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  • #161 by wb54885 on 03 Jun 2021
  • 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  :)
  • #162 by hammettjr on 03 Jun 2021
  • 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.


  • #163 by Pete-zza on 03 Jun 2021
  • 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
  • #164 by hammettjr on 03 Jun 2021
  • 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
  • #165 by foreplease on 03 Jun 2021
  • 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.
  • #166 by wb54885 on 04 Jun 2021
  • 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.
  • #167 by foreplease on 04 Jun 2021
  • 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
  • #168 by hammettjr on 05 Jun 2021
  • 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.


  • #169 by hammettjr on 09 Jun 2021
  • 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.



  • #170 by hammettjr on 10 Jun 2021
  • 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.


  • #171 by jkb on 11 Jun 2021
  • You are a NY master.
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