Author Topic: Greek pizza  (Read 125820 times)

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Offline scott r

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2006, 12:05:48 PM »
Peter,

I have never seen a Boston area Greek or bar style pizzeria put any olive oil on top of the pizza.  That is a practice I see reserved solely for Italian subs.  Most of these places are using an oily cheese, and doing so could render the pies a grease bomb.  One contributing factor could be the cheddar, which I think might typically release more oil than mozzarella?  Still, I can't imagine that some olive oil could ever hurt the flavor.   ;D

Your question about the oil on top makes me wonder if this style of Greek pizza is common any where else in the US.  I have a feeling that it is totally regional, and the white cheddar is because of our close proximity to Vermont.  I am assuming that other city's with massive Greek populations like Detroit probably have nothing like this for pizza.  It is very possible that on their regional style of Greek pizza there is olive oil used on top.  Also, I am sure that this pizza bears no resemblance whatsoever to what you would actually find in Grease.   I would love to hear from somebody about what that it like.

I always see pans stacked and not covered, but I am sure that is just because it is easier for them.  I would assume you end up with the same result.

If you aren't tasting the sugar you nailed the recipe for sure.

Kim is very excited to try the Pete-zza bar pizza dough formulation made with extra yeast and sugar.  I know it is going to turn out even better than what I have been using.  She is going to be my test subject on this one, and I will report back.  Again, thank you so much for taking the time to do this.


Offline enchant

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2006, 12:13:13 PM »
I also live south of Boston, and my experience is that bars stack the pans like brickwork (is that "nested"?).

I bought a 12" pizza pan, but it's the bright shiny silver kind.  I looked around, but couldn't find that dark brownish metal pan that I see in all the bars.  By the sound of the crash when they throw empty ones into the "used" pile, they seem to be lighter and thinner than what I bought.  I wonder if that would make a difference in the final product.
--pat--

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2006, 12:20:14 PM »
scott,

I should thank you for providing the inspiration to try the pizza. I wouldn't have known enough to do it without your helpful comments.

I had a couple of slices today that I reheated in my toaster oven. They were great, and I didn't detect any negative effects from having used the KASL. I think I am going to try the three-cheese combination on my Lehmann pizzas too.

BTW, when I covered the panned dough while proofing, I found that the plastic wrap, which I loosely draped over the pan, was a bit droopy and stuck in places to the dough. Since the dough hadn't risen above the level of the pan, I replaced the plastic wrap with a rigid cardboard round that I placed on top of the pan. That solved the problem.

Please pass on any tips you garner when you try the formulation I posted.

Peter

Offline scott r

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2006, 12:35:45 PM »
Peter,  That cheese blend is so popular around here that most of the wholesalers carry pre mixed bags of shredded 50/50 mozzarella/cheddar and even the mozzarella/cheddar/provolone.  I do think liking it could be partially because of the fact that you grew up here. I have heard many people from other parts of the country comment on how bad our pizza is here in Boston.   I know that when I moved here I couldn't stand the pizzas, and thankfully that is what pushed me into home pizza making.  Once I realized that they were blending in cheddar I knew that it was a huge part of why I was unhappy with the flavors.  I grew up with mozzarella, or mozzarella/provolone.  Now that I have lived here for almost as much time as I lived in Pittsburgh I have grown accustomed to the flavor of the cheddar and look at it as another tool/variation for coming up with a unique product.

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2006, 12:43:01 PM »
Pat,

What I mean by "nesting" is placing the pans directly on top of each other with the top pan being covered with a lid. The pans themselves are usually designed to allow the nesting.

My recollection is that scott may have used bright pans on occasion. The disadvantage of bright, shiny pans is that they reflect oven heat, so it may become necessary to play around with the rack/stone positioning, bake temperature, and bake time to compensate. Tom Lehmann always recommends dark pans when given a choice. The positive for the shiny pans (usually aluminum) is that they are quite a bit less expensive than the dark, anodized ones. Since very good pans, like those from pizzatools.com, will last a long time with proper care, I have concluded that the added cost of getting the dark, anodized, PSTK pans is money well spent. Amortized over years, the cost differential becomes almost de minimus.

The thickness of the metal of the pans will also affect the bake because of conductivity and heat build-up/retention factors. If the metal is too thin, then you may want to lower the bake temperature or move the pan higher in the oven. It's not much different in that respect from cheap, thin-metal cooking utensils used on a stovetop. If the heat is too high, the food can easily burn or become scorched. I have thrown away all such pans because of too many such mishaps.

