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Author Topic: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits  (Read 9353 times)

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Offline wb54885

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #160 on: June 03, 2021, 11:15:40 AM »
I keep thinking and thinking about this slice. Iíve been rereading everything Harry wrote about the steady 500F bake and heavy cheese and the orange oil, and I think itís 90% that and 10% whatever unique sweetener theyíre using (the orange oil was very present this day!). I see nothing but a smooth orange/red color in the sauce, no flecks of spice or anything. I had some carrot juice the other day and thought ďmaybe...oh thatís ridiculous!Ē Who knows!!?

After this latest NY trip I finally accepted that I need my sauce to be sweeter. My favorite plain slices are less salty and more sweet than I think they are when Iím tinkering at home. Onward and upward, as they say  :)
Every oven is a law unto itself and only itself.

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #161 on: June 03, 2021, 12:27:26 PM »
I keep thinking and thinking about this slice. Iíve been rereading everything Harry wrote about the steady 500F bake and heavy cheese and the orange oil, and I think itís 90% that and 10% whatever unique sweetener theyíre using (the orange oil was very present this day!). I see nothing but a smooth orange/red color in the sauce, no flecks of spice or anything. I had some carrot juice the other day and thought ďmaybe...oh thatís ridiculous!Ē Who knows!!?

After this latest NY trip I finally accepted that I need my sauce to be sweeter. My favorite plain slices are less salty and more sweet than I think they are when Iím tinkering at home. Onward and upward, as they say  :)

I dunno...I've spent a ton of time working on my melt, and while it delivers a ton of a flavor that I crave, I have to really cook the cheese and I lose the creaminess. Maybe they use so much cheese that it enables both a grease layer and a white cheese layer? I remember my photos from Margherita Pizza in Jamaica where the cheese was more than 2 times as thick as the crust! (I also remember the classic video where the guy says that the grease should get on your hand, and "down your arm on a really good day".)

But I think whatever they are including as sweetener and maybe hidden herbs is more than 10% of it. There are many pizzerias around me that use the same screens, good ovens and Stanislaus/Grande, but they don't come close to the same flavor.


Matt

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #162 on: June 03, 2021, 12:49:01 PM »
I keep thinking and thinking about this slice. Iíve been rereading everything Harry wrote about the steady 500F bake and heavy cheese and the orange oil, and I think itís 90% that and 10% whatever unique sweetener theyíre using (the orange oil was very present this day!). I see nothing but a smooth orange/red color in the sauce, no flecks of spice or anything. I had some carrot juice the other day and thought ďmaybe...oh thatís ridiculous!Ē Who knows!!?
wb54885,

Yup, who knows? ;D

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=645.msg5861#msg5861

Peter

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #163 on: June 03, 2021, 01:46:34 PM »
Mama's Too evidently uses carrots in their vodka sauce. He said he doesn't put sugar into anything they make. It's at 12:37 in the video linked below.

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=51896.msg653718#msg653718
« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 01:51:49 PM by hammettjr »
Matt

Offline foreplease

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #164 on: June 03, 2021, 02:19:51 PM »
wb54885,

Yup, who knows? ;D

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=645.msg5861#msg5861

Peter
Peter,


Grated carrots in pasta and meatball sauces is something I have been using for 20-25 years. I was nowhere to be found on this forum in 2004 though! In the last few years I hVe suggested it here a couple times to people who were trying to change their sauce.
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Offline wb54885

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #165 on: June 04, 2021, 09:53:58 AM »
Should have searched before I spoke  :-D

Tony, absolutely! We used to do a mirepoix for the meatball sauce in a restaurant that had the best meatballs Iíve ever eaten. Fully cooked in the sauce. Equal parts ground beef, pork, and turkey. Microplaned garlic. The sauce was sweet and spicy and we treated it like a hoard of dragon gold, and when it ran out for the night everybody got a little sad.

Anywho, Iím curious enough to try a carrot juice sweetener for sure. But the mere idea also goes to show just how many ways there are to make a plain cheese pizza...

Somebodyís just going to have to get a job there. Iíll wash dishes at Lucia if it comes to that. Dishwashers see everything.
Every oven is a law unto itself and only itself.

