July 24, 2007

Pizza: A comarison between Italian, New York, and Japanese perspectives

On my recent trip to Italy, New York, and Dallas, I ate some good food. Great seafood in Italy, and excellent steak and BBQ in Dallas. In New York, one of the things that I most wanted to eat was good old-fashioned New York style Pizza by the slice.

I really like Pizza. I wouldn't say that I love it, but I've always enjoyed a good slice. The problem is that here in Japan, Pizza is very different from what you get in New York, which is my favorite. I haven't really had much Chicago style deep-dish pizza, and while what I have had has been good, I still prefer New York style pizza. Greasy, lots of cheese, thin crust compared to Chicago style, but not super thin. Put some pepperoni on it, and you've got yourself a tasty meal.

In Japan though, Pizza had been adapted to the Japanese palette, and also seems to come more from the Italian thin crust style of Pizza. Japanese pizza often has seafood on it, shrimp is very common, as well as seaweed, bonita (a kind of fish flake), and inexplicably corn and mayonnaise are very popular. While I don't think Japanese pizza is bad, it just doesn't resemble American pizza. When you get a type of pizza that has normal ingredients, you still have the problem that the crust is thin, there is very little tomato sauce, the cheese is sparse, and oh, by the way, the pizza is very small (a large will feed two Americans maybe) and that large also just cost you $30. The first picture shows a current Pizza Hut promotion of a "Double Roll" pizza with both sausage and cheese "ears". Notice that on one half of the pizza is hamburger, complete with small cute mini-patties, not crumbled up as you might get in America, and corn. The other half has the Pizza Hut Gourmet side, which doesn't look too bad. If I poked around their site I could probably dig up some crazy seafood combinations (like the fried shrimp and tartar combination or Seafood mix with shrimp, squid, tuna mayo, broccoli and onion, or just about anything else off of the menu.) Anyway, like I said, while the pizza isn't bad, I don't really consider it in the same food category as American Pizza. It is a distinct category of its own.

While in Italy, I was also determined to try some authentic pizza. I had a nice Prosciutto pizza that was very good, but also isn't what I want when I feel like a New York slice. The crust is light and flaky, burnt in places, with cheese, but not a large amount, and not very oily. The Prosciutto was great, but I really wanted a pepperoni. I don't know if they just don't make that kind of pizza there, or if I didn't go to the right places. I only had one Pizza meal though, since I wasn't really there for that long. It seemed about the same as the Italian style brick-over fired pizzas that you can get in New York, or for that matter, here in Tokyo if you look around.

The real deal finally: New York by the slice Pizza. I had two Slices of pizza, one for lunch at Famiglia's near Columbia (famous Pizza since 1987. 1987? Are you serious? That's like only 20 years!) and one slice from Koronet's . Koronet's Pizza is crazy huge: the slices are as big as your forearm. Huge, huge slices. And cheap. About $4 with a drink. It was so very good, but I'm not used to eating that much and felt bloated for the rest of the day. It was worth it though. I've linked to a flikr picture of Koronet's Pizza so you can get an idea of the size. I should have taken a picture of my slice, but I was too excited and by the time I thought of it had already eaten most of the slice.

Good old-fashioned by the slice New York pizza. Oily, drippy, cheesy, thin crust that you can fold - in fact, I think it is required to fold your Koronet's slice in half to eat it. Good stuff. Man, I want some pizza. (Instead I'll have Japanese curry that I made last night: another favorite of mine.)



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Re: Pizza: A comarison between Italian, New York, and Japanese perspectives
Whenever I make a pizza at home it's usually Prosciutto, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. Frequently with (don't hate me) black olives.

It tends to look a lot like that Italian job up there. I like my crusts thick and salty too. Dang I wish I had a hot brick oven to bake them in!
Posted 13 years, 4 months ago by Douglas • • • Reply
Re: Pizza: A comarison between Italian, New York, and Japanese perspectives
Hi Douglas. Man, there is nothing wrong with black olives. And I still wish I could get some tasty pizza out here...
Posted 13 years, 3 months ago by fugu • • wwwReply

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