What makes a pizza truly great? It's a question that like a good old Tootsie Pop, I would like to get into the center of. Pizza, in the most purist sense, consists of three crucial components: dough or crust, sauce, and toppings.
One could argue that the crust is the quintessential ingredient as it serves as the foundation for robust sauces and intricate topping combinations. Some might say no, it is the sauce that delivers all the flavor. Lastly, others may contend that all crust lovers and sauce fiends need move aside as without cheese and toppings there is nothing.
The debate could and will rage on as long as there is flour for dough, tomatoes for sauce, and cows for cheese. I, for one, believe in a solid crust to bolster the complexity of flavors from various sauces and toppings. After all, without a base, no matter how cool the architecture, a building will not stand.
Personally, I prefer a yeasty, medium to medium-thick crust that is a bit crunchy on the edges and soft in the inside. I have however, derived immense pleasure from thin crust pizzas lately so my palate is definitely flexible to the ever changing textures and gusto that pizza has to offer.
With that said, pizza has it's own culture and within this culture you’ll find an endless array of subcultures. Take for example the classic New York thin crust versus the Chicago deep dish debate. Let’s not forget the contention regarding how to properly cook a great pizza. Brick oven? Coal fire? Microwave? That’s right it’s not delivery, it’s Digiorno.
Think about the last amazing slice of pizza you ever had. It’s all about that crust, baby. Check out my upcoming features on great pizza joints; crust, sauce, toppings, and all.