So the summer is nearly over and school has started for those who participate. I have lost count of how many pizzas I have made and eaten over the last couple of months, but that isn't what is important. Perfecting my technique and making improvements along the way is what I am looking for and I continually change things a bit at a time.
The first summer that I had friends over for my first pizza trial were so impressed that they told me not to change a thing. I was flattered that they thought that highly of the pizza I was making back then. That has been 2 years now and I can't believe how much it has evolved. Then, I was following word for word the teachings of Beverly Collins whose DVD, Secrets of the Pizzeria , I had purchased online. The dough, the sauce and the techniques I did again and again to educate myself and get it right. Those were some good pizzas but as with everything, it has evolved. I have treated myself to many other pizzas along the way. From world champion pizza maker Tony Gemignani's pizzas to our local Pizza Guys and many more in between. All were of different styles, approaches, techniques, flavors and textures. I have liked them all. Peter Reinhart, a world class bread/pizza expert says there are only two types of pizza. Pizza that is good and pizza that is very good. He is right: everybody puts their personal signature on each pizza they create.
I'm not sure what my signature is just yet. I used to hate it when discussing art with somebody who was unfamiliar with Fine Art would say, "I don't know much about art but I know what I like." For me that statement didn't go deep enough. One could say that about pizza as well though but I, personally want to know what it is about pizza that I like. Is it the dough with all it's variables in thickness, texture, flavors, consistency? Is it the sauces that range from extremely simple 5 ingredient recipes to overly complex sauces with multiple layers of texture and taste? Is it the type, brand, blend, meltability (if that's a word) of cheeses that make pizza so interesting, fun, inviting, memorable and mouth watering? Is it the combination of toppings and quality of ingredients? Yes, yes and yes! I still don't know of anybody who doesn't like pizza, but it reminds me of an old Andy of Mayberry scene that was on that show many decades ago. Aunt Bee had just cooked an 'out of this world' dinner for Barney and Thelma Lou with Andy and Opie there at the table. After getting up from the dinner table Andy and Barney walked out onto Andy's front porch and sat down in the porch swing and said, "Boy, that was some goooood food." Then he asked Barney, "Do you like good food?" Barney immediately admitted, " Oh, I loooove good food. Nothing like stating the obvious, but that's how I would have to answer about pizza.