Okay so I’m am not Italian, though you really don’t have to be born in Italy in order to appreciate a delicious slice of pizza. Right? But my quest is what truly makes a pizza so great?
You may get very different answers depending who you are asking and where in the country you are asking that question. New Yorkers swear that their pizza is the best in the world, folks in Chicago argue that they have a better pizza than New Yorkers and then again you have “creative” people in California saying that their pizza is the best.
So that didn’t help my quest at all. Going back to the basics, is the dough delicious and does it have the right texture or enough air bubbles in the crust? Was the sauce balanced in flavors and acidity? Were the tomatoes fresh, imported straight from Italy or were they canned tomatoes? Was the mozzarella fresh or was it imitation cheese? Then the other question is how many toppings is the right amount? Can it be just simple enough how they do it in Italy? Or is it possible to have over 10 toppings on your pizza and still be a delicious pizza? Is there supposed to have a lot of olive oil floating on top of your pizza or olive oil dripping on the side of the plate? Are you supposed to eat pizza with utensils or are you supposed to eat with your bare hands?
And to be honest with you, that just depends on who you are. Food historians say that in honor of Queen Margherita in the mid 1889, a pizza maker in Napoli created the what we now know as pizza. The pizza maker garnished the pie with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, to represent the national colors of the Italian flag.
Then about one decade later in New York, a gentleman by the name of Gennaro Lombardi started selling pizza pies wrapped in paper for the local factory workers. The pizza pies became very popular because they were easy to carry around and even easier to eat during lunch time without using utensils. Plus it was also a very affordable meal for the factory workers to purchase on a daily basis.
Now, I have had the privilege of eating pizza in Italy and also in Lombardi’s in New York and they were very different and they also had their similarities. But the truth is that it basically comes down to your opinion. It’s more complex than a simple taste test. It depends where you were born, because if you grow up eating pizza made with Ketchup then guess what, you will battle to the death in argument with someone that grew eating pizza made with fresh tomato sauce.
A recent visit to pizzeria called Gigi’s Pizza and Pasta located in Spring Hill Florida made me discover what truly makes a great pizza even greater. This was my first visit to Gigi’s pizzeria because I was invited their by a dear friend of mine. The pizza pie was simply amazing it had an amazingly crisp crust, it wasn’t burnt or undercooked. The amount of toppings was just right and the quality of ingredients was superb. It wasn’t too greasy, but it did have the right balance of grease in my pizza. I was surprised on how delicious this pizza really was.
But what made me stumble upon an epiphany on what makes a pizza so fascinating is not if it’s a deep dish pizza, or if it’s thin crust or if it has a kazillion topping on it. I discovered that what makes a pizza so amazing is that you get to enjoy it with a friend. Eating pizza alone is fine and dandy, but it’s even better when you eat it with another person. Try to think of the last time that you had pizza. Was it while watching a football game at a friend’s house? Was it at a tailgating party? Was it at a kid’s birthday party? Was it at the beach watching the sunset with a cute date? I am willing to bet that it was while you were hanging out with someone else. So that was my discover on my pizza quest. It’s not just the taste of the pizza but the moment itself of you creating new memories with friends. That’s why pizza has continued to grow in popularity throughout a century. My pizza experience was awesome because I shared it with a friend.
And in case you like to go visit Gigi’s Pizzeria, 12505 Spring Hill Dr, Spring Hill, FL 34609