Peter

Offline deb415611

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2006, 08:35:35 AM »
Peter,

Could you scale down your recipe so that I could make 2 - 9 inch pizzas.

I grew up in southwestern NH and we had greek pizza there also.  We may have been the one place without a "....  House of Pizza" (a place went in while I was in college and it might be a house of pizza).   The name of the place we always went to was Athens Pizza. 

Scott's posts talk about a thin sauce but I remember a sauce that was thicker.   I would have taken the 6-1s and reduced them a little like you did to get to the consistency that I remember.   I guess I'm going to have to go visit my parents and stop for a pizza on the way.

Thanks,
Deb

Deb

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2006, 09:43:53 AM »
Deb,

As you requested:

Greek/Pan Modified-Lehmann Dough Recipe for Two 9-inch Pizzas for Deb
100%, High-gluten flour (KASL), 8.33 oz. (235.97 g.), 2 c. (stir, scoop and level technique)
63%, Water*, 5.24 oz. (148.66 g.), between 5/8 and 3/4 c. (at eye level)
2%, Sugar, 0..17 oz. (4.72 g.), a bit less than 1 1/4 t.
1%, Oil (extra virgin olive oil), 0.08 oz. (2.36 g.), 1/2 t.
1.75%, Salt, 0.15 oz. (4.13 g.), 3/4 t.
0.40%, Instant dry yeast (IDY), 0.03 oz. (0.94 g.), a bit less than 1/3 t.
*Temp. adjusted to achieve a finished dough temperature of 75 degrees F
Thickness Factor (TF) = 0.11
Finished dough weight = 14.00 oz. (396.78 g.)--for 2 pizzas
Pizza size = 9 inches
Note: all measurements U.S./metric standard

When I made the sauce, I used a little over 1/2 cup of the sauce for the size of pizza I made. I made a lot more of the sauce and froze what I didn't use in disposable/reusable 1/2-cup plastic Glad containers for future use. Of course, for your pizzas, you will have to adjust the amount of sauce based on personal preference.

Peter

Offline deb415611

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2006, 11:05:30 AM »
Thank you so much Peter! 

I need to build myself a spreadsheet for the dough conversions and to keep track of my results.


Thanks again. 

Deb
Deb

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2006, 02:59:21 PM »
Once you have the thickness factor (TF), and the baker's percents (plus some conversion data as discussed below), it is actually quite easy to calculate the amounts of ingredients needed to make any size pizza, up or down. The thickness factor (0.11 in my case) and baker's percents are constants and don't change with pizza size. All that one needs is a simple calculator. If it has the +M and MRC features, which even the cheapest ones seem to have, the math calculations are even easier.

To show the simplicity of the math, let's assume that one wanted to use the formulation I posted for the Greek/bar pizza to make a 10" pie, which apparently is fairly standard for a bar pizza. This is how the calculations would be done:

Step 1: Using the radius R of the desired pizza size (10"/2 = 5") and the thickness factor TF (0.11), calculate the required dough weight DW by using this expression: DW = 3.14 x R x R x TF, or 3.14 x 5 x 5 x 0.11 = 8.635 ounces (or 8.64 oz. when rounded).

Step 2: Add up all the baker's percents and divide by 100. In the dough formulation I posted, the baker's percents add up to 168.150% (100% + 63% + 2% + 1% + 1.75% + 0.40% = 168.150%). Dividing that number by 100 gives us 1.6815.

Step 3: Calculate the amount of flour to be used by dividing the value of DW calculated above in Step 1 (8.635), by 1.6815. That gives us a value of 5.1352958. Since all baker's percents for everything but the flour are recited as a percent of the flour (which is always stated as 100%), this value (5.1352958) will be used to calculate the weights of all the remaining ingredients (in our case, the water, sugar, oil, salt and IDY). This number can be rounded to say, 5.14, but when I use a calculator or spreadsheet, I use the full number and round off all the numbers later. For our purposes here, and to keep from scaring people off, I will use the rounded off numbers.

