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Author Topic: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr  (Read 116252 times)

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Offline 9slicePie

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1840 on: October 13, 2021, 05:14:40 PM »
Interesting.


By the way, I noticed that the cheese on the right half of the above pie seems a little more "well done" when compared to the cheese on the left half (see pic below).   Would you consider rotating 180 degrees halfway in to the bake?

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1841 on: October 13, 2021, 05:23:53 PM »
Interesting.


By the way, I noticed that the cheese on the right half of the above pie seems a little more "well done" when compared to the cheese on the left half (see pic below).   Would you consider rotating 180 degrees halfway in to the bake?

Interesting! It's possible this was a function of my inconsistent stretch. You can see the left side is very orange which is where the thin spots are.

But if needed, I'd consider rotating the pie, but I need some practice. For 14" I use the typical Blackstone tool of the oversized cookie spatula to retrieve the pie, but it couldn't manage 18".

Matt

Offline Jon in Albany

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1842 on: October 13, 2021, 06:49:35 PM »
Would you be able to spin it when you take it off the screen?

Just spin it 180 degrees and then slide the screen out.

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1843 on: October 13, 2021, 07:04:00 PM »
Would you be able to spin it when you take it off the screen?

Just spin it 180 degrees and then slide the screen out.

Yep, that should work!
Matt

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1844 on: December 06, 2021, 01:37:08 PM »
I've had enough. I want what I want and I'm not compromising. I want the decadence of a saucy/juicy/entirely orange layer of cheese & sauce sitting on top of a solidly structured crust that is robust with softness and chew yet with no crisp. 

An amazingly-wonderful mistake I made last night is what's inspiring me.

I've been unhappy with my crust, wanting to go thicker, but not trusting it. A bake my kids did using a 'kit' from a local pizzeria led me to buy one of their dough balls to bake with my sauce and cheese. They use a whopping 448 grams for a 12" pizza and I intended to cut it down to my usual 371 grams for a 14" pizza. But I botched the cut and ended up with only 314 grams. I then intended to make a somewhat smaller pie to offset my lower dough weight, but ended up with a full 14". That's a TF of somewhere around 0.072.

And the result was amazing. Entire 8 minute bake was on the screen. I could see from sauce/cheese rumble that it didnt need the stone. I could see the melt of the uncut pie was gorgeous. And each slice ate with the decadence that I've often noted when I get a thin spot in one of my thicker pies.

But, the undercrust was almost non existent and I'm not satisfied with that. My challenge is now to get a legitimate undercrust but still maintain this melt. I often mention (as recently as a few days ago to GumbaWill) that crust thinness has a big impact on melt. So, can I really adjust to get the melt without the bottom heat coming through a super thin skin?

Evidence of my prior bakes suggests I can, but those bakes have been very rare. I had a bake in March of 2019 that was a glorious juicy mess on top, yet was structurally sound with a TF of 0.09375. (I'm glad I saved my old notebooks for a reason.)
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=51924.msg571105#msg571105
One a couple months earlier had TF of 0.09125 and I commented "cheese boil across the entire pie" and "cheese looked perfect".
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=51924.msg559455#msg559455

How do I hope to achieve this:
1. First I'll go back to my 371 gram dough ball (TF = 0.085) and see if I can achieve it there before pushing any more dough weight.
2. Ferment the dough more. In the 2nd post I linked above I guessed that a more fermented dough seems to allow more heat through it to increase the sauce boil. I have no idea why that would be true, but who knows.
3. Will need incrementally more sauce as I go up in dough weight
4. Will use the same temp as last night (oven temp of 520, stone temp reached 530)
5. Will go higher in the oven by 1 or 2 racks. This will get me closer to the top element, perhaps getting the sauce boil from above
6. If I dont see a strong boil I'll move to the stone
7. Perhaps not related, but I want to try increasing my dough salt level to 2.5% (from 2.2%), inspried by the pizzeria crust
8. Also unrelated, but after tasting the super spicyness of the pizzeria's sauce raw, I doubled the amount of cayenne in my sauce. do that again.

Wish me luck. Worst case I dial back to TF of 0.07, but I'm hopeful I can make this work.