Offline foreplease

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #166 on: June 04, 2021, 10:23:06 AM »
Should have searched before I spoke  :-D

Tony, absolutely! We used to do a mirepoix for the meatball sauce in a restaurant that had the best meatballs Iíve ever eaten. Fully cooked in the sauce. Equal parts ground beef, pork, and turkey. Microplaned garlic. The sauce was sweet and spicy and we treated it like a hoard of dragon gold, and when it ran out for the night everybody got a little sad.

Anywho, Iím curious enough to try a carrot juice sweetener for sure. But the mere idea also goes to show just how many ways there are to make a plain cheese pizza...

Somebodyís just going to have to get a job there. Iíll wash dishes at Lucia if it comes to that. Dishwashers see everything.
Hereís mine. Sauce and meatball recipes are posts 29 and 33, but itís more of a story than a recipe.
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=45810.0
-Tony

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #167 on: June 05, 2021, 09:49:33 PM »
My wife uses a mirepoix in a tomato sauce too. I'm wondering what celery does to a sauce. I was just looking at the ingredients of Campbell's tomato soup (kindof along the lines of the spaghetti-os) and it has celery extract. Just a thought.


« Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 10:07:03 PM by hammettjr »
Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #168 on: June 09, 2021, 04:00:55 PM »
Ok all, I visited Lucia again and think I'm getting there. This post will outline my thoughts on flavor. I hope to do another post in the future with some more background and details of my visit.

I'm very confident that a (and likely 'the') dominant flavor of this pie is hard cheese. From my very first bite I was thinking hard cheese. I believe that this explains the "creaminess" that I've written about previously. I also think it contributes to the "sweetness". While I obviously dont know what hard cheese they are using, or even if it was parm or romano, it made me think of a parm-reg that I used to get from a pizzeria distributor...it also made me think of Boar's Head Romano because it demonstrates that romano can exist without a strong romano-kick. This pie did not have that usual romano flavor.

The key was WB's discovery above, that they had cases of Grande delivered. I was previously off track searching for some kind of mozz that doesn't exist. I've eaten enough grande to say that this flavor wasn't from the grande.

A separate thought I had towards the very end of my dinner was butter. Butter is both creamy and sweet, and (IMO) seems to make everything better. I'd think it's more likely that they use butter if the sauce is (at least partially) cooked. The flavor of the sauce doesn't scream raw tomato. Moreover while I cant see seasoning in it, I think it is seasoned. So cooked is certainly possible.

Edit: also, they don't sprinkle any hard cheese when dressing the pie. It could be that hard cheese is cooked into the sauce.

The last thought I had was that fresh basil may contribute to the sweetness. But it would be very faint and not visible. This prompted me to ask on the sauce board whether flavor could be extracted from a basil leaf without cooking it in the tomato (as I'd like to still with my uncooked sauce for my next round of experiments).

I baked up a pie where my 1.25 cups of tomato had added 2 teaspoons of butter and 3/4 teaspoon of Boars Head Romano. My other seasonings (oregano, garlic, pepper) were there, but light. The pie was really good, and I think on the right track. I'd like to try a little less butter and the parm I mentioned above, but not sure when I'll get to the store. Will post about my bakes in my main thread as I proceed.



« Last Edit: June 09, 2021, 05:09:57 PM by hammettjr »
Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #169 on: June 10, 2021, 02:11:34 PM »
Some of my comments below from my first visit 2 years ago. I seem to be coming back to that first impression. Looks like he was telling the truth regarding Grande. And perhaps the look he gave me when I asked about romano/parm was more than just a 'stop bugging me' look.



The words to describe the flavor that hit me at the time were: tomato, grease, hard cheese. It was seemingly simple, yet so good (and Iím sure not as simple as it appears).

I tried to get as many questions in to one of the counter guys as I ate.

I asked if the cheese was Grande, and he said yes. I never trust that pattern, however, and it wouldíve been better if he said the brand rather than me. I asked if it was whole milk or part skim or a mix, and he said it was a mix of whole milk and part-skim. This was more believable based on how the conversation was going.

