Author Topic: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”  (Read 64847 times)

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Offline beaunehead

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #760 on: October 02, 2013, 04:01:27 PM »
I wanted to add that last night we ate leftovers of the #4 experiment from the weekend. One thing I hadn't really noticed with the 6 pies I  made Sunday (because the Eagles' football game was starting and I left to watch it), was that the rigidity was almost uniformly good, ie, almost all the pieces did not flop....even without folding, etc...and that is with sausage, onions and green peppers..and some mushrooms in variations on the pies that had toppings. I think that was pretty impressive, as that is certainly one of the best features of the Robbinsville crust. (and, when they were at Hudson, the charring is something they tried to get on every pie, though people thought the pies were burnt when Robbinsville opened. So, they had to char them less, except on request...which I do when I go there. "Trenton style" char, please.

I did get the idea at Hudson St. that they did not uniformly make the dough in terms of the timing....and, it was often dependent on needs and how much of an earlier batch they sold. That's why I think there's more art and less "science" involved in their artisanship.
Stuart


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #761 on: October 02, 2013, 04:47:20 PM »
I did get the idea at Hudson St. that they did not uniformly make the dough in terms of the timing....and, it was often dependent on needs and how much of an earlier batch they sold. That's why I think there's more art and less "science" involved in their artisanship.
Stuart,

Pizza operators learn how to manage inventory of dough balls based on experience. They get to know how many dough balls to make on a daily or other periodic basis, especially after many years in business. These days, Robbinsville has a POS system to help them manage inventory. No more handwritten slips.

Peter

Offline beaunehead

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #762 on: October 02, 2013, 05:04:22 PM »
Yes, Peter...two very different operations: Hudson and Robbinsville. Same basic product/tradition...but that's about it.

So, really much of what people (like me)  have gleaned from going to Hudson and asking questions and observing, is very dated info. Not all, of course.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 05:06:04 PM by beaunehead »
Stuart

Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #763 on: October 02, 2013, 06:50:49 PM »
Norma,

Thank you for running the latest test using the De Lorenzo Clone Dough Formulation #5. At least that test confirmed that by using a small amount  of yeast (0.14% IDY in this case) it is possible to make a dough that can cold ferment for two days and not be prone to bubbling and can be fairly easily opened and stretched to the desired size. I would imagine that a similar dough made using a commercial mixer would be even better to work with.

Rather than give up trying to use your Baker's Pride deck oven at market, I have a couple of thoughts. One thing you might try is to keep the pizza out of the oven for about an extra minute or two once you remove it to put on the remaining mozzarella cheese. Then return the pizza to the oven for a final minute or two of baking. If you are afraid that the bottom might burn, you can always slip a pizza screen under the pizza. You indicated that the total bake time for the latest pizza was 8 minutes and 45 seconds, which is a bit more than the typical bake time at De Lorenzo/Sloan. As you will recall, from what we have read and heard, a typical De Lorenzo/Robbinsville pizza takes about 10 minutes to bake, at a temperature of 550 degrees F. Maybe the extra minute or two in your deck oven will dry the pizza out a bit more and make it crispier and maybe even with more char at the rim.

Another possibility is to try the De Lorenzo Clone Dough Formulation #6 as set forth at Reply 745 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,25401.msg281529.html#msg281529. The main reason I came up with that formulation was to produce a slightly drier dough (by lowering the hydration to 56%) but, by using an even smaller amount of yeast (0.12% IDY), plus a rest/fermentation period before refrigerating, the dough could be used after one day or after two days.