****
Recap of last night's bake:

- 314 grams of dough from a pizzeria, 14" pie, TF of 0.072
- Rim crust tasted salty early on
- Oven set to 520, stone reached 530
- About 1 spoon less than 3/4 cup of sauce used
- A little less than 9 oz mozz used (photo on my computer with how much cheese i left over, maybe half an ounce)
- 8 minute bake, all on the mesh screen
- 3rd to bottom oven rack

Pics below from last night.
Matt

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Offline foreplease

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1845 on: December 07, 2021, 07:57:10 AM »
If it can be done, Matt, you can do it.
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Offline 9slicePie

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1846 on: December 07, 2021, 02:48:40 PM »
I want the decadence of a saucy/juicy/entirely orange layer of cheese & sauce sitting on top of a solidly structured crust that is robust with softness and chew yet with no crisp. 

Perfect description of a classic NY pie/slice.

Offline Jon in Albany

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1847 on: December 08, 2021, 09:12:57 AM »
First and foremost, good luck.

I'm guessing the pizza place selling the kits is probably selling a pound of dough (453-454g) and then are probably OK with +/- a little bit. But that much dough for a 12 inch pizza is a lot.

My question is with #3, more sauce. I know you like them saucy. Why do you think you will need more sauce as the thickness factor increases? I would think more sauce would be more liquid to get boiling. Add more dough and I would guess bake time would increase. Not necessarily a bad thing. But if the diameter of the pizza stays the same, I would have guessed the sauce amount stayed the same too.

Anyhow, I was just wondering about your thought process on #3. And if the sauce amount goes up, do you think you would mess around with the amount of cheese too?

Looking forward to the experiments. Especially what you think about the increase in salt. I've been thinking of tinkering with it myself. I've been at 2.2% for a long time.

Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1848 on: December 08, 2021, 07:26:58 PM »
Thanks Jon for wishing me luck and for making me think!

I hadnt considered the possibility that more sauce could make it even harder to achieve the boil. So perhaps I'm making it tougher, but it would be only marginally as I'm talking about a spoon or two and I think the crust thickness will have a much bigger impact.

As to why I'm increasing the sauce, first I'll note that I've reduced my sauce amount recently, so the small increases will only return me to where I was for a while. But I'm thinking more about the perceived juiciness and flavor of the pizza. While quantity of sauce is a factor, so is the ratio of sauce to the other ingredients. Taking an extreme example, if I used the same amount of sauce as last week (with a TF of ~0.07), and put that on top of a 2" thick sicilian slice, i dont think I'd consider it juicy or saucy as each bite would be much more dominated by the crust. The pie I had last week was almost like picking the cheese and sauce off the pie and eating it separately. There was nothing to dilute that flavor. So if I add more crust, there will be dilution, but I should be able to partially offset that with more sauce.

And yes, I will consider more cheese too depending on where the crust and sauce land.

Matt

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1849 on: December 08, 2021, 11:35:57 PM »
Okay, I'm pretty new to this thread, like page 93, and I have checked in from time to time. My understanding is that the latest development for you is that there's something you want to control about the way the sauce cooks in the oven. Is that about right? And I'm hearing that you want a uniform orange colored cheese topping, I think. Are you thinking that the "sauce boil" as you call it might be somehow instrumental in bringing out that orange color? I'm just trying to dial in on what has obviously been a very long thread.
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1850 on: December 09, 2021, 06:50:14 AM »
Yes, that's an OK summary, atleast hits part of it. I've spent my time here focusing on achieving flavor through "melt" or "sauce and cheese meld". Orange grease provides a crucial flavor for me.

My latest focus, however, has primarily been on finally honing in on my crust (while simultaneously experimenting with hard cheeses). The challenge is to create a crust that doesn't mess up my melt/juice factor from the sauce and cheese.

Orange nectar is a product of several things including:
- The sauce being very thin so that it will blend with the extracted fat from the cheese.
- Having enough of the sauce for that blend to happen
- Baking in a way that the cheese breaks. What I've observed is that a bake with rapid small bubbling of the sauce/cheese ("sauce boil") results in the cheese oiling off.

