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Pizza in NYC vs Italy

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Pizza in NYC vs Italy

VTJedi wrote something interesting on another thread. Instead of changing the course of that discussion I figured I'll start another one

"American Pizza is nothing like the pizza you get in Italy. If you've had pizza in Italy and are going to experience pizza in the USA for the first time, you'll be greatly disappointed after having had the real thing in Italy."

I'm not Italian and I can count the number of times I've been to Italy on one hand and I hope other folks who go to Italy more often can chime in.

With that said, I find this very hard to believe if we are talking about NYC. Perhaps if you try to find a decent slice in Cedar Rapids, Iowa it can be true but NYC I would imgaine has some great pizza that even Italians can appreciate, I think ;)

On our last trip to Italy the only pizza we sampled was in Varenna on Lake Como which was good but would be somewhere between average and higher quality here in NYC. Of course Varenna and just about the entire North is probably not known for amazing Pizza but still. I was in pasta heaven in the north and pizza was not even secondary so I didnt pay much attention.

We have all kinds of pizzas in NYC, including the new york pizza, Neapolitan pizza among others. I imagine at least the Neaplotan stuff in Keste, Don Antonio, Roberta's is close enough, no?

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1. Re: Pizza in NYC vs Italy

I found just the reverse in Italy while there a few years back---- everyone knows I am not the biggest fan of New York pizza in general preferring Boston pizza which is far superior but in two weeks in Italy and a few tries I did not find any pizza that really was of the same quality of either of those cities.

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2. Re: Pizza in NYC vs Italy

Italian pizza and NYC pizza are different---less cheese in Italy. I love both styles, but prefer NYC because its crispier

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3. Re: Pizza in NYC vs Italy

Interesting post:-) NYC certainly has it's share of pizzarias.. most have their local fave.. bottom line, the ingredients make the difference;-) I remember having pizza in Milan.. was with 3 others.. place was a hole in the wall whole pie take-away only.. some of the best I've ever eaten;-) You could taste the freshness of the tomatoes.. the cheese.. spices.. fanstastic ..absolutely mouth watering.. so difficult to compare with NYC pizza.. agree it's just different;) Enjoy!

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4. Re: Pizza in NYC vs Italy

A thin crusted Margarita pizza baked at a very high temperature with lots

of olive oil is available at many NY places and almost approximates it.

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5. Re: Pizza in NYC vs Italy

I am from NYC and have visited Italy. In both places, there is a wide diversity of quality. Much NY pizza is made by people from Italy. So you can't really generalize that one is better than the other.

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6. Re: Pizza in NYC vs Italy

I can say that the pizza in Italy is hands down better than what you find at most establishments in the United States.

New York City certainly has some great places to choose from and you can find good pizza. My comment was about the United States as a whole so let's not take it out of context.

In your average small town, there isn't a family run pizza place made by real italians cooking authentic pizza with authentic recipes for the crust. In your average city in America, there are not the options for Pizza that there are in New York City. In your average town there is a pizza hut and a papa johns maybe and that I'm afraid is the pizza that most americans are used to. Just like many americans are used to italian cooking as being spaghetti and meat balls which is far from authentic italian.

When you go to Italy, and get the real thing... a pizza you eat with a fork and knife... cooked in a wood stove... a pizza that's made for you... not cut into slices... it's absolutely amazing. I won't eat pizza from places like papa johns or pizza hut.

I'll make it myself as close to the italian way as possible (for the dough use a combination of pastry flour, all-purpose flour, and semolina flour) baked on a pizza stone... but to me there is still nothing like the real thing in Italy where it was made of.

Pizza to me is just not american. Papa Johns and Pizza hut is just not good to me. NYC does have some good pizza places. I'll eat it. But it's no where as good as italy where I know the small restaurant picked the tomatoes that morning... purchased the eggplant that went on top from the local market that day. and drizzled with olive oil harvested locally.

I have not found anywhere that can compete with that, but maybe in all my trips in NYC in my 26 years I've looked in the wrong places.

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7. Re: Pizza in NYC vs Italy

And to the OP -

If the only pizza you sampled in Italy was in Varenna, then you missed out!

Varenna and northern italy is not known for pizza. It's not even known for pasta. Milan and the north is known more for Risotto. That doesn't mean you still can't find good pasta or good pizza in the north. We found a great pizza place in Venice.

But get pizza in Rome and in Naples. Where they have been doing it well for a LOOONG time.

Food in Italy is very regional, so you have to eat to the strengths and specialities of each region (i think at least). So judging your taste of italian pizza on a place near Lake Como is just off the mark. Get in Rome and Naples and then come back and tell me what you think is better. ;-)

Edited: 2:25 pm, December 09, 2012
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8. Re: Pizza in NYC vs Italy

Fair enough. And I agree with just about everything you said including that pizza is not exactly Varenna's and the north strong point. Although, we did have some unforgettable pastas there especially in the Verona and Valpolicella area (in response to the pasta comment).

It is fairly easy to take your statement out of context since this is the NYC board ;) but I now I see your point, and I totally agree. I spent 4 years in college working for Domino's so perhaps that's the reason everything else just tastes so darn good right now.

And I know what you mean about the ingredients. I remember having a simple pasta with Porcini picked that day as my main course for dinner which was nothing like I ate before

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9. Re: Pizza in NYC vs Italy

I found that the authentic pizza in Italy was very plain, just cheese, olive oil and maybe some salami on a thin base.

I also found that pizza in the US (as well as here in Aus) has been adapted, modified and added to so that there are heaps of ingredients on top. Whether that also happens in Italy I'm not sure.

I think that pizza is nice anywhere so long as it is cooked in a wood fired oven and not too many ingredients on top.

I love pizzas with anchovies. And I can't stand pizza with pineapple on it!

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10. Re: Pizza in NYC vs Italy

Aynat62 - the pizza you find in Italy will be simple with very few ingredients on top. It's often never dished out evenly over the entire pizza either. Each person orders their own pizza... they don't come in large small and medium sizes.

You can find a pizza place in Italy that typically offers only 6 types of pizza. Margherita is good and "plain" by most american standards... but so much better than a plain cheese pizza here with delicious olive oil drizzled on top and perhaps some fresh basil picked that day. Then there will be other pizza places that have 25+ different types of pizza.. but you'll rarely see more than 3 ingredients on one unless they are adding different cheeses or something.

So no, they don't add heaps of ingredients like they do here. One of the wonderful things about Italian cooking is the simplicity. :-)