If I were to speculate, I would guess that De Lorenzo/Robbinsville would prefer to make the dough one day and use it the next day. That makes dough preparation and management simple and conserves on cooler storage space, which can be a valuable thing if you are serving hundreds of pizzas a day. But, at the same time, if there is any leftover dough, it can be held over another day, and possibly a third day. Beyond that, it would perhaps be necessary to add some sugar to the dough. But, by virtue of the small amount of yeast, the risk of overfermentation, along with bubbling, would be fairly small even after two or maybe three days. However, as I have noted before, bubbling is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it may be that bubbling that is evident in some of the De Lorenzo/Robbinsville pizzas we have seen. Pizzerias work all of the time with dough balls that are in different stages of fermentation. When one of the De Lorenzo workers, a server who made dough on Sundays, was quoted in the Trenton thread at Reply 172 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7841.msg145168.html#msg145168 to the effect that the De Lorenzo/Robbinsville dough was cold fermented in a cooler "for a couple days at least", he may well have been thinking of a normal multi-day scenario that could include one day, two days or maybe even three days. In such a case, you want the dough to survive all three periods without overfermenting. I know that the De Lorenzo/Robbinsville Clone Dough Formuation #6 should work for two days. Beyond that I cannot say since I did not test for three days.

Peter

Peter,

I would also imagine that a similar dough made using a commercial mixer would be even better to work with.

Thanks for you thoughts about trying my Baker's Pride deck oven at market and maybe to keep the pizza out of the oven for an extra minute or two when I now partially remove it to the deck door to put the extra mozzarella on it and then put it back into the oven.  What would that do?  Don't you think that would dry out the rim crust more?  The rim crust was almost exactly right yesterday.

Maybe if I find time I will try your De Lorenzo Clone Dough Formulation #6 at Steve's home in my BS on Saturday to see if I can get a right bake in the BS, before I would try it in my deck oven.  Do you want me to try for a 2 or 3 day cold ferment if I find time?   

I also wanted to tell you that Trenton Bill can't get the same bake using the same formulation he did in his BS.  I am beginning to believe and did believe this is a very tricky pizza to make no matter what kind of oven someone is trying it in.

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #764 on: October 02, 2013, 07:40:13 PM »
Norma,

The purpose of keeping the pizza out of the oven for a couple of minutes and then returning it to the oven is to get increased crispness of the crust. That is a technique that I have used with my home oven before for other kinds of pizzas. I'm hoping that technique will work in your case at market also. As for the rim color, I was benchmarking from the photo of the pizza shown at the De Lorenzo/Robbinsville website at http://www.delorenzostomatopies.com/index2.html . That photo appears to show a fair amount of char.

There is no urgency to try the De Lorenzo Clone Dough Formulation #6. I will leave that up to you. I only went to two days with my test dough, so that might be the time you would want to use. A one-day dough is also an option.

I sympathize with Trenton Bill on the inconsistent results he has gotten. I suspect that that sort of thing also happens at De Lorenzo/Robbinsville from time to time, especially when they are really busy and can't make every pizza perfect. Everything has to be just right for that to happen. Hopefully with more experience with the BlackStone oven, Trenton Bill will be able to get more consistent results. As Stuart has said a few times, there is an artisan aspect to the De Lorenzo pies.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #765 on: October 02, 2013, 08:22:24 PM »
Norma,

After my last post, I did some searching to find the post that deals with the technique I mentioned to increase the crispness of the crust. It took me a while to remember keywords to summon up the post, but I finally found the post. It is Reply 11 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1359.msg12978.html#msg12978 . I had forgotten how long I cooled down my pizza but I remembered that in my case I reheated individual slices rather than the entire pizza. So, if you decide to try the technique, you may need to cool the pizza longer than I did with my slices.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #766 on: October 02, 2013, 08:27:33 PM »
Norma,

The purpose of keeping the pizza out of the oven for a couple of minutes and then returning it to the oven is to get increased crispness of the crust. That is a technique that I have used with my home oven before for other kinds of pizzas. I'm hoping that technique will work in your case at market also. As for the rim color, I was benchmarking from the photo of the pizza shown at the De Lorenzo/Robbinsville website at http://www.delorenzostomatopies.com/index2.html . That photo appears to show a fair amount of char.

There is no urgency to try the De Lorenzo Clone Dough Formulation #6. I will leave that up to you. I only went to two days with my test dough, so that might be the time you would want to use. A one-day dough is also an option.

