The Perfect Pizza

The gauntlet has been thrown down. I occasionally get suggestions from friends for blog topics and so far I've been able to work in marshmallows and pumpkin pie, Irish pubs, tap dancing, MasterChef and crying. But pizza? It's already been mentioned three times, but I certainly haven't given it the focus it deserves with a full post.

Ah, pizza – my favorite food. People may think they're being clever asking me to write about pizza in a 'health' blog, as if pizza doesn't play a part in good health. If you don't know already, I'm very against demonizing any particular food. In fact, I believe that one should be able to eat whatever they like when they are hungry. I think this is one of the keys to actually having a healthy relationship with food, which is not always easy these days with all the hysteria and scapegoating about 'unhealthy' food and weight. (If you're interested in a post specifically on my views on eating, take a gander at any of my food posts.)

So back to pizza. I'm not sure why I love pizza so much, but I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that one of my fondest memories of my Dad was making pizza with him in the kitchen as a little kid. We used to make it in a square pan and I remember him teaching me how to spoon out the sauce and spread it around in a circular motion.

But I'm not the only one with a love for pizza. My impression is that it is widely appreciated because most big cities globally seem to have plenty of pizza on offer. My friend who is from Pakistan told me that when Pizza Hut opened there for the first time it was considered such a delicacy that people lined up for ages to get a table.

Although universal loved, people have very strong – but varying – views on it. Take Americans. In cities such as Chicago, deep-pan style pizza is considered the 'real' pizza, whereas in New York it's got to have a thinner crust and be referred to as a 'pie'. As a chiled when we visited my Mom's family in Wisconsin we went to pizza places where round pizzas were cut into squares (it's shocking, I know).

I am constantly amused by the differences between pizza in England and the U.S. When you go to most good Italian pizzerias here (run by actual Italians, mind you), you must buy your own pizza – they are for the individual, no matter how massive. And they are pre-determined pizzas, the Margarita (cheese), the Diavola (spicy pepperoni), La Reine (ham, olives and mushrooms), the Fiorentina (with spinach and usually egg).

As an American I balk at being told what to have on my pizza. I often go 'off menu' so to speak, starting with a Margarita and building my own, as if I was at the local pizzeria in my home town (in the suburbs of New York, in case you wanted to place my geographic pizza preferences). I think this may reflect a real cultural difference – the English are OK with being told how to eat, but Americans like to have it 'their way'. At least this American does.

When we are getting pizza at home it's always a tussle over where to order from. Future Hub wants to order the fancy stuff from the Italian take-away place, but I always want Domino's. Although I love the good Italian pizzas, I crave Domino's as it seems like 'real' pizza, reminding me of home. Ironically though, I'd probably never eat it if I was living in the States!

Pizza is one of those things that people are passionate about. Just ask anyone. I'd be quite interested to hear your pizza views, in fact. I'm sure you have some.


  1. I found out recently (by reading a blog: smittenkitchen) that pizza dough is available to anyone who wants to buy it for $3 from any pizza store in new york. It took me a couple of days to work up the nerve to ask for it, and when I did it became clear to me that I am one of the last people on earth who hasn't done this. It was a major revelation because I'd come to accept that my made-at-home pizza would never taste like it does from the pizza place. That is the recent development in my relationship with pizza. Also, there is a place I've discovered in Times square that sells slices for $1. A beacon in these uncertain times. And it's pretty good.

  2. I love pizza, but I am also massively enjoying the phrase "Future Hub". I am now imagining him with all sorts of forward-time-travel abilities.
    "Who's that appearing magically in the year 2026? Why, it's Future hub!"
    He should have a cape and everything.

  3. Oh dear. what will happen to his super powers after the wedding when he becomes simply 'The Hub'?

    As for making my own pizza, I have been planning to do that for a very long time. But most big cooking expeditions these days have been relegated to the massive expanse of time called 'after the wedding' when apparently I will do everything I've been putting off for months. I'll probably be even more busy! But do let me know if you attempt it.

    And one more thing... as for slices of pizza, it's a real shame, but they barely exist in London. It's either a whole pizza or nothing, which makes me really miss New York. Maybe we can go for a slice in Dec/Jan?

  4. I'm with Charlie--I love Future Hub, and I'll admit I had to think about it for a few seconds before I figured out you were referring to your future husband! (It's been a long day.) I can still recall the BEST slice of pizza I've had in my adult life--on the boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ, at a place that sadly is not there and had the word "Brothers" in the pizza place's name! What made it special was that the crust was thin and crispy, the cheese was hot, melted, flecked with oregano and just slightly salty--a truly delicious mozzarella. Not a lot of tomato sauce. I would so love to have that taste recreated! Was great with a Diet Coke.

  5. Donna, you're making me hungry! This really does prove my point -- people generally are passionate about pizza -- or at least the people I hang with :)


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