Step 4: To calculate the amounts of the remaining ingredients (i.e, other than the flour), multiply the weight of flour (5.14 oz.), by the respective percentages for those ingredients. Doing this yields the following:

63% x 5.14 oz. = 3.24 oz. water
2% x 5.14 oz. = 0.10 oz. sugar
1% x 5.14 oz. = 0. 05 oz. oil
1.75% x 5.14 oz. = 0.09 oz. salt
0.4 % x 5.14 oz. = 0.02 oz. IDY

Step 5: To convert the weights of sugar, oil, salt and IDY to volume measurements, one has to use certain standard conversion data for these ingredients. I don't use conversion data for flour and water since I use a digital scale. When I do convert these to volume measurements for posting purposes for those may not have scales, I use the stir, spoon and level technique for flour, and eyeball the level for water in the measuring cup. So, to convert the weighs of sugar, oil, salt, and IDY, the following calculations are performed using per/teaspoon weights for sugar, oil, salt and IDY:

Sugar: 0.10 oz./0.14 oz./t. = 0.71 t., or a bit under 3/4 t. sugar
Oil: 0.05 oz./0.17 oz./t. = 0.29 t., or between 1/4 and 1/3 t. oil
Salt: 0.09 oz./0.20 oz./t.= 0.45 t., or a bit less than 1/2 t.
IDY: 0.02/0.11 oz./t. = 0.18 t., or about 1/5 t.

As a crosscheck of my numbers when I am using a calculator rather than my spreadsheet, I add up all the weights to be sure that they add up properly. Doing that here yields a total dough weight of 8.64 oz., which squares with the number I calculated in Step 1. And the final numbers look like this:

Greek/Pan Modified-Lehmann Dough Recipe for a 10-inch Pizza
100%, High-gluten flour (KASL), 5.14 oz.
63%, Water*, 3.24 oz.
2%, Sugar, 0.10 oz., a bit less than 3/4 t.
1%, Oil (extra virgin olive oil), 0.05 oz., between 1/3 and 1/4 t.
1.75%, Salt, 0.09 oz., a bit less than 1/2 t.
0.40%, Instant dry yeast (IDY), 0.02 oz., a bit less than 1/5 t.
*Temp. adjusted to achieve a finished dough temperature of 75 degrees F
Thickness Factor (TF) = 0.11
Finished dough weight = 8.64 oz.
Pizza size = 10 inches

For those who work in the metric system of measurements, the easiest way is to convert the weight of flour to grams, by multiplying 5.1352958 by 28.35 and then work the rest of the numbers in grams using the baker's percents as discussed above. The baker's percents remain the same. They don't change because of the switch from ounces to grams.

Class dismissed ;D.

Peter








Offline enchant

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2006, 04:42:09 PM »
Class dismissed
Well THAT is just too cool for school!

For those of you without a handheld calculator (or who are just lazy like me), if you're using a recent version of MS Windows, there's a calculator available to you (Start/programs/accessories/calculator).  And here's a tip for the uber-lazy among you (my people).  Highlight the following string and copy it (CTL-C):

@ * 3.14 * 0.11 / 1.6815 =

Put your calculator into "Scientific" mode (View/Scientific). Now hit the CLEAR button on the calculator, type in the radius of your pizza and hit CTL-V to paste the formula in.  Wa-la! Instant 100% flour weight.

Thanks Peter.  That was some great info!
« Last Edit: June 24, 2006, 04:52:32 PM by enchant »
--pat--

Offline itsinthesauce

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2006, 05:51:21 PM »
That's pretty cool, as long as you don't think about it.

Offline deb415611

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2006, 08:10:41 PM »
Peter thanks for the formula.  You are right - it's definitely a keeper. 

For the crust I used Peter's method but only left it in the refrigerator for about 20 hours.  I also pushed the dough out to the edge without forming a rim but after it rose I didn't sauce all the way out the edge.   I'm wondering if I should have formed a rim.  I remember a more pronounced rim to the crust than I got maybe  they sauced the pizza before the final rise.   I used two 9 inch straight sided shiny cake pans.  These worked fine but I did have to bake them about 13 minutes and moved them up a shelf after about 10 minutes of baking.

My sauce was 6-in1 tomatoes with granulated garlic, crushed red pepper, fresh ground pepper and oregano.  I was feeling lazy and did not reduce it like I intended to since the sauce I remember was a little thicker, darker and sweeter than the sauce I made.  I think that I will try to replicate it next time.

I used 2/3 Polly-O low moisture-part skim and 1/3 Cabot Sharp Cheddar.   I really liked this combination as did my family.  I have always known that there was something different with the cheese but hadn't really thought about it.  This nailed it -  though I think that the pizza I had growing up probably had a larger percentage of cheddar than the 1/3 that I used.   

