Don’t let the summer heat get you down, chill out with a cool book about something pizza-related! Here are a few selections from my reading list.
Tomatoland by Barry Estabrook Available on Amazon
This book just came out and I’m extremely excited about it. After all, what better time to read about tomatoes than during tomato season?!? Barry Estabrook’s James Beard award-winning article “The Cost of Tomatoes” was so thrilling to the readers of Gourmet, it’s no surprise that he was able to unravel the tragic story of Florida’s fresh tomato industry even further with this book. Of course you’ll get some tomato history and science in there, but Estabrook spends most of the book exposing the horrifying conditions in which one-third of America’s fresh tomatoes are grown. If you have ever eaten a tomato and wondered why it tasted like shoe leather, you owe it to yourself to read this incredible book.
Pizza Tiger by Tom Monaghan Available on Abe Books
I snatched Dominos founder Tom Monaghan’s autobiography from an online seller for $1, which is probably triple the cost of ingredients it takes to produce a single Dominos pizza. Regardless of what you think about their food, we would be remiss to ignore the delivery giant’s contributions to the pizzaverse. In the book, Monaghan claims responsibility for inventing or revolutionizing the pizza box, heated delivery units, dough proofing trays and more. I especially like the part where he describes a trip to New York in the mid 1960’s only to find that nobody’s pizza is as good as his. Even with some serious stretches of reality, Pizza Tiger provides great insight into the mind of the man who built the world’s largest pizza delivery empire.
Wood Heat by John Vivian (illustrations by Liz Buell) Available on Amazon
If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the wood that burns in pizza ovens (really any furnace, but this is a pizza lifestyle blog) this is the only book you will ever need on the subject. I’m serious. This book contains over 400 pages of dense information told in a comfortable way by a guy who just really loves burning wood. You’ll learn about different types of wood, benefits of wood, how to build different furnaces and MORE! The intensity of the writing is matched only by Liz Buell’s incredible illustrations.
A guy storing wood or the infamous Wood Bandit? You’ll find out when you read this book. [Illustration: Liz Buell]
Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor Available on Amazon
This is the only book in the list I haven’t actually read yet, but a friend gave it to me and I can’t just leave it out. The main character gets a job at a local pizzeria only to discover that it’s just a front for a monster hunting organization. How cool is that!?!?!? There’s probably some pizza-making action in there but I anticipate the monsters being more central to the plot. Rumors abound that this book’s sequel is coming out soon, so be sure to read Part 1 before all the cool kids get into it. And I really do mean kids, the reading level of this book is ages 9 - 12.