Author Topic: New York for a day-suggestions  (Read 18428 times)

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Offline cranky

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #120 on: November 27, 2010, 10:01:04 PM »
Paul,

I did enjoy reading about haggis.  It sounds something like Hog Maw (Pigs Stomach), but a little different.  People in our area do eat souse and pigs feet, too, but not me.   :-D

Norma

Norma,
I knew you were much too civilized to eat hillbilly vittles.


Offline norma427

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #121 on: November 27, 2010, 10:04:35 PM »
Norma,
I knew you were much too civilized to eat hillbilly vittles.

Cranky,

I am not that civilized.   :-D  I do eat Hog Maw and now drink milk kefir, even if it sits out for a week.  At least so far nothing has made me sick.  I prefer pizza though.  :angel:

Norma
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Offline cranky

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #122 on: November 27, 2010, 10:18:05 PM »
Cranky,

I am not that civilized.   :-D  I do eat Hog Maw and now drink milk kefir, even if it sits out for a week.  At least so far nothing has made me sick.  I prefer pizza though.  :angel:

Norma

Norma,
Kefir is a delicacy.  Hog Maw on the other hand is something you should not admit to eating in polite company, especially when you visit NY.  NYers will look down on you and think the barbarians have invaded.  Some things like this are best kept secret. 



Offline norma427

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #123 on: November 27, 2010, 10:27:53 PM »
Norma,
Kefir is a delicacy.  Hog Maw on the other hand is something you should not admit to eating in polite company, especially when you visit NY.  NYers will look down on you and think the barbarians have invaded.  Some things like this are best kept secret. 




Cranky,

I didn't know milk kefir was a delicacy. I am Pa. Dutch and that is the kind of food people eat in our area.  I have eaten many different things in my life and I am not ashamed of trying different foods.  One time when I went to Smithsonian Institute, I ate fried grasshoppers dipped in chocolate.  If NY people look down on what I eat, it doesn't matter to me.  I have developed a tough skin.  I wonder how fried grasshoppers would taste on a pizza.  :-D

Norma
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Offline cranky

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #124 on: November 27, 2010, 10:38:34 PM »
Cranky,
   I have developed a tough skin.  I wonder how fried grasshoppers would taste on a pizza.  :-D

Norma

Probably like chicken.

Offline norma427

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #125 on: November 27, 2010, 10:40:51 PM »
Probably like chicken.

Cranky,

You are probably right.  :)  I forget at this time, how they tasted.

Norma
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Offline cranky

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #126 on: November 27, 2010, 11:32:06 PM »
Cranky,

You are probably right.  :)  I forget at this time, how they tasted.

Norma

I wouldn't put chicken on pizza either.  No bugs or birds.  Pig is good, but it has to be civilized pig, like pepperoni and Italian sausage.  No hog maw.   

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #127 on: November 28, 2010, 06:20:43 AM »
Pig cheeks (guanciale) have gained some popularity as a pizza topping.....although I'm curious how chocolate lab or rottweiler would work as well >:D
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Offline norma427

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #128 on: November 28, 2010, 07:39:38 AM »
I wouldn't put chicken on pizza either.  No bugs or birds.  Pig is good, but it has to be civilized pig, like pepperoni and Italian sausage.  No hog maw.   

Cranky,

This is what Hog Maw looks like.  A nice crispy skin and delicious ingredients inside.  ;D http://www.flickr.com/photos/93779577@N00/4138603398/   Now donít you think those insides of the Hog Maw would go great on a topping for pizza?  People use sausage, hamburg, onions, bacon and celery on pizzas, so why not Hog Maw. The crispy pig stomach skin tastes like bacon.  Donít you even like any kind of chicken on a pizza?  I really like Buffalo Chicken Pizza.  That is one of my favorites.  I have made Buffalo Chicken pizza with Frankís Hot Sauce many times.  Maybe I can persuade you to try different dressings on a pizza.   :-D