Matt

Offline jkb

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1851 on: December 09, 2021, 08:16:02 AM »
You have to consider specific heat.  Water has twice the specific heat of olive oil.  I imagine milk fat is significantly lower as well.  It takes a lot more Joules to increase the temperature of aqueous ingredients than fatty ingredients. Finding the balance is difficult.  I would focus on maximum fat and work backwards from there.  I always add oil to my sauce.
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1852 on: December 09, 2021, 10:08:34 AM »
You have to consider specific heat.  Water has twice the specific heat of olive oil.  I imagine milk fat is significantly lower as well.  It takes a lot more Joules to increase the temperature of aqueous ingredients than fatty ingredients. Finding the balance is difficult.  I would focus on maximum fat and work backwards from there.  I always add oil to my sauce.

Ooh interesting. So to summarize without the technicals that are beyond my current knowledge: you're saying that it's easier to make a fat bubble then it is to make water bubble? And therefore adding oil to the sauce may help it boil more easily?

Oil in the sauce is something I've gone back and forth on - there are people firmly on opposite sides of this. Until recently I had a bit of oil because I was doing MAE, but it's been a while since I've really added a good amount. The argument of it lessening the tomato flavor has made me hesitant. Likely worth a shot.


Matt

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1853 on: December 09, 2021, 11:08:10 AM »
Yes, that's an OK summary, atleast hits part of it. I've spent my time here focusing on achieving flavor through "melt" or "sauce and cheese meld". Orange grease provides a crucial flavor for me.

My latest focus, however, has primarily been on finally honing in on my crust (while simultaneously experimenting with hard cheeses). The challenge is to create a crust that doesn't mess up my melt/juice factor from the sauce and cheese.

Orange nectar is a product of several things including:
- The sauce being very thin so that it will blend with the extracted fat from the cheese.
- Having enough of the sauce for that blend to happen
- Baking in a way that the cheese breaks. What I've observed is that a bake with rapid small bubbling of the sauce/cheese ("sauce boil") results in the cheese oiling off.
Okay, I'm gonna keep on trying to dial in here. There are some statements in this post that need to be clarified for me, if you don't mind.

1) "I've spent my time here focusing on achieving flavor through "melt" or "sauce and cheese meld". Orange grease provides a crucial flavor for me."
 I'm not sure exactly where to go with this one. In my experience with mozzarella and other cheeses on pizza, that orange grease is not hard to produce, but I would not say that it ever really melds with the sauce; it just pretty much stays on top of the pizza. The bulk of the cheese can definitely meld with the sauce (at least somewhat), but that oil doesn't. Are trying to come up with some way to get that oil to integrate with the other ingredients better or something?

2) "The challenge is to create a crust that doesn't mess up my melt/juice factor from the sauce and cheese."
Do you mean that you want a crust that can accommodate the moisture and doesn't fall apart or get floppy, and resists absorbing the moisture and keeps it on top of the pie? That sounds like a reasonable goal, but you did state that you want no crisp at all on the crust. In my experience, the only way to make a crust that resists moisture is to brush a little bit of oil on the surface, before topping it with anything else. This also helps greatly to get a nicely golden color on the crust. But it also can contribute a touch more crispiness on the crust, which you don't want. I'm not sure how you might be able to make a crust that doesn't get soggy without making at least a little bit crispier. This is a tough one for me.

3) "Orange nectar is a product of several things including:
- The sauce being very thin so that it will blend with the extracted fat from the cheese.
- Having enough of the sauce for that blend to happen
- Baking in a way that the cheese breaks. What I've observed is that a bake with rapid small bubbling of the sauce/cheese ("sauce boil") results in the cheese oiling off."

I'm assuming the "orange nectar" is that same orange oil, and not some other thing; or are you saying that it's a product of the bake, something that the orange oil is part of? I'm not at all sure that the thickness of the tomato sauce is a predominant factor here, but maybe. I'm thinking the pH balance between the two, or some other chemical factor, is probably more influential. I'm wondering if maybe you should throw a pinch of baking powder in your sauce to help chemically stabilize it in the oven, so that the acidity of the sauce doesn't keep it from melding with the cheese more effectively. Or (and this is admittedly a really wild guess, but something I've actually considered myself, but have never tried) get yourself some sodium citrate and integrate it into the sauce/cheese interface somehow. This is what's used in commercially made mac & cheese to keep the cheese creamy, and it can also be used in homemade mac & cheese for the same reason. I ordered some online a couple of years ago, and it definitely did just that in my mac & cheese. It's cheap and easily obtainable on amazon, or at least it was the last time I ordered it. I'm thinking maybe if you used some sodium citrate in the sauce, that might help get the effect you're after. Sounds crazy but might be worth a shot.
 As far as the cheese break, I can't say I've ever had a problem achieving that. I think about all it takes is to bake your pizza long enough at a high enough temp. I guess my only question here is the same as my first: what exactly are you trying to do with it once you get it?
« Last Edit: December 09, 2021, 11:11:15 AM by RHawthorne »
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1854 on: December 09, 2021, 05:18:31 PM »
My responses in bold:


