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HarryHaller73

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2017, 02:59:06 PM »
New Yorkers often do not bother with the outer crust for the same reason they don't or can't get past 2 bites of a plain NY bagel with no "shmears". 

NY crusts are not light and bready compared to other styles, they are instead chewy and the rim portion dehydrates significantly in the deck oven because of a combination of being "topless" and generally a low hydration dough (can go down to 55%).  It's give and take bake scenario between undercrust and rim.   A good NY undercrust is sublime with the right balance of sauce and cheese but when the crust goes bald, it falls victim to a kind of whole is greater than the sum of it's parts thing.

That being said, people in NYC are more apt to eating the outer crust if ordering just one slice.  But if working on an extra large 20" pie, you'll generally see a pile of bones.

ps.  There sure are bad representations of the classic NY pizza in the city, which is a function of generational politics and tourism, etc, and the general forum discussions of places like Joe's, Williamsburg and Best Pizza as being standards are actually not and reside within mediocrity..  Still, there are significantly more good NY pizzas here than any other place in the country, just need to filter through all the noise or ask a local native.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 03:18:49 PM by HarryHaller73 »

Offline Josh123

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2017, 03:27:32 PM »
I have not counted.  But, no.

Simply a simple (Occam's Razor) connection between cause and effect for a discussion in the NY Style forum about NY Style pizza.

A chance to diss NY pizza unnecessarily is what I saw. People don't eat crust in NY cause the places are bad (some are) they don't eat it cause they aren't looking to eat bread. They want the savory part of the pizza, which is the undercrust, sauce, cheese and toppings. This forums obsession with crust just simply isn't shared by the majority of NY pizzerias and pizza eaters. Doesn't make it bad.

Offline mitchjg

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2017, 05:30:15 PM »
I simply believe the explanation is simply that the crust is not worthwhile.  You seem to believe differently.  Ok with me.

That is why Walter's customers eat the crust.  And that is the logical connection I made - his crust is good.
Mitch

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Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2017, 06:10:29 PM »
Agreed  ^^^

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2017, 06:37:59 PM »
  I just thought it was a creative way to leave the plate :-D   Walter
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Offline PizzaJerk

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2017, 07:05:29 PM »
I simply believe the explanation is simply that the crust is not worthwhile.  You seem to believe differently.  Ok with me.

That is why Walter's customers eat the crust.  And that is the logical connection I made - his crust is good.

Exactly.

Offline mitchjg

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2017, 07:27:44 PM »

As to your generalization that NY rim must not be worthwile (which many would agree), then you would have to conclude that Walter does not make a legit NY slice.

Interesting question/point.

I think the generalization is likely that most NY pizza is not very good - crust, toppings, the whole shebang - as opposed to only the crust aspect.  For example, I know that you have said you have to travel from one borough to another to get pizza that you think is good. 

I have not sampled the wares of pizza places in NYC in a very, very long time, so my view derives from my readings here - especially from those who's opinions are highly respected.

That begs the question of whether Walter's pizza (or anyone else's)  is a "legit" NY Style pizza.  Obviously, that depends on how one would choose to define it.  And, whether others would agree on that as a standard, etc.

My belief is that the prevalence of excellent tasting pizza (in each part and the sum of the parts) has likely been changing towards the worse over time in NYC.  And, the "composition" of the pizza (ingredients, process, etc.) has also changed over time.  Not static, ever changing.  So, my guess is that Walter's pizza is close to what was considered great pizza back in the "good old days."  And, his memory and experience of that is greater than mine (and most others) since he has been in that business, in one role or another, for many decades.   Building on that perspective, his pizza probably exemplifies what legit NY pizza is (or at least was).

Perhaps, the way to approach it, is actually to look at pizza like Walter's pizza (including the crust) and think of it as the standard of "legit" NY pizza and judge the legitimacy of stuff that is sold today with that comparison.

Beyond that, in terms of trying to develop a standard from today's perspectives and experiences in NY - I do not know if there is a basis for a standard worthwhile striving to define and to achieve.  I have my doubts.