Norma
« Last Edit: November 28, 2010, 07:45:20 AM by norma427 »
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Offline norma427

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #129 on: November 28, 2010, 07:41:30 AM »
Pig cheeks (guanciale) have gained some popularity as a pizza topping.....although I'm curious how chocolate lab or rottweiler would work as well >:D



pizzablogger,

Pig cheeks sound good to me to try on a pizza.  ;D  Here is a picture of a pizza made with clams, pig cheeks and tongue.  http://www.alwayshungryny.com/reviews/frannys/   That pie looks very appetizing to me.  I like clams, and tongue, so why not pig cheeks, too.  My father and I used to eat tongue luncheon meat all the time.  Never tried this combination on a pizza though.  You do come up with interesting combinations for dressings on a pizza.  :)

Norma
« Last Edit: November 28, 2010, 07:44:01 AM by norma427 »
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Offline cranky

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #130 on: November 28, 2010, 09:01:47 AM »
Cranky,

This is what Hog Maw looks like.  A nice crispy skin and delicious ingredients inside.  ;D http://www.flickr.com/photos/93779577@N00/4138603398/   Now donít you think those insides of the Hog Maw would go great on a topping for pizza?  People use sausage, hamburg, onions, bacon and celery on pizzas, so why not Hog Maw. The crispy pig stomach skin tastes like bacon.  Donít you even like any kind of chicken on a pizza?  I really like Buffalo Chicken Pizza.  That is one of my favorites.  I have made Buffalo Chicken pizza with Frankís Hot Sauce many times.  Maybe I can persuade you to try different dressings on a pizza.   :-D

Norma

Dear Norma,

Most people when they get old get set in their ways.  There is a right way to do everything and a wrong way, even though there often isn't.   Remember that I said I grew up in NYC in the 50s and started making pizza, because I could not buy a good pizza where I moved.  So driven by nostalgia I am searching to recreate my youth.  We won't discuss anything here about my youth other than the pizza I longed for.  Bacon, celery, onion and hamburger have no place on my pizza, neither does Canadian bacon, pineapple, bbq chicken, bbq sauce, bell pepper, or kale.  Why not put rutabagas and cabbage, peas and carrots on top?  Good grief!  My wife and I went on vacation a few years ago to an island in the Caribbean.  Everyone said we had to try the conch pizza.  We did, and controlling my gag reflex in the restaurant was challenging.  That was and will be a last.  Never again.  If it ain't broke don't fix it.  If you have found perfection there is no point in changing anything.  Perfection is always simple.  All you really need is great crust, tomatoes and cheese, a little olive oil, oregano and basil.  If those things go together right it is done.  Toppings are an attempt to make up for messing up the basics.  By the way, my favorite ice cream is vanilla.   Regarding the right and wrong of it, nostalgia rules for old guys. 



Offline norma427

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #131 on: November 28, 2010, 09:27:01 AM »
Dear Norma,

Most people when they get old get set in their ways.  There is a right way to do everything and a wrong way, even though there often isn't.   Remember that I said I grew up in NYC in the 50s and started making pizza, because I could not buy a good pizza where I moved.  So driven by nostalgia I am searching to recreate my youth.  We won't discuss anything here about my youth other than the pizza I longed for.  Bacon, celery, onion and hamburger have no place on my pizza, neither does Canadian bacon, pineapple, bbq chicken, bbq sauce, bell pepper, or kale.  Why not put rutabagas and cabbage, peas and carrots on top?  Good grief!  My wife and I went on vacation a few years ago to an island in the Caribbean.  Everyone said we had to try the conch pizza.  We did, and controlling my gag reflex in the restaurant was challenging.  That was and will be a last.  Never again.  If it ain't broke don't fix it.  If you have found perfection there is no point in changing anything.  Perfection is always simple.  All you really need is great crust, tomatoes and cheese, a little olive oil, oregano and basil.  If those things go together right it is done.  Toppings are an attempt to make up for messing up the basics.  By the way, my favorite ice cream is vanilla.   Regarding the right and wrong of it, nostalgia rules for old guys. 