My husband & son really liked this pizza.  I had intended to go back to the NY-Lehman that I had been making as my main style but after trying this but I don't know if they will let me. 

Deb

Offline scott r

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2006, 08:28:57 PM »
Deb, I think your rim looks very authentic for Greek pizza.  My only critique is that it looks like the dough may have risen a little too long in the pan.  Other than that   I would not change a thing.  NICE WORK!

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2006, 08:32:03 PM »
Deb,

Nice job. I'm glad to see that the dough formulation worked out well for you.

My recollection is that scott said that there is a raised rim for the Greek style pizza, but not for the bar or pub pizza. Mine apparently was more like a bar pizza but bigger. In my case, I didn't try to form a rim although I could have in my cutter pan because the sides of the pan are sloped, not straight up and down. I think I actually prefer running the cheeses and sauce out to the sides of the pan so that the cheeses crisp up and give you that flavorful crunch.

It is quite possible that pizza operators sauce some of their skins in the pans in advance, in preparation for the rush of orders. Normally that isn't a good idea, especially if the pre-saucing is done too far in advance, because the sauce can migrate into the dough and form a gum line. On the other hand, if the sauce is thick, that likelihood is reduced. A thick sauce is also used for take-n-bake pizzas because they might sit around for a while before being baked. So, there may be some logic to pre-saucing the skins.

As far as styles are concerned, I like the idea of having several at my disposal. You might try deep-dish some time for another style to put into your pizza portfolio. Or Randy's American style, or even other NY styles.

Peter

Offline deb415611

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #39 on: June 25, 2006, 09:02:58 PM »

My recollection is that scott said that there is a raised rim for the Greek style pizza, but not for the bar or pub pizza. Mine apparently was more like a bar pizza but bigger. In my case, I didn't try to form a rim although I could have in my cutter pan because the sides of the pan are sloped, not straight up and down. I think I actually prefer running the cheeses and sauce out to the sides of the pan so that the cheeses crisp up and give you that flavorful crunch.



I tried to let a natural rim form but I think that they must actually form one either by rolling the dough or just pushing more dough to the edge.† The pans that I remember were straight up and down.† †For my household it doesn't matter because my husband saw your version with the cheese out to the edge and that's what he wants next.

I am going to try some other types.† I did try DKMs Chicago version and that was really good .† I bought some Caputo from PennMac and need to do some reading and decide where to start with that.† I definately need to try some more NY styles since I have about 40 lbs of KASL in my freezer (we did have homemade bagels this morning).†

I'm off to buy some larger dark pans.†

Deb

Offline scott r

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2006, 09:10:29 PM »
I would say that about 40% of the places pre sauce.  I am with peter, and I prefer the pies that are not pre sauced.

Offline deb415611

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #41 on: June 25, 2006, 09:11:50 PM »
Deb, I think your rim looks very authentic for Greek pizza. My only critique is that it looks like the dough may have risen a little too long in the pan. Other than that I would not change a thing. NICE WORK!

Thanks Scott


Time got away from me... and it did rise a little longer than I had planned.†

 Where we used to get pizza the rim was a little higher but it may have been just that one place.† †I do like the looks of Peter's pizza with the cheese out to the edge and I will probably make that change along with making it unconventionally large.
Deb


Offline scott r

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #42 on: June 25, 2006, 09:26:56 PM »
I think you will prefer it.   Most people who have had both consider the bar style to be an improvement over the typical Greek style.

Offline AZpiemaker

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Re: Greek pizza, try this recipe
« Reply #43 on: July 27, 2006, 06:35:30 PM »
Try this, comes close to pizza served at Italian restaurants owned by Greeks throughout Midwest.

GREEK PIZZA

Makes 3 12-inch crusts, can cut recipe.
2 1/4  cups water 
3-1/2  cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
3  cups bread flour 
2  teaspoons fine sea salt 
2  teaspoons sugar 
1-1/2  tablespoon yeast (not fast-acting)

Mix flours.
In bowl of electric mixer, combine water, about half the flours, salt and sugar.
Blend well and then add yeast.
Beat at medium speed for 6 minutes.
Add remaining flour, blending until you have a medium to soft dough.
Turn out onto floured surface and knead 15 minutes, or use dough hook on mixer to knead 10 to 15 minutes.
Place dough back in mixing bowl and cover for 10 minutes. Punch down.
Cover and let rise until not quite doubled (30 to 45 minutes.) In well-oiled pans (use olive, not extra-virgin) punch down and stretch to make crusts (thickness a bit thinner than ny style). Brush top of crust with oil.  Add sauce (light on the sauce), cheese and toppings. Bake at 500 degrees for 15 min.
or until golden brown.