**********
In the meantime, too bad the young girl left the doughnut behind - she missed out!
Mitch

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Offline bregent

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2017, 07:35:30 PM »
Back in the 70's in NY I had a girlfriend that did not eat the crust. That was cool with me, cause I got to eat it!  Never saw anyone else that didn't eat the whole slice. She also didn't like the orange oil, so she dripped hers onto my slice...Yeah!!
Bob

Offline hammettjr

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2017, 07:41:23 PM »
...She also didn't like the orange oil, so she dripped hers onto my slice...Yeah!!

You should have married her  :)
Matt

Offline jkb

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2017, 08:42:09 PM »
Back in the 70's in NY I had a girlfriend that did not eat the crust. That was cool with me, cause I got to eat it!  Never saw anyone else that didn't eat the whole slice. She also didn't like the orange oil, so she dripped hers onto my slice...Yeah!!

That oil is good for lubing the crust.  I generally eat the crust if I'm only having one slice.  If I have a second slice, I've usually had enough food by the time I get to the rim but sometimes dip it.  I rarely eat breadstuff of any sort without condiment, so when I do eat the crust it's an exception to the rule.
John

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2017, 08:53:54 PM »
Interesting question/point.

I think the generalization is likely that most NY pizza is not very good - crust, toppings, the whole shebang - as opposed to only the crust aspect.  For example, I know that you have said you have to travel from one borough to another to get pizza that you think is good. 

I have not sampled the wares of pizza places in NYC in a very, very long time, so my view derives from my readings here - especially from those who's opinions are highly respected.

That begs the question of whether Walter's pizza (or anyone else's)  is a "legit" NY Style pizza.  Obviously, that depends on how one would choose to define it.  And, whether others would agree on that as a standard, etc.

My belief is that the prevalence of excellent tasting pizza (in each part and the sum of the parts) has likely been changing towards the worse over time in NYC.  And, the "composition" of the pizza (ingredients, process, etc.) has also changed over time.  Not static, ever changing.  So, my guess is that Walter's pizza is close to what was considered great pizza back in the "good old days."  And, his memory and experience of that is greater than mine (and most others) since he has been in that business, in one role or another, for many decades.   Building on that perspective, his pizza probably exemplifies what legit NY pizza is (or at least was).

Perhaps, the way to approach it, is actually to look at pizza like Walter's pizza (including the crust) and think of it as the standard of "legit" NY pizza and judge the legitimacy of stuff that is sold today with that comparison.

Beyond that, in terms of trying to develop a standard from today's perspectives and experiences in NY - I do not know if there is a basis for a standard worthwhile striving to define and to achieve.  I have my doubts.

**********
In the meantime, too bad the young girl left the doughnut behind - she missed out!

thanks for the compliment :)  I know Madeline Mastro (90 year old daughter of the NY pizza founder as we know it today), my 90 year old mother from Italy, and a dozen or so over 80 customers we have here that are from NYC, NJ, all say my pizza reminds them of the pies they grew up with. I saw pizza skidding  when I left in the late 70's and on return visits have realized one really needs to know where to go and those places are drying up faster than one would like.  With all that said I really don't care what people say my pies are.  I like them and we have been successful so far with them in satisfying NY/NJ transplants as well as west coast pizza people.  Walter
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Offline PizzaJerk

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2017, 09:14:08 PM »
With all that said I really don't care what people say my pies are.  I like them and we have been successful so far with them in satisfying NY/NJ transplants as well as west coast pizza people.  Walter

Walter, I must say that your focus is unprecedented. Being in business, that is a must have!
 Everyone has an opinion on what they think that pizza should be, NY or other, and you let naysayers do their thing while you continue to do yours at a top notch level.

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2017, 09:54:33 PM »
Walter, I must say that your focus is unprecedented. Being in business, that is a must have!
 Everyone has an opinion on what they think that pizza should be, NY or other, and you let naysayers do their thing while you continue to do yours at a top notch level.