Cranky, my friend,

I am older too, but I would try almost anything on a pizza.  I like to be adventurous.  I am not set in my ways.  It is a good thing, that driven by your nostalgia, you are searching for your youth.  That is great in my opinion.  I also vacationed in the Caribbean different times years ago, and I did like Conch, but didnít try it on a pizza.  I still have a Conch shell I brought back from one of those visits.  I donít think there is any right or wrong toppings on a pizza.  It is up to each individual what he or she likes.  I also like a simple pizza with plain cheese and sauce as dressings.  The first pizza I ate at Kesteís was delicious.  That pizza did have the basic toppings, but the toppings were top notch in my opinion.

I am glad you found perfection in creating your pizzas.  :)  Did you ever get to try Les's sauce?  That is a simple pizza sauce that does have good flavor.

Norma
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Offline cranky

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #132 on: November 28, 2010, 10:38:25 AM »
Cranky, my friend,

I am older too, but I would try almost anything on a pizza.  I like to be adventurous.  I am not set in my ways. 

Back to pizza perfection.  For some people it is something in memory and for others it is sometihng they have not yet found.  That is the difference between the pizza nostalgic and the adventurous.  Either way its fun.   


Quote
It is a good thing, that driven by your nostalgia, you are searching for your youth.  That is great in my opinion.  I also vacationed in the Caribbean different times years ago, and I did like Conch, but didnít try it on a pizza.  I still have a Conch shell I brought back from one of those visits.
 

I stopped at a roadside stand where a guy was making conch salad.  It might have been the best tasting thing I ever ate in my life.  There was a line of local school kids waiting for his work.  All he sold was conch salad.  His stand was a homemade little table covered by a beach umbrella.  His ingredients were in buckets.  He stood there chopping away.  He charged the kids $2 and me 8.  I gave him 10.  Nostalgia says this guy reached perfection.  The conch pizza is another story.

Quote
I donít think there is any right or wrong toppings on a pizza.  It is up to each individual what he or she likes.


Sure!  We know what we like.  After I moved to Oregon and could not gag down the pizza, people I knew moved back to NJ.  After a year they came back to visit family.  I asked them how they liked living in NJ.  They said it was fine, but the one thing they missed most about OR was pizza.  People in NJ just don't make good pizza.  Wow!

Quote
I am glad you found perfection in creating your pizzas.  :) 


It's all in my head.  I am not trying to make something new.  I am trying to remake a memory.  My kids, now hitting middle age, and grandkid's pizza memories are being shaped by the smells, flavors, and fun of being at Papa and Nana's house eating my pizza.  Wherever they go it is not as good as Papa's.  Everyone's mother or grandmother made the best turkey stuffing, lasagna, stuffed cabbage.

Quote
Did you ever get to try Les's sauce?  That is a simple pizza sauce that does have good flavor.

Norma

[

Not yet, but I will.  Been pretty busy at work to find time for cooking.

Offline norma427

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #133 on: November 28, 2010, 11:21:25 AM »
Cranky,

I agree with you about pizza perfection.  You are right when you posted that for some people it is about memory or other have found what they really like in pizzas.  I am still on the adventure trying to learn about different flavors in the crust.  That is why I do experiments.  I donít think I will ever be able to make my perfect crust, but I will keep trying.  In my opinion the most important thing to me is the crust flavor.  Others might disagree with me on my thoughts, but that is okay with me. 

Good to hear you did really like conch salad. I also believe the guy that was making the conch salad had reached perfection.

I am glad your grandchildren are learning from you what a really good pizza is.  I am sure they wonít ever forget the smells, flavors, and the fun of being at Papa and Nanaís house for pizza.  :)

Norma
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Offline cranky

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #134 on: November 28, 2010, 04:25:33 PM »
Cranky,

   I am still on the adventure trying to learn about different flavors in the crust.  That is why I do experiments.  I donít think I will ever be able to make my perfect crust, but I will keep trying.  In my opinion the most important thing to me is the crust flavor.  Others might disagree with me on my thoughts, but that is okay with me. 