Okay, I'm gonna keep on trying to dial in here. There are some statements in this post that need to be clarified for me, if you don't mind.

1) "I've spent my time here focusing on achieving flavor through "melt" or "sauce and cheese meld". Orange grease provides a crucial flavor for me."
 I'm not sure exactly where to go with this one. In my experience with mozzarella and other cheeses on pizza, that orange grease is not hard to produce, but I would not say that it ever really melds with the sauce; it just pretty much stays on top of the pizza. The bulk of the cheese can definitely meld with the sauce (at least somewhat), but that oil doesn't. Are trying to come up with some way to get that oil to integrate with the other ingredients better or something?
No, I didnt mean that the orange grease mixes with the remaining sauce. I'd expect the orange grease to sit on top of the somewhat integrated cheese and sauce. Note I'm saying "remaining" sauce because the orange grease is assumed to be a product of the red sauce mixing with the fat leaked out of the cheese.

2) "The challenge is to create a crust that doesn't mess up my melt/juice factor from the sauce and cheese."
Do you mean that you want a crust that can accommodate the moisture and doesn't fall apart or get floppy, and resists absorbing the moisture and keeps it on top of the pie? That sounds like a reasonable goal, but you did state that you want no crisp at all on the crust. In my experience, the only way to make a crust that resists moisture is to brush a little bit of oil on the surface, before topping it with anything else. This also helps greatly to get a nicely golden color on the crust. But it also can contribute a touch more crispiness on the crust, which you don't want. I'm not sure how you might be able to make a crust that doesn't get soggy without making at least a little bit crispier. This is a tough one for me.
Yes, this is precisely my dilemma. I can achieve orange grease no problem. But achieving it while simultaneously obtaining a sturdy but not crispy crust that doesn't take away from the experience of the sauce and cheese. That's what I meant by not compromising. Each element impacts the others, so I'm searching for the combination that gives me everything I want. Based on your comments though, I need to clarify that my use of the word "crust" in all cases of this conversation refers to the "undercrust". I'm fine with the "rim crust" having crisp. It's the undercrust that I'm concerned about because you eat that at the same time as the sauce and cheese. Also, note I do put oil on top of my stretched skin before applying the sauce. The pizzeria I most admire opens their dough in oil which results in an oil layer on the skin. Lastly, a likely key to this is using a screen as it somewhat protects the undercrust during the bake.

3) "Orange nectar is a product of several things including:
- The sauce being very thin so that it will blend with the extracted fat from the cheese.
- Having enough of the sauce for that blend to happen
- Baking in a way that the cheese breaks. What I've observed is that a bake with rapid small bubbling of the sauce/cheese ("sauce boil") results in the cheese oiling off."