You got it.  Let the people speak and as long as they keep coming back you are doing something right.   Walter
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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2017, 11:11:11 PM »
Walter;
Your response reminds me of a question I used to ask my students "How do you tell a successful pizzeria from one that isn't?"
Answer: The successful one will remain in business for more than one year.
When developing a pizza for a new pizzeria one has to keep in mind that they are NOT developing a pizza for then, instead they are developing a pizza for their customers. They will be on the jury and decide if YOU have a good pizza or not.
Here at AJ's we developed a New York style pizza (AJ's New York Pizzeria) but our customer base wanted a very crispy pizza which we gave to them, hey, they were paying for it so they should get what THEY want. Results: Adam has been in business for 9-years now and he has three very successful stores plus voted best pizza by K-State Students, Best Pizza in Manhattan, KS. and just last year one of the three best pizzas in Topeka, KS, where he has one of his stores. They don't do a "Best Pizza" there, instead they do a "One of Three Best Pizzerias" award. To me that's what making a great pizza is all about....being successful and giving your customers what they want.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

HarryHaller73

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2017, 11:17:29 PM »
Interesting question/point.

I think the generalization is likely that most NY pizza is not very good - crust, toppings, the whole shebang - as opposed to only the crust aspect.  For example, I know that you have said you have to travel from one borough to another to get pizza that you think is good. 

There is surely bad pizza in NYC, and it mostly resides in the gentrified neighborhoods of Manhattan.  Diluted process, cheapened labor but as with anything there are also exceptional NY slices.   Alot has changed in the past 20 years, and places like Time Square has become a corporate disney land, downtown has gone thru severe dilution.  Soho is a mall.  All ethnic cuisine in Manhattan has diluted, it's not just pizza.  Chinatown is where you get fusion Chicken and brocolli,  Latin cuisine is a joke and there are literally 2 legit Italian deli counters left south of Union Square.  Little Italy is a joke.   Many of the natives have moved out, and replaced with out of state transplants.  But native New York City still exists in the outer boroughs and so do good slice pizzerias, and I doubt many forum members have experienced that having read through the discussions regarding NY pizza limited to Williamsburg, Best, Joe's Pizza etc type places which are mediocre tourist spots, and the dollar joints.  There is certainly quite a bit of ignorance on this forum. 

There are 2300+ NY slice joints in the 5 boroughs.  Only 1/10th of them are in Manhattan.  Surely there are hundreds of bad ones throughout, but there are also hundreds of good ones, a corner shop somewhere on Jamaica Ave,  Queens, or 2 blocks off Arthur Ave in the Bronx, that the media won't ever write about, nor will transplants have the courage to visit because it remains an ungentrified neighborhood.   The kind of rather be mugged by a fratboy on Union Square than someone in Washington Heights/Harlem mentality.

Quote
I have not sampled the wares of pizza places in NYC in a very, very long time, so my view derives from my readings here - especially from those who's opinions are highly respected.

Again, there is quite a bit of ignorance regarding NY slice pizza on this forum, and the sample size of observations on this forum is too small.

Quote
That begs the question of whether Walter's pizza (or anyone else's)  is a "legit" NY Style pizza.  Obviously, that depends on how one would choose to define it.  And, whether others would agree on that as a standard, etc.

I'm 3rd generation New Yorker, my grandfather grew up in Kleindeutschland, which is today's Lower East Side, right at the cusp of Little Italy.  I grew up in Yorkville, UES and ate pizza almost every day.  Millions of other New Yorkers can tell you what is and isn't a NY slice, we never chose what it is, it just always was and all we did was eat it..  I can see your perspective as an onlooker, mostly dependent on other's anecdotal stories and descriptions of what the NY slice might be and how this could be more complicated.

NY slice pizza not complicated..  People who don't know what it is sometimes make it complicated and often define it into what they want it to be.  Like an entrepreneur brainstorming a random pizza formulation for a shop somewhere in America and make one with characteristics that have very little in common with NY Pizza, but still attach a "NY Pizza" stamp on the marketing, there's something wrong with that imo or else we make no distinctions across any pizza styles and then why not call anything we want, Neapolitan Pizza or "VPN" too.


Quote
My belief is that the prevalence of excellent tasting pizza (in each part and the sum of the parts) has likely been changing towards the worse over time in NYC.  And, the "composition" of the pizza (ingredients, process, etc.) has also changed over time.  Not static, ever changing.  So, my guess is that Walter's pizza is close to what was considered great pizza back in the "good old days."  And, his memory and experience of that is greater than mine (and most others) since he has been in that business, in one role or another, for many decades.   Building on that perspective, his pizza probably exemplifies what legit NY pizza is (or at least was).