 Norma

Pizza and pizza crust are kind of like wine.  There is no definition of the standard or ideal.  When you open a Coke, or can of V8 juice you know exactly what to expect.  It never varies.

How could I know what is the best pizza if I haven't tried them all?  So I never will.  My guess is that the best pizza is made in someone's home, maybe someone on this forum and only a relatively few people have tried it.  That person would not know their crust is the best, because they haven't tried all the others.   I rarely go out for pizza, because it is usually a disappointment, even when I am back in my home turf.  I surely don't make the best pizza in the country, but it is way better than average.  We keep learning, but at some point what we make is good enough.  Pizza is simple peasant food.  I am willing to grow my own tomatoes, but not willing to pay a fortune to ship a sack of flour across the country, or spend too much for tomatoes from Italy.  I might make fresh mozz, but will not buy bufalo from Italy.  I can afford that stuff, but pizza is pizza for goodness sake. 



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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #135 on: November 28, 2010, 06:40:04 PM »
Pizza and pizza crust are kind of like wine.  There is no definition of the standard or ideal.  When you open a Coke, or can of V8 juice you know exactly what to expect.  It never varies.

How could I know what is the best pizza if I haven't tried them all?  So I never will.  My guess is that the best pizza is made in someone's home, maybe someone on this forum and only a relatively few people have tried it.  That person would not know their crust is the best, because they haven't tried all the others.   I rarely go out for pizza, because it is usually a disappointment, even when I am back in my home turf.  I surely don't make the best pizza in the country, but it is way better than average.  We keep learning, but at some point what we make is good enough.  Pizza is simple peasant food.  I am willing to grow my own tomatoes, but not willing to pay a fortune to ship a sack of flour across the country, or spend too much for tomatoes from Italy.  I might make fresh mozz, but will not buy bufalo from Italy.  I can afford that stuff, but pizza is pizza for goodness sake. 




Cranky,

I never will try all the pizzas either and am sure some of the forum members make better pizzas, than any that can be bought.  There many great pizza makers on this forum. I have tasted pizza baked in my friends WFO and they do taste different than any of my pizzas.  When I tasted the pizzas at Kesteís, they were the best pizzas I have ever tasted.  Other people that have also tasted Kesteís pizza might not agree with my tastes.  Everyone has their own tastes.  I donít think there is a wealth of information about making every kind of pizza anywhere in the world, except here on this forum.

I donít think I will ever stop learning about pizzas.  When I started experimenting with starters and then bread from the Tartine Bread book and eventually bagels, it opened my eyes and taste buds to a new level.  I havenít been on this pizza making journey for a long while, but can now see how bread making and pizza making almost go hand in hand or maybe they are one in the same.  I still havenít figured that out.  To watch how pizza dough leavens with a starter was something I wanted to do for awhile, but I didnít understand enough about starters to try them before.  I know pizza is peasant food and the way people years ago leavened pizza is different than most places leaven pizza doughs today.  I havenít tasted any pizzas from Italy, but could imagine when I was eating Kesteís pizza, it was something like I would be able to taste in Italy. I could be very wrong.  I am not an expert, this was just my opinion, because of what I have read about different pizzas in Italy. 

I appreciate all of your opinions.  :) I am always open to everyones opinions.

Norma
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #136 on: November 28, 2010, 11:26:55 PM »
  When I tasted the pizzas at Kesteís, they were the best pizzas I have ever tasted.  Norma

Norma, was it the taste of the toppings, taste of the dough, or texture of the pizza that made it the best you had ever had?  Thanks again for this post.
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Offline norma427

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #137 on: November 28, 2010, 11:45:42 PM »
Norma, was it the taste of the toppings, taste of the dough, or texture of the pizza that made it the best you had ever had?  Thanks again for this post.