I asked if they were using romano or parm (as I could clearly taste something). He gave me a bit of a funny look and said, no, nothing. But, when I later asked to buy a doughball and some sauce, he said they donít sell the sauce, dough no problem. Not selling the sauce is an indication. While the overall flavor seemed simple, they wouldnít be hiding their sauce if it was just tomato and salt. My second slice had one large piece of fresh basil. Other than that, absolutely nothing was visible.


Matt

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Offline jkb

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #170 on: June 11, 2021, 02:56:07 PM »
You are a NY master.
John

Offline Josh123

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #171 on: July 01, 2021, 11:37:24 PM »
What is all the fuss about this Place?  It looks under cooked, the bottom is nothing special, and loads of cheese and runny sauce.  To me it looks like a typical slice joint slice.  And if you use Alti Cucina it is sweet if you don't add salt.

Why not try it and find out?

Offline Josh123

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #172 on: July 01, 2021, 11:39:50 PM »
Awesome WB, glad it was still a knockout!

Incredible timing to see the delivery. What do you think, whole milk for the pizza and the part skim for something else? Could be a blend, but the ratio would be so dominant whole milk then why bother?

Thanks for trying on the sauce. We seem to be gravitating towards the sweetness being the biggest mystery.

Funny enough, I'm trying to remember which pizzeria it was, but I remember once being hit with the familiar flavor of what I remember spaghetti-os tasting like. Seems rediculous, and not a complement, but I've gone as far as trying fruit punch mix in my sauce, so I'm down for anything. Spaghettios has high fructose corn syrup and cheddar cheese in it currently.

Anyone know what high fructose corn syrup tastes like?

Some places (cough) mix a small amount of part skim in to cut grease. Youíd be surprised at what even a 75/25 or 80/20 blend can do. Will kill a lot of the grease on a pepperoni pie but doesnít sacrifice flavor or richness.

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #173 on: July 08, 2021, 07:43:13 PM »
grande east coast blend is a mix of whole and skim. Our local pizza shop does their own blend, they like the richness of whole milk and the stretch of part skim. also, the pie man says if he loses track of a pie for a couple of minutes, it won't burn/oil off.

I was using their blend for years until they consolidated pizza shops and stopped selling cheese.  but persistence pays off, I sent my beautiful wife in to buy cheese last week knowing they couldn't say no...

jeff

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
« Reply #174 on: August 02, 2021, 09:46:43 PM »
Turns out Lucia was sold in 1994, and that newer owner continues to be in the shop. I didn't realize he was the owner. Below is the text from an article written in 1995. Further below is a more recent screenshot of the owner.

https://www.nydailynews.com/eats-article-1.699974


NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

DEC 16, 1995 AT 12:00 AM

LUCIA PIZZA: The eating injury sometimes referred to as "pizza burn" occurs when a slice of oozy, saucy, steaming-hot pizza makes contact with the roof of one's mouth and effectively sears the palate. Many native New Yorkers regard this self-inflicted pain as one of the great pleasures in the pizza-by-the-slice tradition. "Most of our customers demand it," says Munir (Mark) Sarwari, owner since last year of Lucia Pizza, near the Main St. subway station in Flushing. "If the pie is not right out of the oven, they don't want it."

Sadly, slice shops like Lucia that once flourished throughout the five boroughs, are a dying breed. To push extra toppings and profits, most Ray's-styled pizzerias display a wide selection of puffy pies, then reheat slices to order, sometimes hours after the pizzas were originally baked. The current fashion is to top such pizzas with large quantities of rubbery cheese, or a mixture of varying grades, rather than a modest amount of full-cream, top-shelf mozzarella. Lucia Pizza, a tiny, garish, six-stool counter shop typical of its genre, turns out fresh pies all day. Each thin-crusted slice is topped with a layer of oozy Grande mozzarella that floats over a puddle of house-doctored tomato sauce. Its price, keeping up with the subway fare, is $1.

Some Queens old-timers will be reminded of Gloria Pizza, the great Flushing landmark that preceded Lucia at its current location and later moved to a store on Main St. Unfortunately, the new owners of Gloria have not maintained the tradition as faithfully as Sarwari, unquestionably one of the world's best Afghani pizzaiolli. Consequently, folks who adore Gloria-style pizza burn now croon for Lucia. 136-55B Roosevelt Ave., near Main St.; (718) 445-1313
Matt

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