Peter’s Blog, Jan. 18th
Things are moving fast and furious, so here are a couple of updates: On Wednesday I’ll post a new recipe, this time for one of my favorite toppings, balsamic onion marmalade. This is one of the most popular recipes I’ve ever developed and has appeared in at least three of my books. I have a new trick or two to add this time around and will give you some suggestions for how and where to use it, so check back on Wednesday.
Which reminds me to remind you: If you are just now joining us on PizzaQuest.com you may be wondering in what order to watch the webisodes? If you go to the Webisode page, all the previous weeks’ segments will be there, though some may have moved to the archives at the bottom of the page. If you haven’t yet seen it, start with what we call Pizza As Obsession, which is sampler reel of some of the places we’ve been–kind of like a movie trailer of coming attractions. After that, go to the Mozza Intro, then to Matt Molina, and finally to the newest segment, which posts this Thursday, LaBrea Bakery Part One.
If you go to the Instructional page you will see other videos, such as Kelly Whitaker of Pizzeria Basta making a buratta appetizer to die for; The Sweet Water Gypsies making a bacon, grana, and fresh mozzarella pizza; and Joseph Pergolizzi making a ricotta-garlic pizza. You can watch these in any order. We’ll be adding a new Instructional OR a new Webisode segment every week on Thursday.
On Friday, read Part Two of John Arena’s Guest Column on Pizza as Artistic Self Expression. If you are a fan of Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix), Spacca Napoli (Chicago), or Una Pizza Napoletana (formerly in NYC and now in San Francisco) don’t miss his column. If you’ve never been to any of these benchmark pizzerias, don’t miss John’s column and then find a way to go to them. In other words, don’t miss his column (and if you missed Part One, it’s still up on the site.
Let me close by saying that I have gone on record many times with the following statement: “There are only two kinds of pizza: good and very good.” In other words, I love all pizza, whether from a chain pizzeria, a single standing unit, or an artisan pizzeria–the only bad pizza
I’ve had was when it burnt. I’m pointing this out because it’s easy to get snobbish about the subject when you’ve experienced great pizza, but it’s important to remember that good pizza is often quite satisfying even if it doesn’t measure up to the lofty heights of some of the places we feature here on Pizza Quest.com. When I say “great pizza” what I mean is memorable pizza. By that I mean pizza so good it stops conversation, causes you to want to come back again and again, to bring your friends and your loved ones. It’s so memorable that you can’t stop thinking about it, that it causes you to say, “I didn’t know pizza could be THAT good!” It taps into the part of us that obsesses over things (revisit our opening webisode and notice in subsequent ones how many times the word obsession is used). There are only a few places in the world that hit that benchmark but the number is growing (and we hope to help in that march of progress). I imagine that many of our followers follow us because they’ve experienced such a place and want to celebrate that experience, the artisans and the artisanship, the way we do here. Our site is focused on such places and people but there are thousands of pizza places that also deserve to be celebrated simply because they make good pizza every day and work every bit as hard as the few off-the-chart, memorable places. I go often to many such good pizzerias and am reminded every time how much those people also care.
So, while we keep pushing the envelope on PizzaQuest.com for the mind-blowing, time-stopping moments, I’m asking you to join me and extend your own appreciation to the hard working people who create good food, every day, and who never get the recognition they deserve.
More next week….
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Pizza Quest Info
Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.
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