Jet_deck,

The taste of Kesteís pizza with the toppings were really good, in my opinion.  I usually taste a crust first, before I eat any of the pizza with toppings.  I really donít know if it was Kesteís formula for his dough, or how the dough in combination with the wood fired oven is what made me like the taste of the crust.  The pizzas baked very fast.  The crust was so airy and like a pillow.  I canít really explain it in the right words.  That is why I posted Kesteís was the best pizza I have ever eaten. 
I am not an expert though on pizzas. I haven't tasted any other Wood-Fired Oven pizzas from a commercial pizza business before.

Norma
« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 07:39:24 AM by norma427 »
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Offline cranky

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #138 on: November 29, 2010, 06:33:48 AM »
Cranky,

I never will try all the pizzas either and am sure some of the forum members make better pizzas, than any that can be bought.  There many great pizza makers on this forum. I have tasted pizza baked in my friends WFO and they do taste different than any of my pizzas.    

I wonder if it is temperature or the radiant heat from the wood coals.   Long ago my uncles told me that the best pizza they ever had in NYC was from coal fired ovens.  By the time I came along there might have been a couple left.  The guy who was left in Coney Island with a coal oven made what we now know as a Margherita, but then it was just another pizza.  He dealt out slices of fresh mozz.  There were also places that had giant balls of mozz in glass display refrigerators.  They did not buy pregrated plastic packages.  I don't know where that cheese came from.  The balls had to have been 3 or 4 lbs each.  They were considerably bigger than soft balls, maybe 2X, and not uniform in size.  One of the best pizza makers I knew told me he used only "real" cheese, not the cheap stuff.  He used those giant balls.  I don't know what he meant by that, but I never saw those balls in the store.  They must have been made by a small local maker.

Natural leaven is a big deal, but I don't know if a home baker can manage it well.  I for sure can't.   

My best pizza was made with a combination of aged and fresh cheese.  Flour is the same year round.  The flesh of garden tomatoes and home grown basil was the difference, because my winter and summer pizza are very different.  A commercial pizzeria can't turn out high volume with these ingredients even if they were not seasonal.  They have to rely on canned tomatoes of one sort or another.  Prepping fresh tomatoes takes a long time.  I also make my own sausage.  It is better than store bought.  It took years to figure it out.  It also takes a long time and would be cost prohibitive for a pizzeria.
 

Offline norma427

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Re: New York for a day-suggestions
« Reply #139 on: November 29, 2010, 09:03:54 AM »
I wonder if it is temperature or the radiant heat from the wood coals.   Long ago my uncles told me that the best pizza they ever had in NYC was from coal fired ovens.  By the time I came along there might have been a couple left.  The guy who was left in Coney Island with a coal oven made what we now know as a Margherita, but then it was just another pizza.  He dealt out slices of fresh mozz.  There were also places that had giant balls of mozz in glass display refrigerators.  They did not buy pregrated plastic packages.  I don't know where that cheese came from.  The balls had to have been 3 or 4 lbs each.  They were considerably bigger than soft balls, maybe 2X, and not uniform in size.  One of the best pizza makers I knew told me he used only "real" cheese, not the cheap stuff.  He used those giant balls.  I don't know what he meant by that, but I never saw those balls in the store.  They must have been made by a small local maker.

Natural leaven is a big deal, but I don't know if a home baker can manage it well.  I for sure can't.   

My best pizza was made with a combination of aged and fresh cheese.  Flour is the same year round.  The flesh of garden tomatoes and home grown basil was the difference, because my winter and summer pizza are very different.  A commercial pizzeria can't turn out high volume with these ingredients even if they were not seasonal.  They have to rely on canned tomatoes of one sort or another.  Prepping fresh tomatoes takes a long time.  I also make my own sausage.  It is better than store bought.  It took years to figure it out.  It also takes a long time and would be cost prohibitive for a pizzeria.
 

