,” so how bad could it be? This wasn’t my top dish of the night but it ended up being one of the group’s favorites.
"That pizzaton had a smashed green plantain shell, with tomato sauce, cheese (not sure what kind), shrimp [or] chicken, and I believe it had peppers in it too (don’t have a close enough photo). Plantains are something that’s sometimes used instead of bread, like on the patacon, which is basically a sandwich but with plantains instead of the bread (it’s the banana version of a chimichurri)."
The menu. Pizzaton is item 5-6.
It was pretty tasty, but more a bunch of stuff with cheese melted on top than anything. This truck claims to have invented the dish and I have a feeling they’re not making that up. Keep your eyes peeled for more PIZZATON at your local Dominican food purveyor.
Lesson #1: There is a magazine devoted to pizza. Actually, there are several. The one I write for is called Pizza Today. There’s another one called PMQ’s Pizza Magazine. There is also a Canadian pizza magazine called, you guessed it, Canadian Pizza Magazine! Italy has five last time I checked and both China and Australia each have their own version of PMQ’s Pizza Magazine. These magazines are all for the food industry more than they are for people who are just really into pizza, although I’ve been reading them and learning a TON even before I started running pizza tours and judging pizza competitions.
Lesson #2: I write a column for Pizza Today called “Man on the Street.” It has been about 2 years since I started sharing my view as a professional pizza consumer with the magazine’s readership, which consists of some 40,000 pizzerias across the country. My columns let pizza operators know what’s going on inside the minds of their customers. Read it here!
Lesson #3: My monthly column won a prestigious award! The kind folks at Pizza Today entered “Man on the Street” into a competition run by the Trade, Association and Business Publications International (TABPI). I took home a bronze medal in the Best Regular Column category at the 2013 TABBIE awards. A magazine called Elevator World took home the gold for what I’m sure is a thrilling column. My warning to Elevator World: next year YOU’RE GOING DOWN!!!
Cool pizza making video from Solorzano Bros Pizza in Sarasota, FL. It gets good around 1:40 with some sweet POV shots on the peel and the slicer. This won’t help you make pizza at home, but it will make you SUPER hungry for a slice!
Folks in LA are definitely getting excited and my brother is even doing a vegan pizza crawl so contact him via Twitter @VeganSnacker for hot vegan pizza action.
Just a quick note on this joyous day: pizza does not need to be cheesy to count as pizza. The original pizza consumers were too poor to afford cheese, so most of the earliest pizzas were completely cheeseless. Besides that historical factoid, I’m just not really into any of the vegan cheese substitutes. It’s nice when pizzerias have a special vegan option with tons of veggies and all that but a great Pizza Marinara at a Neapolitan pizzeria will not have any animal products. The dough is flour, salt, water and yeast. No egg or milk or anything. The topping is just tomato, garlic, oil and herbs. It’s incredibly delicious without the need to pile heaps of ingredients on top. Check it out!
I first met Pete Genovese in 2006 when I was a member of a day-long pizza quest for New Jersey’s largest newspaper, The Star Ledger. Every summer Saturday, Pete loads the car, dubbed the Munchmobile, with a group of carefully-selected eaters to test a specific food within the state. This guy knows every angle of NJ and he’s very selective when it comes to food. He has a special love for pizza, which led to a 6 month long pizza-only stretch of adventuring at the tail end of 2009. I was fortunate enough to be on the team for over 300 pizzerias across the Garden State. Pete dropped a book called A Slice of Jersey with stories and reviews of all the pizzerias we visited. But his thirst was not quenched. Pete undertook a mission of epic proportions with a book project about New York City pizza and that book is finally here in the form of Pizza City: The Ultimate Guide to New York’s Favorite Food.
There are plenty of book about pizza. Trust me, I have at least one copy of each of them. Most go into the funky quirky tidbits of pizza history and folklore but Pizza City cuts right to what’s most interesting: the people behind the pizza. It covers the most popular slice shops and pie palaces but also takes the time to profile lesser-known pizzerias. Take John’s in Elmhurst, Queens. It’s a small place on the corner run by a mother-daughter team. I’ve had the pizza and wasn’t blown away by it, but the place has a real charm you can’t duplicate.
There’s also a review section of 250 pizzerias but it’s more for context than reviews of the pizza. Pete writes about what was going on while he was eating his slice. I like that. Everyone has different taste and you can’t base your opinion on his, so Pete gives you the info and lets you find out for yourself whether or not it’s the greatest slice on Earth.
Full disclosure: there’s a section about me and my pizza tour. But regardless of that, the book’s still good! He also profiles other pizza enthusiasts and bloggers so you get a real sense of how crazy the pizza scene gets.
This book belongs on the shelf of every pizza fan… actually every human, because it shakes a food we take for granted down to what’s important: people, pride and heart.
I had some dough left over from Tuesday but didn’t get a chance to use it until yesterday. Pretty good excuse to experiment with 3 day cold rise dough on my new Baking Steel! The dough is my standard formula:
315g water 500 g flour 4g yeast 10g salt
Last time I used the Steel I had it up at the top rack but the pizza got a bit too charred so I lowered it for this round. I technically split the difference between the top rack and the center rack by inserting some of my baking tiles in between. The result was pretty good! Underside of the crust was more even but I could still use more char up top.
Last week’s pizza, baked higher in the oven. Basil, grape tomato, mozzarella di bufala.Fancy!
This ain’t no Hallmark holiday, this is actually a real thing based in history. Today marks the 124th anniversary of the naming of the Pizza Margherita! On June 11, 1889 the Italian “Department of the Mouth” issued a letter on behalf of her majesty Queen Margherita, consort of King Umberto I, to thank pizzaiolo (pizza maker) Raphaele Esposito for presenting “three quality pizzas” in honor of the royal couple’s trip to Naples. The purpose of the trip was to dedicate a road (Corso Umberto I) but the most memorable event was clearly this peasant meal. Legend has it the queen’s favorite was a pizza with mozzarella, tomato and basil — a pizza featuring the freshest seasonal ingredients. This dish now carries the queen’s name and helped pull pizza out of the slums and into the mainstream.
Check out photos of the letter and the pizzeria where it all happened in my post from 2011.