Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I'm tawkin' abouta da pizza!


Like risotto, pizza is something I feel very strongly about. Living in Brooklyn almost all of my life, I kind of became a discriminate connoisseur when it comes to the heavenly crispy crust topped with melted cheese and sauce. 'A discriminate connoisseur' is perhaps a nice way of saying I am grossed out by non-Brooklyn pizza, and in fact, am shocked that people think pizza is a New York thing. It's not a New York thing, it's a Brooklyn thing, so respek!

Anyway, a few nights ago, I was surprised to see a new Domino's pizza commercial. Turns out, they are now selling 'Brooklyn-style' pizza. WTF?! (Shakes head) Why ruin a good thing? Why disillusion people into thinking they are eating Brooklyn-style pizza when they are in fact eating a gross fabrication of a gem?

This topic has been discussed already by Sliceny.com (of course, if any news related to pizza breaks, they're right on top of it), and also, quite surprisingly, by the New York Times. Instead of copying the article down below, and for fearing of being taken away by the NY Times police, I instead provide you with the link.

The writer of the NY Times article makes a good point; what exactly does Domino's think 'Brooklyn-style' pizza is. I mean, does Brooklyn, as opposed to the other boroughs, have its own take on the pizza. The answer, my answer, is YES! There is no pizza worth speaking of in New York unless it comes from Brooklyn. And I'm not talking about yuppie Brooklyn that is a 20-minute walk from Manhattan, I'm talking about the real Brooklyn -- Bay Ridge, Midwood, Bensonhurst, Sheepshead Bay. The crusts are crunchy, the cheese and the sauce are perfection, and these Brooklynites don't have the chutzpah to charge 2 bucks for a slice.

While I'm going off on a tangent, oh why not, I will say though that I do not stand with my other Brooklyn brethern with the opinion that Di Fara is one of the best pizzerias in New York, if not the country. Um, no, I don't think so! Why someone would want to wait 2 hours for a pie of pizza that is thin and greasy and has a burnt crust is beyond me. But, as my clever friend, Karen, has said, New Yorkers are sheep. They see other sheep heading, or rather herding, to one place, and they instantly follow. So so true! I have to admit to having a particular disdain with Di Fara because I grew up one block away from it. The 80's, the heyday of the pizza world, when slices were $1 and it wasn't 'cool' to scope out the pizza joints. Avenue J had only one pizzeria worth mentioning. I don't remember what it was called then, as it was bought by some Orthodox Jews, as were all the pizzerias, except for Di Fara, but surprisingly, the pizza never suffered from going Kosher. (I believe today it is called Pizza Time.) Those who have had Kosher pizza in other places will know what I mean! Anyway, Di Fara was the grossest pizzeria and even when I was a dough-eyed adolescent, I never understood why anybody would go in there. Now to read practically everywhere that it is the place to go to in New York is a bit weird. I mean, Avenue J couldn't get any more boring than it already is. But, perhaps, that's the charm.

So back to my point... which is what exactly??? I am not sure how I feel about Domino's marketing a Brooklyn-style pizza. I'm torn. I, like the woman in the NY Times article, Mrs. Ciminieri, feel that non-New Yorkers will like the pizza, and therefore, it will get rave reviews. But even if it miles better than what they could get in their hometowns, I am not sure if I want Americans thinking that the Domino's pseudo-version they are eating is actually what we eat in Brooklyn. It kind of gives us a bad rap. But then again, the rest of the country is seriously deprived when it comes to pizza. I guess they deserve something good for a change, even if it is not the best. So I'm channelling Mother Theresa here when I say, 'feed my children, feed them glorious pizza'.

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