I'm assuming the "orange nectar" is that same orange oil, and not some other thing; or are you saying that it's a product of the bake, something that the orange oil is part of? I'm not at all sure that the thickness of the tomato sauce is a predominant factor here, but maybe. I'm thinking the pH balance between the two, or some other chemical factor, is probably more influential. I'm wondering if maybe you should throw a pinch of baking powder in your sauce to help chemically stabilize it in the oven, so that the acidity of the sauce doesn't keep it from melding with the cheese more effectively. Or (and this is admittedly a really wild guess, but something I've actually considered myself, but have never tried) get yourself some sodium citrate and integrate it into the sauce/cheese interface somehow. This is what's used in commercially made mac & cheese to keep the cheese creamy, and it can also be used in homemade mac & cheese for the same reason. I ordered some online a couple of years ago, and it definitely did just that in my mac & cheese. It's cheap and easily obtainable on amazon, or at least it was the last time I ordered it. I'm thinking maybe if you used some sodium citrate in the sauce, that might help get the effect you're after. Sounds crazy but might be worth a shot.
 As far as the cheese break, I can't say I've ever had a problem achieving that. I think about all it takes is to bake your pizza long enough at a high enough temp. I guess my only question here is the same as my first: what exactly are you trying to do with it once you get it?
Yes, I was just referring to the orange oil. I'm not familiar with pH balance or chemical stabilizers, but not unwilling to experiment. Having said that, through my experiments I am confident to say that thin sauce is crucial to get the pie I like most. While crushed tomatoes can make great pizzas, and I've enjoyed using 7/11, its a very different result. Give it a shot - run whole peeled tomatoes through a food mill using the finest plate you have, the consistency should almost be like water. If needed you could also push a crushed tomato through a mesh strainer and get pretty close. As I said in response 2, I can achieve oiling off at will too, but oil off without excess browning and the crust being done to my liking at the same time and being able to replicate this each bake...that's the goal. What am I trying to do once I get it? Not sure exactly what you're asking, but I'd eat it, enjoy it, post some pictures, then find the next thing I want to work on. Looking for continued improvement towards my ideal pizza is what makes this hobby fun for me.
Matt

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Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1855 on: December 09, 2021, 10:54:41 PM »
Note I'm saying "remaining" sauce because the orange grease is assumed to be a product of the red sauce mixing with the fat leaked out of the cheese.[/b]
I don't think it is, but I could be wrong. I think it's just the natural oil in the cheese separating oil. It probably picks up some color from the tomato sauce, if that's what you mean, but I don't think it really melds with the sauce much at all.
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1856 on: December 10, 2021, 12:24:58 PM »
I don't think it is, but I could be wrong. I think it's just the natural oil in the cheese separating oil. It probably picks up some color from the tomato sauce, if that's what you mean, but I don't think it really melds with the sauce much at all.

I'm not sure now where we're headed. But I do suggest making 2 pies to compare very thin sauce vs crushed tomato. The ingredients work more together to create more of the effect of 'the whole is greater than the sum of the parts'.

May not be the best analogy, but mozzarella sticks popped into my head. When you dip them in sauce you get cheese, breading, sauce, yet the components are easily distinguishable. (Similar if I made a grandma pie with dollops of hand crushed tomatoes on top of the cheese.)
Matt

Offline RHawthorne

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1857 on: December 10, 2021, 08:38:35 PM »
I'm not sure now where we're headed. But I do suggest making 2 pies to compare very thin sauce vs crushed tomato. The ingredients work more together to create more of the effect of 'the whole is greater than the sum of the parts'.

May not be the best analogy, but mozzarella sticks popped into my head. When you dip them in sauce you get cheese, breading, sauce, yet the components are easily distinguishable. (Similar if I made a grandma pie with dollops of hand crushed tomatoes on top of the cheese.)
Actually, I think a far simpler experiment would be just as helpful. Just make a small pizza with no tomato sauce at all; just cheese and maybe a touch of oil under the cheese. That would tell you whether you still got that oil from the cheese or not.
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Offline hammettjr

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1858 on: December 10, 2021, 09:45:58 PM »
Actually, I think a far simpler experiment would be just as helpful. Just make a small pizza with no tomato sauce at all; just cheese and maybe a touch of oil under the cheese. That would tell you whether you still got that oil from the cheese or not.

I've spent the better part of the last 10 years experimenting with different combinations of cheese and sauce to study the melts. Yes, the cheese oiling off is the main component, but you won't achieve the same result on a white pie vs a red pie with crushed tomato vs a red pie with thin tomato. (The new element for my is my new oven. And I'm ready to have a solid crust, but I'm not sacrificing my melt for it.)

Matt

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Re: Matt's NY Pizza, by HammettJr
« Reply #1859 on: December 11, 2021, 12:33:06 AM »
Outstanding looking pie there. Remember that grease running right down off the elbow in the old days.

Is the box to keep the pie warm? Never think to do it, but discovered how effective it could be one evening when a giant horsefly showed up just as the pie came out of the oven. 5 or 10 minutes in a box on the stove top and when I went back to it was still quite warm and also had a very distinct delivery quality about it, as if steaming in the cardboard box had added a flavor all its own.

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