Cranky,

Although I havenít tasted any other pizza from a pizzeria with a wood-fire oven, I had been waiting for awhile to even taste any pizza from any wood-fire oven.  My pizza making buddy Steve (Ev), built his own wood fired oven this past summer, brick by brick.  He invited me to his home to bake some of my formulas (with starters) and some of his formulas (some with cake yeast) in his wood fired oven.  That is what opened my taste buds and eyes to how a wood-fired oven bakes and makes a pizza taste different.  I had used the one same formula I was experimenting with at market.  If you are interested in seeing the pizzas baked in the wood-fire oven, in how different they look, this is the thread. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11887.0.html  The pizzas baked in Steveís WFO were the best pizzas I tasted until Kesteís.  Steve was kind enough to invite me different times to his home to bring some of my doughs along to try, but different times I was busy.  Steve showed me some pictures of pizzas baked in his wood-fired oven with cake yeast, and although I couldnít taste them, they sure looked delicious.  He is learning how to manage his WFO and also trying different formulas.

I visited Coney Island about 7 years ago, but I wasnít making pizzas then.  If I would have been making pizzas, I sure would have tried Totonnoís http://www.totonnos.com/Aboutus.html    There was a fire at Totonno's in March 2009  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/16/nyregion/16pizza.html  If I ever visit Coney Island again, I want to taste Totonnoís pies.  Since you have lived in NY, I am sure you already know how long it takes on the train (subway) to get from Manhattan to Coney Island.  It takes a long while in my opinion.  New York City is really big, as you already know.  I wonder if Totonnoís is where your uncle ate some of his best pies. 

I also think many pizza places in NYC went downhill over the years. Your posting about the large mozzarella balls in glass display refrigerators is interesting.  :) I donít know either if mozzarella balls then were made in NYC or shipped from Italy.  Kesteís cheese was also the best cheeses I have ever tasted on any pizza.  The two pizzas I purchased had two different kinds of cheeses on the different pies. I donít buy imported cheese.  I have only tried Grande balls of mozzarella, that were purchased near where I live.  They were about 13.00 for a big tub of smaller balls. 

With all your experience in making pizzas, natural leavening isnít really a big deal. I was helped though this process here on the forum, by many other members. The only thing with natural leavening is letting the dough bulk ferment, then you can cold ferment and if the dough still isnít ready, you can let the dough sit at room temperature again, until it looks ready to use. This is called a 3 stage protocol. You can even let the naturally leavened dough sit at room temperatures until it is ready to bake. It does take some understanding, but I am sure you could use starters in a dough, if you want to try them.  I could send you some dried out starters if you want to try to use them.  I will help you though the process, if you want.  Using natural leavening is the way pizzas were made many years ago, before commercial yeast, even in Italy.

The best pizzerias do use high quality ingredients, which then makes their pizzas better. 

I know you use your fresh from the garden vegetables on your pizzas in the summertime.  I also use my fresh vegetables at home in the summertime.  I also agree that fresh vegetables can make some of best tasting sauces in my opinion.  I have frozen many containers of Lesís sauce, that I made this summer.  Lesís sauce is better in my opinion than any other fresh sauce I can make in the summer. Even out of the freezer Lesís sauce is still very good.

I was reading this blog, posted by Caleb  http://pizzicletta.blogspot.com/2010/11/balance-of-great-neapolitan-pizza.html  If you or anyone else is interested in reading though his blog of his trip on bicycle though Italy, trying different kinds of pizzas and even being at the plant where they mill Caputo flours, http://pizzicletta.blogspot.com/2010/10/my-visit-to-molino-caputo.html anyone can see how he describes eating pizzas he tried. I think to be able to try some the pizzas made in Italy would really be interesting.  In my opinion Caleb does a great job in explaining how pizzas are in Italy.  Caleb is finished with his trip now, but I find how he explained everything in detail, is mouth watering.  ;D

Sorry this post is so long.

Norma
« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 09:11:45 AM by norma427 »
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