Horns, footsteps, metro, and a cacophony of muffled conversation let’s you know one thing: a slice is just a block away.
The New York slice is geometry that stretches beyond the bounds of five boroughs. It lives contemporaneously with the lore of the city… and haunts the minds of those sober and intoxicated alike.
Crispy, chewy, flaccid. On occasion, the renown slice can toggle all three adjectives of varying flattery.
It remains the definitive stamp of my brief tenure in the city and has sent me wandering in search of a viable replacement since.
Sue me, I’ll go ‘New Yorker’ and claim, “I can’t get a decent slice anywhere” — but, in reality, mean I just can’t find one the way they do it.
The city has distilled the dish into a craft. I don’t know, maybe something is in the water.
Simple, regal, elegant. Pizza offers one of the few foods I think is truly perfect. Harmonious flavors that teeter on the edge of decadence.
Three core ingredients, that’s all. It is almost unbelievable how magic can arrive so easily. I advocate that pizza’s simplest form, with exception to basil, is its best.
Crust is perhaps the most important aspect of a proper slice, the foundation.
It is almost laughably easy to mess up the ratio of flour, water, and yeast. If done properly, however, the result can yield pure glutenous joy. Exterior crispness that crackles like the seat of wicker furniture juxtaposed by a light chew with a hint of pull.
Great crust will carry burned spots; that’s good, no bite should be exactly the same.
Mozzarella offers excellent companionship to dough and sauce. Even with subtle and mild flavor, it can still wash over you with a wave of milkiness. (Don’t be gross.)
No cheese is better suited to the endeavor of pizza than mozz.
Sauce is the opposing weight on the proverbial scale. Dough and cheese can feel one-note and taste monotonous after a few bites. That’s where a tomato can timely jump in and provide the role of foil.
The focus of sauce is to sing a ballad of balance: sweet with a subtle acidic undertone that cuts the richness of crust and cheese.
Simple is best, as I have been hammering home. I personally gravitate towards a sauce somewhat sweet with brief thumps of astringency.
The sweetness allows the ingredients to soar while the mild acid prevents them from becoming overbearing and prevents flavor fatigue.
A good New York slice abides by these tenets to a tee, in my humble and ordinary opinion.
To wit, I have yet to find anywhere that beats the concrete jungle in quantity of adequate slices per square block.
Lastly, my favorite place to grab a slice is — Scarr’s on Orchard.
I readily await to engage in fisticuffs with those who dislike my opinion and are also “walkin’ here.”
Ancillary: This piece was written purposely exaggerated and ostentatiously. Sorry not sorry, this is how I feel about pizza. *Italian hand gesture*