Pizza delivered to International Space Station!
Scott's Pizza Tour Pizza News
Check out how Al Forno in Providence, RI packs their leftover pizza. Inverted lid maintains complete slice independence!
I found these in the storage closet of a pizza box factory this week. Best arguement against recycling.
I’m looking for new tour guides to teach people about the evolution of our most favorite food ever! Check out the ad, follow directions and throw your hat in the ring. Must live in NYC and have flexibility for weekends, weekdays, holidays. Oh, and you have to absolutely LOVE pizza.
Here are my pizza stats from Jan 2, 2012 to Jan 1, 2013. I’ve been keeping track using an app called Daytum, which lets you track, share and organize data. I used the program to limit my slice intake by giving myself a shocking visual of how much pizza I consume. I established a guideline of 15 slices per week and Daytum helped me keep stay generally within that limit. Why 15? Well, 16 slices would be a whole 2 pies but 15 is “Less than two whole pizzas.” It just makes me feel like less of an animal.
From the information I collected, it looks like I visited 144 different pizzerias throughout the year. The pizzerias I ate at most often were Lombardi’s, John’s of Bleecker and Keste. That makes sense because I hit those three quite a bit on tours. I visited pizzerias beginning with every single letter of the alphabet except for Q and X. My total for the year was at least (see notes below) 714 slices, so about 2 slices per day. That’s well within my 15 slice weekly limit! The popular statistic for pizza consumption in the US puts it at around 50 slices per person annually. Wimps.
But counting slices is a bit more complicated than you might think…
Q: What about tiny baby slices?
A: Smaller slices (ie 1/4 of a 12” pizza) are counted as half slices. That means I can eat an entire Neapolitan pizza and it only counts as 2 slices on my tracker.
Q: What about gigantic slices?
A: I count anything larger than a standard one-eighth-of-a-sixteen-inch-pie as a single slice.
Q: That doesn’t seem fair, does it?
A: You’re right, it isn’t fair. But am I to count a pizza as a different number of slices in the tracker just because they decide to cut it into four instead of eight? No way, Jose. Maybe I should count it by bites? Sounds like a pain in the rump.
Q: Any glitches with the program?
A: Yup. For some reason, Daytum keeps deleting records of my homemade pizza. I have an Item (pizzeria) called HOME and it keeps disappearing every time I enter it. Last night I ate about three homemade slices, which I would normally have counted as a single slice on the tracker but the record keeps deleting itself. Also, I went into my final day of tracking with 719 slices, thinking the one slice I ate at night would round it out to an even 720, but s
Happy Holidays to All Pizza Buddies Everywhere!
image by Kristina Filler
A doctor from Philadelphia invented a healthy candy that tastes like pizza? Sounds very very very very wrong.
Twenty menus spanning half a century from a pizzeria in N. Syracuse, NY.
I’m not a big fan of menus. Lists of options often leave me fixated on all the food I didn’t order so I usually stick with friends’ recommendations or staff picks without even looking at the page. But as much as I dislike using them, menus are incredible tools. They provide an extremely interesting historical record of what was important to a restaurant at a single point in time. In the midst of a recent move, I found a package sent to me by the owner of a pizzeria in North Syracuse, NY called Twin Trees III.
The package contains some pizzeria goodies: a pizza box, a t-shirt, a photo of owner Louis Rescignano showing off his PIZZA vanity license plate and a stack of menus. But this isn’t a stack of menus in the “Hand these out to your friends so they can buy my pizza” sort of way. It’s a stack of twenty menus spanning the past 50+ years. So with an empty new apartment and a Superstorm keeping me inside, I set about reading the story told by this Rosetta Stone of pizzeria menus collections.
Notice the spelling of “muzzarella” in this 1964 menu.
The original Twin Trees opened in 1957 but the oldest menu I have is from 1964. Besides pizza there are steaks, chops, pasta, seafood and salad. At this time, pizza was still soaking into the American consciousness and remained a sidebar in Italian restaurant menus. A note on the page indicates that the pizzas are all 12 inches in diameter. A “Plain-Cheese” pizza is just $1.15 and every topping is just twenty cents more. The most expensive pie is the “Twin Trees Deluxe,” ringing in at a whopping $2.00 for sausage, mushrooms, onions, peppers and anchovies. Pepperoni is an option, but a letter from the owner tells me it wasn’t on the menu when he started making pizzas in 1962. America’s favorite topping was a latecomer to the pizza party, but we’ll see it rise to power in just a few years.
By 1971 the price of a 12-inch pizza is $1.70. Pizza’s still on the right side of the menu, a powerful position since the eye naturally goes in that direction. All the same toppings are there, but as of the 1968 menu anchovies had lost their status as the first listed topping with a drop down to third position. Interestingly enough, a new option appears on this menu: add pepperoni or anchovy to any of the seven listed pizza options for a total of $2.25. Shifting ahead to the contemporary pizza climate, pepperoni is the most popular topping in the US while anchovy is the least (although it’s still listed on the side of most pizza boxes as an option). Nevertheless, as of 1971 these two toppings were on equal ground in North Syracuse, NY.
No big changes until the introduction of two different sizes in 1978. Small pizzas are 12 inches and large pies are 16. There’s a major price leap from seven years earlier, with small cheese pies fetching $3.15 and a large $4.65. You can see the leap in profitability with the larger size. This menu also has an organizational shift with a simple list of topping options. Pricing now depends on the number of toppings ordered and anchovy somehow manage to claim an entire line without having to share space with pepperoni. We lost my beloved “muzzarella” back in 1975 in favor of the much simpler “cheese.” It’s safe to say mozzarella was the assumed cheese by this point so it was unnecessary to get any more detailed. Anchovy eventually gets squeezed out in 1978 and pepperoni’s back in with its own line (yet it’s not listed in the general topping section).
Gotta love the pizzeria owner showing off his PIZZA license plate. He also sent me a photo of his army of Blodgett ovens.
Sadly, there are no menus from the 1990s in this collection so we can’t pick back up until 2003. By this point it’s a pretty common pizza menu. The fifteen year span added bacon, ham, black olives, roasted peppers, meatball, sliced tomato, hot peppers, green olives, broccoli and pineapple to the previously limited list of topping options. Times have most certainly changed, as evidenced by the addition of a $3.50 salad bar and a pizza buffet for $9.95 every Thursday. I hate to draw the comparison but I remember Pizza Hut having similar options.
This menu collection is a real window into the evolution of a restaurant over half a century. Regardless of year, Twin Trees has always been very clear to its customers that it is “Famous for Pizza.”
This piece originally appeared on Slice: America’s Favorite Pizza Weblog.
David and Kim Sheridan have been planning on opening a pizzeria for years. They searched for restaurant spaces while David honed his skills on the wood-fired oven he built in his own backyard. Some pizza tour attendees were even lucky enough to have eaten pizza with Kim and David in their backyard shrine to deliciousness. They welcomed us and shared some of the best pizza we’ve eaten on any tour. The good news is that they found a space in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn and plan to open their pizzeria/bar called Wheated in early 2013. (While cleaning out the basement a few months back, they even found a century-old coal-burning bread oven!)
It was shaping up to be an extremely exciting spot for pizza lovers but Superstorm Sandy created a major speed bump. David and Kim had restaurant equipment stored in Coney Island, one of the worst hit parts of the city. It wasn’t until a week after the storm hit that they learned about the flooding in their storage space. A pair of Moretti Forni ovens were already corroded and insurance doesn’t cover losses from flooding. It’s a huge setback, but David and Kim are more determined than ever to open their pizzeria.