I would like to clarify that my initial response is not motivated by the use of oil. it is the context and tone of the author and i will disect what is wrong with his statements.
"I,ve read some of the New York Style pizza recipes on this site and was amazed by the complete misunderstanding of what New York pizza is all about."
- wrong - most of the new york style recipes and the people making them on this site are very accurate and in often cases better than new york street pizza and its makers. the information here is generally more detailed and more accurate than most books written on the topic and certainly better than all magazine articles.
" I can guarantee you that whoever came up with these recipes is definitely not from New York. "
- whether or not someone (or the water) is from new york has no effect on their ability to make new york pizza, even if you have never traveled to new york you can easily see with your own eyes how a new york pizza is constructed on any one of the food network/travel channels shows how a pizza is made by a "new york pizzaiolo". just by living in new york city does not automatically make someone a pizza expert. there is ignorance everywhere, even in naples.
"It is not even possible to end up with anything that even resembles a New York style pizza unless the dough is first coated with a thin layer of olive oil before putting the sauce and cheese onto the pizza. The whole character, texture and flavor is different."
- what are you talking about, the truth is exactly the opposite of your statement.
" Without the olive oil you are not making pizza."
- untrue, pizza can be made with or without olive oil and certainly the order in which it is put on does not define pizza
You are inventing something new resembling California imitation pizza.
- now your just over the top and confirmed your total lack of understanding on the subject.
your mistake which provoked me(aside from not knowing what you were talking about) was suggesting the you were right, and everyone else was wrong and presenting yourself as knowledgeable.
the reason this bothers me so much is because in my 18 year search for the perfect pizza, i have been misled my many people in the past and have seen a lot of people claim to be experts. I have also come to recognize b.s. when i see it. another example that i saw recently was on the travel channels show entitled "america eats pizza". on this show jeff ruby, (co-author with penny pollack of the book : everybody loves pizza) when speaking about the difference between new york/coal oven and neapolitan/wood oven he claims " the most obvious difference between that (coal-fired oven) and a wood-fired oven is the crust if softer, the neapolitan pizza sort of stood up at attention a little bit and the new york pizzas drooped."
the most obvious thing to me jeff is that somehow you wrote a book and still don't know the difference between the two. he is wrong, in fact, he has it reversed. the neapolitan pizza out of the woodfired oven is softer.... because the oven is hotter and the flour has less protein. Ed levine is another one who spreads misinformation by telling people that coal ovens burn hotter than wood ovens. in some cases yes, and in some cases gas ovens burn hotter than some peoples wood ovens, but a properly fired wood oven that is properly constructed will get hotter than a coal oven. the truth is in the bake time. no one using coal oven is baking pizza in 60 seconds. that is why coal brick oven pizza is generally more crispy and the topping more dried out and usually bakes between 2 to 5 minutes.
my friend told me about 2 years ago, if you want to be percieved by the public as an expert, just write a book on the subjuct! ed levine, penny pollack and jeff ruby are not experts, they just write books and are making money talking about the subject. Not to say all books are incorrect. Evelyne slomon is in fact one of the leading and most respected pizza makers in the us. and also, peter reinhardt is an expert on baking and has been very thorough on his pizza research. tom lehman of the american institure of baking is also a real expert. they are all extremely knowledgeable.
one last gripe, john brescio of lombardi's pizza doesn't know a damn thing about making pizza. he has hi-jacked a recipe and a name and is perpetrating as a pizza expert. it is painful for me to watch and listen to this guy speak about pizza... comparing pizza to english muffins with nooks and crannies.... come one john? pick up a book and read, there are many books that could help you learn about the product you are selling and the person you are pretending to be!
nyc - thanks for giving me this opportunity to get this off my chest.