Someone sent me this thread so I thought I'd chime in. Let me just clarify a couple of things:
I didn't stop posting here for any reason other than I just don't have the time. I get a lot of mail from my site and I can't even answer a lot of it. I've had about 3100 letters and I've answered about 2000 and the other 1100 I watch pile up in my inbox and I just feel guilty about them. I answer a few a day, but never catch up. I've literally worked all but 14 days this year. So that is really the only reason. This is a LOT of work. I'm starting to get the hang of it (I hope).
I do pull a lot from the Neapolitan standard but honestly I did think the pizza was doughy there. I never posted up the results of my trip because I didn't want to criticize the motherland, LOL... No matter how you slice it, I'm still 70% doing what they do. But I felt, as scott said, that it was a freeing experience. The problem with claiming to be 'authentic' is that it locks you into an existing method. If i test olive oils and decide that the best one is from Algeria should I use it? Well if I'm claiming to be authentically Neapolitan, I've got a problem. I just didn't want to be caught in that trap. I want to use the ingredients and tastes that I think are best, not what is most authentic. For example, I think that the NY Elite temp is best. My oven can sustain 1 min pies, maybe even less. But I don't do it. No one would like them here, especially since customers in the south eat slowly and the pies just get soggy.
bicster, more than the sum of it's parts is 100% what I'm shooting for. If you look at the critique on my site comparing A16 vs. Johnny's that's what I'm getting at.
Does anyone know how many in the US use sourdough? I always say it's under 10, but really I can only name 4 or 5. I can say now that I know why on one uses it. It's a a lot harder. Just 2 days ago we had our starter go bad and we had to restore from backup. Had to reschedule a lot of things. Not a problem on a monday, but if that happened on a friday, we'd be screwed. It's happened a couple of times before too. In the first 6 months we closed 3 times due to bad dough. Not since then though. In any case, it's just not consistent like IDY is. But I'm happy I'm using it.
Anyone on this board who's coming in should email me before so I can meet them when then come in. I'm at Jeff@Varasanos.com
My recipe page will pass 1,000,000 hits tonight :-)