The myth about the holy grail of pizza.


The quest to find the best pizza on earth will continue into perpetuity.

List abound, critics await, and preferences are aplenty. There may never be a clear winner on the road to awarding the best pizza in the world. The path to and what qualifies as the best will always skew to the limited experience of the person judging the pizza. Pizza has a long history that many point to starting in Italy. It is commonly referenced as the birthplace of pizza. I tell you however that based on my research this may not exactly line up. First, let’s talk logically about whoever invented bread. Is it possible that they ever decided to top the bread with different foods. It could be concluded that pizza may be traced back to a kosher dish called Pizzarelle a cookie used at Passover that is matzah topped with cheese and olive oil. Various cultures have been recorded topping flatbread with ingredients. The most famous pizza rendering was the Margherita Pizza that was put together by an Italian pizza maker Raffaele Esposito for an Italian queen. He used ingredients that matched the color of Italy’s flag. Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Basil make up the traditional pie that is celebrated as the pie that changed it all.

Neopolitan pizza is considered the pizza all are measured against.
  • Neapolitan – cooked in a wood oven 800 – 1000 deg for 70 to 90 seconds.
  • Chicago style – deep dish. Thick raised edge
  • New York Style – Large and foldable, tap water in New York have minerals that may limit replication.
  • Sicilian style- Square cut
  • Greek-style- thick and chewy crust with almost deep-fried bottom due to the olive oil used on the bottom of the pan.
  • California style – utilized unusual ingredients to top the pizzas
  • Detroit style – Square deep dish
  • St. Louis style – cracker like crust

These 8 styles seem to be identified as the most common varieties of pizza people identity with. In all honesty, there are possibly a thousand variations of the style listed above. Which pizza you identify with probably has something to do with the regional connection you identify with. This leads back to the subject of the best pizza. As I sifted through the many best pizza list out there there was no identical list that I could find. Bigger cities got the most credit as having a location you could call the best pizza. It’s also fair to say that the most experienced pizza aficionado probably has not even consumed .5% of all the pizza in the world. So how with any accuracy could we claim the best pizza.

Crafting the perfect pie is serious business.

Pizza is a 144.68 billion dollar industry and a large quantity of that pie goes to the pizza express brands like Dominos and the like. I was recently watching the Netflix show Ugly Delicious with chef David Chang and he commented that he probably orders Domino’s Pizza a few times a month. There are people out there who rate this as an injustice to pizza. Chef Chang made a comment that he hates when people tell him what he has to like. I think I’m pretty close to that philosophy. If something is good to you does it matter how it’s revered in the culinary world? The variance of taste among cultures is as wide as an ocean. The truth is there are pizzas out there of every variety that may be the best but not to everyone. So if someone decides that the best is a pizza express brand don’t shun them away. I love pizza and wood-fired pizza seems to hit the mark for me. I love the combination of taste and texture you only truly get from that wood-fired crust.

AVPN was set up in 1984 to hold pizza makers to strict guidelines

AVPN has strict rules to govern pizzas that claim to be authentic Margherita or Marinara pizza. They have an 11 page 6 article Constitution.

  • Wood Oven constructed to specific dimensions
  • Wheat flour type 00
  • Sea Salt
  • Water with a pH of 6.7
  • Compressed yeast
  • Specific tomatoes
  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Fresh Basil
  • Dough rises using Mattarelle (wood case)

As you dig through the thousands of insightful comments out there by professional and casual critics you will find that that data used to determine the best pizza will not be a consensus. My opinion is that the holy grail of pizza may be out there but the location of that pie will be different for everyone. I still haven’t found my pizza holy grail but I intend to keep looking because it’s a delicious quest.

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