People’s heads are exploding. Just a few pictures on Facebook, and some simple remarks peppered with snark, and…WOW!
Who knew that a New York-style pizza could cause such a stir? It’s like people are seeing fire for the first time. And here’s the irony: if you read Free The Pizza! (sub-title: A Simple System For Making Great Pizza At Home Using The Oven You Already Have), you have the potential to make a pizza that’s far more interesting than a New York Slice.
“But wait a New York Minute! Are you saying that New York pizza isn’t THE BEST!?” Well, no. I’m not saying that at all. I love New York pizza. But here’s the reality of New York pizza: it’s a workhorse of a pizza. It’s produced in high volume, it’s designed to be reheated as slices, and it’s kept waiting around until someone wants it.
This was the first NY pizza I’ve made in several years. And it’s astonishing the effect it has on people. I baked it, photographed it, sliced it, and handed a slice to my wife. (She used to live in New York, and I lived near New York for 20 years.) And we sat there, looking at the slices, which seemed so, so familiar, and I said, “It’s amazing isn’t it? This just smells like New York.” And she said, “Yes.”
I suspect the reason for the frenzy of response is that New York pizza is a mythical beast. Everything about New York is larger than life. It’s a city that has itself achieved epic mythical status. And the New York slice is a food that crosses all socio-economic boundaries. It appeals to almost anyone and everyone. It has become legendary. It occupies a place in the hearts and minds of everyone who’s visited New York, and even people who haven’t. It’s the product of a grand immigrant success story, and is uniquely American.
New York Pizza is more than just a food: it’s an icon. It represents so much for so many, and is a common denominator. No matter what divides us, the slice unites us.
And while it’s still just mundane ingredients combined with a modicum of skill, New York pizza represents transformation. I will stop short of saying transubstantiation, because that would be silly and perhaps sacrilegious. (Though I’m sure there’s an Irish Catholic New Yorker somewhere saying, “Well…”)
Add to that the idea that one small man with one small oven can reproduce the enormity of a New York-style slice, and it’s like alchemy. We are turning lead into gold—only it tastes better! It’s actually possible and viable. You can do it in your home oven. Pease do try this at home!
All this clamor over a pizza pic confirms something I’d already decided: my next book is about how to make New York-style pizza. Initially, it was a strategic decision. It seemed like something that people would want. But now, it feels more like a public service. People need this thing!
Soon, I will be offering intel on how to make New York-style pizza yourself. I’ve not yet codified the process for public consumption. But you’re going to love it. And if you aren’t already on the Free The Pizza mailing list, click here. You’ll be among the first to know when it’s available.
And if you’re not yet making gourmet pizza the Free The Pizza way, check out the new book on Amazon!
Blaine Parker is the award-winning author of the bestselling, unusual and amusing how-to pizza book, Free The Pizza. Also known as The Pizza Geek and "Hey, Pizza Man!", Blaine is fanatical about the idea that true, pro-quality pizza can be made at home. His home. Your home. Anyone's home. After 20 years of honing his craft and making pizza in standard consumer ovens across the nation, he's sharing what he's learned with home cooks like you. Are you ready to pizza?
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