I sympathize with Trenton Bill on the inconsistent results he has gotten. I suspect that that sort of thing also happens at De Lorenzo/Robbinsville from time to time, especially when they are really busy and can't make every pizza perfect. Everything has to be just right for that to happen. Hopefully with more experience with the BlackStone oven, Trenton Bill will be able to get more consistent results. As Stuart has said a few times, there is an artisan aspect to the De Lorenzo pies.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for telling me the purpose of keeping the pizza out of the oven for a couple of minutes and then returning it to the oven is to get increased crispness of the crust and that is what you did sometimes for other kinds of pizzas.  I guess that would work for the middle of the bottom crust, but what about the rim crust?  The rim crust is what I was referring to as I thought was almost exactly right.   I keep this photo on my main computer screen of the pizza Trenton Bill and I shared at De Lorenzo/Robbinsville.  I see that pizza everytime I turn on my computer.  If you note on that photo all the edges aren't perfectly charred and that pizza was very good in Bill's and my opinion.  There even looks like some flour on the one edge. 

I can probably mix a De Lorenzo Clone Dough Formulation #6 tomorrow for Saturday. 

Trenton Bill thinks he applied too much of the tomato blend and cheese this time, but he will keep trying.

Norma
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 08:35:26 PM by norma427 »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #767 on: October 02, 2013, 08:34:18 PM »
Norma,

After my last post, I did some searching to find the post that deals with the technique I mentioned to increase the crispness of the crust. It took me a while to remember keywords to summon up the post, but I finally found the post. It is Reply 11 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1359.msg12978.html#msg12978 . I had forgotten how long I cooled down my pizza but I remembered that in my case I reheated individual slices rather than the entire pizza. So, if you decide to try the technique, you may need to cool the pizza longer than I did with my slices.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for taking the time to summon up the post you wanted to show me about getting a crisper crust.  I might try that technique on Tuesday and cool the pizza down longer and put it back into the oven again.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #768 on: October 02, 2013, 08:50:25 PM »
Peter,

I want to ask you another question.  I have looked at these photos of De Lorenzo/Robbinsville tomato pies at Roadfood.com.  The photos can be enlarged.  I am curious what causes those black bubbles that appear randomly.  None of my attempts had those big bubbles appearing.  That would seem to me that the dough might be higher in hydration for the bubbles to appear, but I sure don't know.  The bubbles are not just on the rim crust in some of the photos.  http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/6725/de-lorenzos-tomato-pies

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #769 on: October 02, 2013, 09:25:13 PM »
I want to ask you another question.  I have looked at these photos of De Lorenzo/Robbinsville tomato pies at Roadfood.com.  The photos can be enlarged.  I am curious what causes those black bubbles that appear randomly.  None of my attempts had those big bubbles appearing.  That would seem to me that the dough might be higher in hydration for the bubbles to appear, but I sure don't know.  The bubbles are not just on the rim crust in some of the photos.  http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/6725/de-lorenzos-tomato-pies
Norma,

I think that some of the black bubbles are caramelized cheese, both at the rim and within the rim. For a simple dough such as used by De Lorenzo/Robbinsville, large bubbles in the crust can occur in several ways, including opening up dough balls when cold, underfermentation, large amounts of yeast, increased hydration, and extended fermentation. In some cases, an excessively hot oven can induce bubbling. It is hard to say which of these possibilities applies just from seeing a photo.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 09:28:42 PM by Pete-zza »


Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #770 on: October 02, 2013, 09:38:09 PM »
Norma,

I think that some of the black bubbles are caramelized cheese, both at the rim and within the rim. For a simple dough such as used by De Lorenzo/Robbinsville, large bubbles in the crust can occur in several ways, including opening up dough balls when cold, underfermentation, large amounts of yeast, increased hydration, and extended fermentation. In some cases, an excessively hot oven can induce bubbling. It is hard to say which of these possibilities applies just from seeing a photo.

Peter

Peter,

Thanks for explaining more about those black bubbles and how they can occur.  I was looking at De Lorenzo/Robbinsville facebook page again and did copy some of their photos onto my computer to study.  There are different articles there too that can be enlarged if someone wants to read them.  This is one I think is interesting in it says the dough is thin and irregularly shaped at De Lorenzo/Hudson.  The one photo of Gary Amico placing the dough on the peel at De Lorenzo/Robbinsville sure looks like a thin dough that is fairly sturdy. 

