Posted by: adventuressetravels | August 2, 2011

The Best Pizza in the World

I’ve heard you can’t get a real slice of pizza outside of New York.  I don’t believe it.

Though I’d be inclined to agree the best pizza is found in New York, that’s just my taste.  Pizza comes in all shapes and sizes.  Of course there’s the enormous, thin New York slice.  The work of art that you shake the broad variety of seasoning over before folding it in half and sinking your teeth into.  The same type of slice that the Ramones talked up in the classic Rock and Roll High School.  It’s true, I’ll admit it; you can’t find an exact replica of those cheesy, greasy masterpieces outside of New York, or at least I haven’t found one.

But though I’ll give New York exclusive rights to the New York Slice.  However, unlike bagels, I can’t accept that the one true pizza in the world can be found there.  There are far too many definitions of pizza.  Far too many places that claim that their pizza is the best in the world.

In the US, the main battle is, of course, the New York Slice vs. the Chicago deep dish pizza.  The two are so different that they almost qualify as different forms of food.  Whereas a NY slice is a grab-and-go type of food, in Chicago pizza is a sit-down knife and fork sort of meal.  It has to be: picking up a slice of deep dish pizza would be impossible!  The crust is actually built up to keep in the mountain of cheese, sauce, and mountains of toppings.

Both styles have their plusses and minuses and which is better is really a matter of preference.  However, saying only one type of pizza  qualifies as pizza would be like saying only a Rottweiler can be called a dog.

Many people think of pizza as a basic staple of US food, fast food restaurants like Pizza Hut and Dominos are ubiquitous.  But of course pizza isn’t only found in, or is even originally, from United States.  It was invented in the Mediterranean; the first pizzerias were founded in Naples, Italy.  It didn’t even make it to the US until the late 19th century, when Italian immigrants brought their recipes.  Not surprisingly, Naples still claims to have the best pizza in the world.

The other country that vies for the title of world’s best pizza is in South America.  Argentina, with a high population of Italian immigrants, has an equally high number of pizzerias.  In Buenos Aires there is almost one on every corner and the porteños (Buenos Aires locals) argue as convincingly as New Yorkers that you can’t get a slice of pizza outside of their city.  Though there are many variations of Argentine pizza as a rule it has a much thicker and breadier crust than New York or Chicago deep dish pizza.  Argentine pizza is good and definitely worth a try, it is an entirely different take on pizza. (I especially enjoy the hearts of palm topping you can order in most pizzerias)

I love food and trying foods specific to the place I am in is a wonderful way to learn about cultures.  Trying different styles of pizza is always interesting because you never know what exactly you will get.  However, after trying the pizza in countless cities on three continents, I feel like there are really four distinct styles.  (“fast food” pizza notwithstanding) Pizza representative of four pizza meccas of the world:

New York, New York

Chicago, Illinois

Naples, Italy (though I have only had pizza in Italy, and not yet been to Naples)

Buenos Aires, Argentina

I think the best pizza is really a matter of taste and recommend trying each type of pizza yourself.  I however, am going to have to side with New Yorkers on this one.  My heart and taste buds are still stuck on the no frills New York slice.

Forget fancy toppings, creative sauces, and marketing gimmicks.  My favorite pizza in the city is about as basic as you can get:  Koronet pizza located at 110th and Broadway is my definition of the perfect slice.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Koronet-Pizza/199878892675

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Responses

  1. Then there is the old New Yorker magazine cartoon from the 1950s. One American tourist in Venice says to another: “I knowwhere to get a good pizza, but it’s in Madison, Wisconsin.” The reference was to Lombardino’s on State Street, and was true. The cartoon is recoverable from the magazine’s website. Pizza at that time had not spread to the hinterland (1960s in Richland Center). A “Chicago” style was available in Madison’s Little Italy, prepared according to your special order by Mama, who came out to see how you liked it.


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