Depends on who you talk to and keep in mind NJ isn't NYC.  The NY slice I know at the old joints haven't changed a thing.  But then there are now the Albanian owned places, and other immigrants making NY pizzas with no concept of the NY-Italian heritage, the same people who own Subways sandwich shops and the $1 joints.  And past 20 years, you had advent of hybrid pies, made with different formulations, ovens, cold fermentations, etc  (the Roberta's, Juliana's, Lucali's, Nicoletta, etc) to satiate hipsters and midwest transplants who grew up identifying with bready pizza. 

And then there are some who will delve into stories of the origin of the NY slice as a reference point to authenticity.  Some mention Mastro, then there are those within the Ray's Pizza lineage and Ira Nevin/Bakers Pride and mob heritage.  Mastros was a franchisee/commissary model with frozen dough delivered to stores and then there are many independent family owned operators who never heard of Mastro and made their own dough and sauce.   Who invented the deck oven?  Who knows and who cares.   Ira Nevin actually accused Blodgett/Mastro of having stolen his deck oven invention. The NY slice could have just been born of a collective movement of hundreds if not thousands of people converging into a thing.   That said, most New Yorkers have no clue of the history, and could give 2 sh*ts but know what is and isn't a NY slice.

Quote
Perhaps, the way to approach it, is actually to look at pizza like Walter's pizza (including the crust) and think of it as the standard of "legit" NY pizza and judge the legitimacy of stuff that is sold today with that comparison.

Beyond that, in terms of trying to develop a standard from today's perspectives and experiences in NY - I do not know if there is a basis for a standard worthwhile striving to define and to achieve.  I have my doubts.

I don't think anyone can fully understand a cuisine or culture unless having been immersed in it.  That said my standard could be one of many pizzerias here, like a 50+ year old place like Margherita in Jamaica Queens or John and Joe's Pizzeria in the Bronx.  The NY slice is archetypal, iconic, sacred.  And what a New Yorker can probably do better is tell you what ISN'T NY pizza.  Deviate too far from the original, or eat it with knife and fork, they will haunt you to no end.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 10:56:46 AM by HarryHaller73 »

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2017, 09:11:37 AM »
Here at AJ's we developed a New York style pizza (AJ's New York Pizzeria) but our customer base wanted a very crispy pizza which we gave to them, hey, they were paying for it so they should get what THEY want. Results: Adam has been in business for 9-years now and he has three very successful stores plus voted best pizza by K-State Students, Best Pizza in Manhattan, KS. and just last year one of the three best pizzas in Topeka, KS, where he has one of his stores. They don't do a "Best Pizza" there, instead they do a "One of Three Best Pizzerias" award. To me that's what making a great pizza is all about....being successful and giving your customers what they want.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
A while back, I saw an article featuring several very good pizzas across the country. I usually don't pay much attention to such articles, since they seem to appear in one form or another about once every week, and our members tend to ignore such articles, but I happened to notice that AJ's was on the list. So, because of Tom's affiliation with AJ's, I saved the photo figuring that I might want to post it sometime. It is posted below.

Peter

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2017, 10:01:13 AM »
Quote
As to your generalization that NY rim must not be worthwile (which many would agree), then you would have to conclude that Walter does not make a legit NY slice.

Taking things to their logical extreme, you would also have to conclude that a "legit NY slice" is not "pizza."
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2017, 10:07:05 AM »
...the sample size of observations [of NY slice pizza] on this forum is too small.
...

I think that's fair. Probably the best thing I can do to improve my pizzas is to get out and sample some. 
Matt

Offline jkb

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2017, 10:50:08 AM »
Taking things to their logical extreme, you would also have to conclude that a "legit NY slice" is not "pizza."

How are you defining "pizza"?
John

Offline lesagemike

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Re: pizza doughnut
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2017, 10:55:02 AM »
The only time I ever saw the pizza doughnut was as a college student in 1980. The pharmacist I was interning under was mad about other people repeatedly eating all the occasional free drug company lunch before our lunch break. He,myself and his assistant ate an entire large Godfather's pizza except the crust under his direction (Which was if you eat any crust your in big trouble). I thought I was going to throw up as we each had to eat a lot of pizza. He then took the box with the doughnut to the main pharmacy and told them it was free pizza. They look of happiness to sadness was legendary.

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