I have to look over those other articles to see if I might have missed something.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #771 on: October 02, 2013, 10:10:04 PM »
Peter,

Did you read this article?  It says the crust is blistered and thin.  It also says the dough is a loose stretchy dough that bakes into a crackling crust so brittle and drumhead-thin, it snaps to the bite. 

Gary Amico in the next article is holding the skin and I think shows how thin it really is. 

Maybe in the last photo is what is meant as irregular shaped dough or skin, but that photo was from awhile ago. 

Norma
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Offline beaunehead

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #772 on: October 03, 2013, 07:45:55 AM »
This last picture of Gary is a real hoot. Something is wrong with this picture...very wrong. Anyone???

I do think Peter is closing in here. Though I found #4 a little tasteless, the crunch was right; the airpockets were crisp as cracker...and the rigidity was on target. Like I said before, the ability to stretch easily (and without tearing) was good.

Mine didn't rise all that much...and, I think, could have used some more oil, but....it was good. (My "problem" is that my family have been exposed to so much pizza made in that mode over the years, from my Bakers Pride electric, that I'm not sure they would actually prefer Delorenzo's to mine, anyway, so they're not great judges; and, my wife still thinks of pizza as something to get for a snack or when you can't/won't cook). But, this was good..and easier to handle.

One question, and, I'm sure this has been described ad nauseam: what is the "poppy seed" trick?

I'm also wondering whether  Delorenzos' taking the pies out of the oven for a minute or so to assess the need for oil on the rim, isn't also a variation of the take it out to crisp it thing. Like the articles said, though, the pies' crispness, rigidity, shape, are all pretty variable. I doubt too many people are really focused on the crust, per se, which, for me is the main ingredient there....as so many people talk about toppings. Because toppings are so variable, in water (mushrooms) and grease...I only use the "plain" ones to evaluate the batch. But, in the #4 batch I made the other day, even the sausage and onions..and the anchovy pies were rigid and crispy. I did reheat them before serving, as I made them ahead of the Eagles' football game.

Stuart

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #773 on: October 03, 2013, 09:30:03 AM »
Did you read this article?  It says the crust is blistered and thin.  It also says the dough is a loose stretchy dough that bakes into a crackling crust so brittle and drumhead-thin, it snaps to the bite. 

Gary Amico in the next article is holding the skin and I think shows how thin it really is. 

Maybe in the last photo is what is meant as irregular shaped dough or skin, but that photo was from awhile ago. 
Norma,

Can you tell me where you found the articles you cited on the De Lorenzo/Robbinsville Facebook page?

I did not read the article you cited before but as for the description you quoted, I really don't know what the words "the dough is a loose stretchy dough that bakes into a crackling crust so brittle and drumhead-thin, it snaps to the bite" mean. For example, what does "loose" mean? Is it a degree of extensibility and, if so, how extensible? And does "brittle" mean that the crust will shatter like a sheet of glass? That would imply a cracker style pizza, which is different than what the De Lorenzo's offered at Hudson. Words have different meanings to different people, and even more so to staff writers who have to be creative and clever and use catchy words in their writing. This is why I pay little attention to reviewers who are just consumers, and not in the pizza business. Photos can also be deceiving, especially a single snapshot. One snapshot does not tell us what the previous snapshot was or what the following one was.

What I found most interesting about the Inquirer Magazine article was the statement that De Lorenzo/Hudson sold about 200 pizzas a day. That was in 1999. But since De Lorenzo Hudson only had 55 seats, which were managed so that there weren't a lot of empty seats in the booths, I would imagine that the 200 number held pretty steady over the years. By contrast, De Lorenzo/Robbinsville has about 95 seats. So, their volume has to be better than 200 pies a day if they are to be profitable. Unlike De Lorenzo/Hudson, De Lorenzo/Robbinsville also offers lunch on several days. Their volume perhaps warrants the use of a dough divider/rounder, as was mentioned before.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #774 on: October 03, 2013, 09:32:52 AM »


One question, and, I'm sure this has been described ad nauseam: what is the "poppy seed" trick?



