Pizza, Pizza, Pizza in New York…and around the world

** Nothing flat about it: America’s pizza obsession by My Little SoHo Kitchen

Joe’s Pizza – Addicted to pie

Getting a good slice of pizza in the US is pretty easy. Pop into any pizza parlour and pick up a glorious slice of cheese flatbread for under $3 bucks. You could do better and get a small slab for 99c, but you wouldn’t be getting the best slice, and that’s exactly what you should be after. When it comes to fast- food options, Americans go by a few simple rules. Bigger is better.
Lots of food trends have come and gone in the US and like many street foods from Asia, they have been recreated and at times butchered by novice cooks wanting to be the next big thing in the Big Apple. The Japanese must squirm at the NY ramen burger; the French are probably going to new heights to turn their noses at the cronut; and us Aussies, aren’t very impressed with the half-asked lattes in Brooklyn.
Yet, when it comes to Italian food, Americans seem to have done something right.
Pizza. Round or square, flat or stuffed, thin or thick, pizza is affectionately adored by all Americans. It is most definitely fundamental over here than even in the South of Italy where it apparently originated., Americans have made it their own and possibly perfected the Italian specialty. Whether you demand a thin crust with spicy sausage, or the heartier Chicago rendition, pizza is best eaten in America. Real pizza aficionados probably agree that the best pizza is not in the topping, sauce or cheese, but its crust. Clean, no-fuss tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese (fresh for the gourmets out there) and a blistering hot oven…pizza perfection.
The beauty of pizza in the US is that it caters to all gourmets, budget-conscience eaters from all walks of life. You don’t need a pesky knife and fork, nor do you need a spot to sit down. Hand held pizzas are at their best when on the go. Toppings are not essential and quite frankly pointless. Pizzas along the East Coast are thin, smeared with a bit of tomato sauce and a generous sprinkle of cheese. That’s it. Vegans, veggie hipsters and meat lovers, find common ground and keep it simple too. Toppings like mushrooms egg or God forbid pineapple are a sacrilege to say the least.
The first time I ate a real New York pizza was unforgettable. I longed for that first bite but it couldn’t be just any pizza joint, it had to be the best. Eating a New York slice is all about the execution. The pizza has to be fresh, hot out of the oven but not burn-the-top-of-your-mouth hot. For mere tourists, the size may be overwhelming, but don’t be shy. It is after all a thin crust pie, so you’re safe if you are worried about the carbs.
 Lovers of social media, don’t jeopardize the pie with all your tedious instagraming, facebooking and other food porn nonsense, a pie is at stake. Hold the pie from the crust, make the New York pizza fold with the paper plate still supporting your pie and bring it up to your drooling mouth.
Taste the sauce, remember the cheese and savour the crust. If you know what’s good for you, you will pop back in for another slice of New York history.

Joe’s Fresh Mozz Pizza
Of course – if you don’t live in New York City – or Italy for that matter, there are great pizza places everywhere. Rewarded ‘best pizza’ in the world, Chef Johnny Di Francesco calls Melbourne home and has added to Melbourne’s dynamic pizza battle. What’s your favourite around Australia?
Favourite Pizza joints around Melbourne (and not necessarily on Lygon Street) –


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