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Artisan vs. "Joint" pizza


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#1 chefdavidrusso

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 07:44 AM

Hello Chef -

I'm reading "American Pie" right now, and I'm heartened by the emergence of more artisan pizzas around the country. In general I think that artisan production of ANY food product is a good thing. But I wonder what you think of what I call "joint" pizza...the kind of pizza that I grew up on and that most people are familiar with. The kind of pizza that you get by the slice with pepperoni and mushrooms. (The great comedian Jean Shepard joked that the quality of this kind of pizza was based on how far the grease ran down your arm. With a truly great slice, it made it all the way to your elbow.)

Most of the time, when I am craving pizza, it is this kind of comfort/nostalgia experience that I want. Is there any place that you have come across that makes a great pie in that style (Koronet Pizza in NYC at 112th (?) and Broadway has always been one of my favorites), or do you think that this kind of pizza is simply a mockery of what pizza should be?

Thanks!!
Nothing says I love you like a homemade salami

#2 Peter Reinhart

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 04:12 PM

Hello Chef -

I'm reading "American Pie" right now, and I'm heartened by the emergence of more artisan pizzas around the country.  In general I think that artisan production of ANY food product is a good thing.  But I wonder what you think of what I call "joint" pizza...the kind of pizza that I grew up on and that most people are familiar with.  The kind of pizza that you get by the slice with pepperoni and mushrooms.  (The great comedian Jean Shepard joked that the quality of this kind of pizza was based on how far the grease ran down your arm.  With a truly great slice, it made it all the way to your elbow.)

Most of the time, when I am craving pizza, it is this kind of comfort/nostalgia experience that I want.  Is there any place that you have come across that makes a great pie in that style (Koronet Pizza in NYC at 112th (?) and Broadway has always been one of my favorites), or do you think that this kind of pizza is simply a mockery of what pizza should be?

Thanks!!

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In American Pie I describe two types of pizza perfection: paradigmatically perfect and contextually perfect pizza. You are describing the second category, which is a very large and important category, since this is what most of us grew up with. Almost everyone has a pizzeria that fits into the category of a place that was perfect, not because the pizzas were the absolute best, but because they were the joint where we hung out, where important things took place in our lives, and hey, the pizza wasn't too shabby either. In the context of our lives, these places were perfect and so the pizza has an almost iconic place in our memory bank. No, they're not a mockery at all, their integral to our socialized selves--they're like cafes in Europe, or the deli on Seinfeld, where we recap the day, bring our dates, get dumped, cook up schemes, deepen friendships. We need more of them, and soon we'll have them, and some of them may also be paradigmatically perfect at the same time.

#3 tupac17616

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 08:46 PM

Koronet Pizza in NYC at 112th (?) and Broadway has always been one of my favorites


Ah, one of the quintessential Columbia staples. Not the best pizza slice in the world, but that huge slice is always hot, always filling, always just seems to hit the spot. I definitely agree Koronets falls in the comfort/nostalgia category for current students, like myself, and probably countless alumni as well.

Almost everyone has a pizzeria that fits into the category of a place that was perfect, not because the pizzas were the absolute best, but because they were the joint where we hung out, where important things took place in our lives, and hey, the pizza wasn't too shabby either. In the context of our lives, these places were perfect and so the pizza has an almost iconic place in our memory bank. No, they're not a mockery at all, their integral to our socialized selves--they're like cafes in Europe, or the deli on Seinfeld, where we recap the day, bring our dates, get dumped, cook up schemes, deepen friendships. We need more of them, and soon we'll have them, and some of them may also be paradigmatically perfect at the same time.


Beautiful response :cool:

Edited by tupac17616, 05 October 2004 - 08:47 PM.