I've been thinking about pizza lately. We don't give it a lot of coverage in the magazine, which is strange as it's one of the three great American cheese-foods. Along with grilled cheese and mac 'n whatever, it demonstrates a very simple formula: starch + salt + fat = dinner.
Because pizza is ubiquitous (especially as children's fare), everyone has their own opinion on what makes a good slice. Preferences are typically formed early and harden into obstinacy during the college years, when exposure to out-of-state pizza combines with economic necessity to make students into connoisseurs. This is a good thing, in my opinion. Although everyone else is wrong, especially New Yorkers, it's our differences that create the rich tomato-and-cheese tapestry that is America.
Check out Slice, Serious Eats' pizza-only sub-blog, where they helpfully document the vast diversity of American styles, from New Haven's slender apizza to Trenton's tomato pie to the unchained horrors and delights of the California style. Having grown up in Massachusetts, I have some strong feelings about our local offerings, especially the oft-maligned but delicious Greek style, which deserves recognition as one of the great formulas alongside Neapolitan and Chicago deep-dish.
(For those who care, it's not topped with feta, spinach and olives, although that's a nice pizza in and of itself. Instead, "Greek" refers to the many Hellenic families in New England who run pizza parlors, and who bake their distinctive pie in a raised-edge pan. The finished product has a light, slightly biscuity crust, and is topped with a sweeter-than-Italian tomato sauce and a mix of cheddar and mozzarella. Andreas, in Winchester, makes an excellent example, adding the cheese last to seal the other ingredients in.)
But in matters of pizza, I am doubly blessed. Not only do I have a blog where I can brag about my culinary preferences, I also have the Scientist, who, besides being a talented biogeochemist, also bakes as a liesure activity. I returned home from one recent evening to find two small lumps of dough rising on the countertop. "Oh," she remarked, "came back early. Thought I'd make some pizza dough" (She adds whole wheat for my benefit.)
This led to a raid of our refrigerator, and the subsequent pizzas pictured.
On the left: tomato, garlic, Point Reyes Blue.
On the right: sugar snap peas, garlic ramps, Laura Chenel Chevre.
A little olive oil (I like my pizza oily!) and some herbs (broad-leaf parsley, I think? I just pulled it out of the garden without looking).
No sauce in the fridge, so we didn't add any. Both pizzas were awesome, but a no-sauce chevre and sugar-snap-pea pizza is really one of the best things I've ever eaten in my life.
I have a blog. I will brag.
Feel free to dispute or agree (probably dispute) below.