Stuart,

This is Peter's post about doing the “poppy seed trick”.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6914.0.html

I have also used the “poppy seed trick” different times. 

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #775 on: October 03, 2013, 09:38:13 AM »
Norma,

Can you tell me where you found the articles you cited on the De Lorenzo/Robbinsville Facebook page?

Peter

Peter,

All the articles are on De Lorenzo's Tomato Pies facebook page under their photos. https://www.facebook.com/DeLorenzosTomatoPies/photos_stream

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #776 on: October 03, 2013, 09:44:26 AM »
I received the “Pie Eyed” DVD yesterday from Vince Amcio and watched it numerous times last evening.  I only watched the one part of the video.  In my opinion the DVD video is very good even if it is only in black and white.  I liked to hear the history of tomato pies and had fun watching and hearing what different tomato pie businesses do.  I especially enjoyed Jimmy De Lorenzo talking about tomato pies and his family at the beginning of the video.  Jimmy said the best tomato pie maker of the whole family was John.  Trenton Bill received his video on Tuesday and also enjoyed it.  I have to watch much more in slow motion to see what I might have missed.

I am not sure if someone else would enjoy watching the “Pie Eyed” DVD, but I did.

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #777 on: October 03, 2013, 09:46:06 AM »
Stuart,

This last picture of Gary is a real hoot. Something is wrong with this picture...very wrong. Anyone???
Is there too much cheese, ands maybe not in the right form (shredded)? Or is the crust too thick?

One question, and, I'm sure this has been described ad nauseam: what is the "poppy seed" trick?
The poppy seed trick is just a simple way of determining how much a dough ball has expanded during fermentation. It has some limitations but overall I have found the method to be useful to me, especially since I usually use it consistently in the same way so that everything remains relative. As Norma noted, you can read about the poppy seed method at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6914.msg59335.html#msg59335.

Peter

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #778 on: October 03, 2013, 10:43:37 AM »
Norma,

I really don't know what the words "the dough is a loose stretchy dough that bakes into a crackling crust so brittle and drumhead-thin, it snaps to the bite" mean. For example, what does "loose" mean? Is it a degree of extensibility and, if so, how extensible? And does "brittle" mean that the crust will shatter like a sheet of glass? That would imply a cracker style pizza, which is different than what the De Lorenzo's offered at Hudson. Words have different meanings to different people, and even more so to staff writers who have to be creative and clever and use catchy words in their writing. This is why I pay little attention to reviewers who are just consumers, and not in the pizza business. Photos can also be deceiving, especially a single snapshot. One snapshot does not tell us what the previous snapshot was or what the following one was.

Peter

Peter,

I really don't know what the terms “loose” and extensibility mean.  I also don't really know what “brittle” means either.  I know terms and photos can be deceiving.

Norma
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Offline beaunehead

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #779 on: October 03, 2013, 11:19:39 AM »
Stuart,
Is there too much cheese, ands maybe not in the right form (shredded)? Or is the crust too thick?

It looks to me like the cheese is on top and the sauce on the bottom. The pie seems raw, with some yellow stuff on the palate...and the cheese seems to be covering everything in the middle...with sauce sneaking out at the edges.

This all gets to my point about "tomato" pie....being just a name that was used until fairly recently for post-WWII pizza places, in New Jersey (as that's what I'm familiar with). I'm not sure that Trenton was really making a separate version of NJ pizza that always put the sauce on top....I think that someone like Gary or Chick must have figured out at some point that cheese on the crust directly, vs. sauce, is likely to help maintain the crisp, rigid crust better. The picture looks like from the '70s, I'd guess...and I'm wondering if Delorenzo's was making conventional, sauce on the bottom pies then?

Thanks all for the link to the poppy "trick".

FWIW, I bought that video when it came out, years ago....and talked to the "film maker" ....I have to say, I learned nothing much from it....in any aspect. But, I'm all ears if others disagree..
Stuart


 

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