Sauce: 1 small can tomato paste, 1 small can tomato sauce, 1 clove garlic-minced or crushed, 1 teaspoon salt, big pinch basil, 1 heaping teaspoon greek oregano, a few red pepper flakes, Ĺ teas. CINNAMON (more or less to taste). Just mix it up, donít cook.

Offline charlied

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2006, 03:55:27 AM »
This is an awesome topic! I grew up in Darien CT, and when the Greek-owned Post Corner Pizza opened up in the mid-70s it was immediately the most popular in the area. One thing that sticks in my memory is that it was always well-browned on top, to the point of having lots of tasty blackened cheese.The top of the pie was orange and brown, with very little yellow. The pizza was always about 1/2" thick; the crust was about 3/4" square. The bottom was always a uniform buttery golden-brown. They were square cut, and the four big squares in the center of a large were affectionately known as "the sponge". A large would feed four, and each person would get two little triangles of 80% crust, a couple of side pieces that were pretty normal...and then one piece of the spongy, oily, delicious middle. Sinful.

It's been years since I've been back there (in Oregon now), but the memories remain. I'd love to read a more recent and cogent review. I assume it's exactly the same.

In a more commercial vein...am I right in assuming that a Blodgett deck oven (or similar brand) is the typical oven used for 10" bar pies? I have a brewery out here (hey, it's Oregon) and I'm intrigued by the possibility of knocking out some bar pizzas with some East Coast flava. Any insights would be greatly appreciated.




Offline Bryan S

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2007, 09:46:36 PM »
Bringing this thread out of the basement. Thanks to all for the info.  8) I'm going to make up a batch of dough using Peter's recipe adjusted to a 14" pan via the Lehmann calculator. Yeah i could just go to the Friendly Greek in Lancaster but what fun would that be. ;D  Thanks again, Bryan
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

Offline Bryan S

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2007, 11:03:35 PM »
The dough is made. I used Harvest King flour. Did my usual mix till the dough just comes together, about 45 sec, 15 min rest, add the oil and mixed for 5 min. All ingredients were at room temp. Now we wait.  :D
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

Offline Bryan S

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #47 on: April 14, 2007, 12:55:07 PM »
Peter, Thanks for the recipe, you are DA Man, it's spot on, and the crust is perfect.   :pizza: :chef:
I made one at 2 day old dough and the other one today at 6 day old dough. Today's pizza crust was awesome. I liked the longer fermented dough. Here's some pics of todays pie, I'm eating it as i type.  ;D
Edit: I used olive oil in the pan on the first one. Today I used corn oil. I know it's not to style but i much prefer corn oil for my pan pizzas to olive oil. I find that when i use olive oil for pan pizzas it takes away from the crust because of it's pronounced taste. Corn oil adds a a nice sweetness to the crust and doesn't over take the flavor of the crust, IMO.  :pizza:
« Last Edit: April 14, 2007, 01:21:13 PM by Bryan S »
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #48 on: April 14, 2007, 01:55:10 PM »
Bryan,

I'm glad you liked the recipe and the pizzas made from it. I grew up with the Greek style pizzas and always wondered why they weren't adopted in other parts of the country. That's one of the nice things about the forum. You don't have to travel around the country to try out specific pizza types. I think we have most of the styles covered here on the forum in one place or another.

Peter

Offline jennieb

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Re: Greek pizza
« Reply #49 on: April 28, 2007, 08:02:43 PM »
 :chef:I love greek pizza. My mother was raised in the boston area and when we go visit when I was younger we would always get pizza from Christos. Once I got a little older and started  visiting by myself I now bring pizza back with me. Problem is that carrying four pizzas onto a plane as your carry on seems a little silly to most people. I live in Cleveland and there is not a single pizza place in this area (that I have found) that tastes even somewhat close to the pizza in Boston (even if it is not greek pizza). Everythin here is wehat I believe is known as American style, probably great for those poor people who have never had better, but I prefer Boston pizza.