Hi. My name is Marty.
I grew up in South Jersey eating awesome Trenton-style pizza and never realized that most other pizza was pretty forgettable. When Rosa's closed, I spent a decade in pizza wilderness until I discovered DeLorenzo's (Hudson St in Trenton, since closed but the pie lives on in the Robbinsville location) and it has been my favorite for 30 years.
Over the past 3+ years, I had a lot of time in Brooklyn and used it to get to know NYC pizza. Well the whole pizza passion kind of mushroomed, and now two things consume me as I consume pizza: 1) Finding and reporting on destination pie in my pizza blog, and trying to create my own at home. The toppings are the easy part; I can create a tasty and crispy crust, but I haven't yet mastered the internal hole structure that marks the best pies (such as Pepe's). Also, transferring the pie from my peel to the Baking Steel in my 550 degree oven is always a high wire act, and ingredients get re-arranged in the process but not by design. I'm sure I'll find help here in making easier-to-handle crusts.
I know that I am a pizza snob, I harbor some pre-conceived notions about things like chicken as a topping, soupy puddles of wet mozzarella in the center of a Neapolitan pie, most deep-dish varieties, and things like putting the cheese under the sauce. Having said that, every pizza eater should enjoy his or her preferences regardless of what the snob says. With the experts here, I hope to find someone to persuade me of the merits of Chicago deep dish, or at least point me to the best versions of it. While I generally disdain chain pie, I'm flabbergasted by the pizza from Anthony's Coal Fired (30-some stores) and Bertucci's.
Last year, I did get the chance to eat pizza in Italy (but not Naples). I'm smitten with Roman style pie, where the crust is so good that cheese is a distraction. But we found destination pie in San Gimignano and Venice, too. My wife was born and raised in Beijing and she was happy with Pizza Hut when we met three and a half years ago; now she won't let me use the coupon I got (Super Bowl Coin Toss contest) for a free pizza from Papa John's. I'm pretty pleased about that!
If it is within board parameters, I'll post links to my pizza blog -- if you prefer that I don't, I still want to drink in all the rich knowledge I've seen from briefly parsing the discussion boards.
La pizza male è meglio che non la pizza!