Thursday, November 3, 2011

For the Love of Pizza

New York Pizzeria - Trumansburg, NY

I love pizza.  And, while I'm pretty sure it will never happen in this lifetime, if I'm ever on death row, my last meal will be pizza.  I will admit that over the years I have become what some may call a pizza snob, or at least very particular about the pizza I will put in my mouth.  As I'm sure you're aware of, there is A LOT of pizza out there, so one can be choosy. 
Pizza is something that is very personal; we all have our opinions on what is the best kind of pizza.  And that's great.  Everyone is unique, so why not their taste in pizza?  The most popular arguments I've come across are "deep dish vs. thin crust" or "New York style vs. Chicago."  I grew up in the Midwest where it is common to have your pizza cut up in little squares - a thin, cracker crust with mounds of mozzarella cheese, instead of a large pizza slice.  As an adult, I lived in Chicago for many years and ate a lot of great thin-crust pizza.  After being introduced to New York style pizza though, I have to say, my pizza tastes changed thanks in part to what is called a high-gluten flour.  I definitely prefer a thin, crispy crust, but New York pizza is thin, crispy and chewy all at once.  Chewy is not something you get from a cracker thin crust - which is delicious in its own right - but if I can have it all in one slice, I'll take it.  I don't order take-out pizza very often, instead I make my own pizza at home.  I've found a local, Italian bakery that sells the high-gluten pizza dough and it's fantastic.  If I felt that making the dough myself from scratch would enhance my homemade pizza, I would do it...but it doesn't.
As far as being healthy, pizza really can be good for long as it has tomato sauce and you go easy on the cheese.  Cooked tomatoes have the powerful antioxidant lycopene which helps prevent prostate cancer, may also prevent heart disease and can also protect your skin from sun damage.  Of course you can get these benefits from eating cooked tomatoes alone or tomato sauce, but according to the book 50 Secrets of the Longest Living People, author Sally Beare writes, "Pizza appeared to be the most protective; this is thought to be because lycopene is a fat-soluble antioxidant, and the oil and cheese in pizza help transport it to our cells." 
Works for me!
This is my first entry on pizza, but hardly the last...more posts on really great pizza to come. 
Please tell me about your favorite pizza!

"The Greatest Wealth is Health" - Roman Poet Virgil

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