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Everybody Loves Pizza: The Deep Dish on America's Favorite Food Paperback – October 1, 2005
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"Immensely appetizing, tons of fun, packed with useful information including how to make [pizza] at home and where to find it everywhere in America, this book is a banquet for those of us who can never get our fill of excellent pizza."
From the Publisher
EVERYBODY LOVES PIZZA offers: The 10 best pizzas in the countrya list sure to inspire passionate debate among pizza-philes Recipes from the familiar (Barbecue Chicken Pizza) to the exotic (Prosciutto Pear Pizza) from Americas top pizza makers such as Wolfgang Puck, and Art Smith, Oprahs personal chef Inside information and personal interviews with big-name pizza personalities Everything you need to knowand buyto make a great pie in your own kitchen New York, New Haven, Chicago, and California: The real stories on how America made the dish its own
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Maybe this book will help. Even if you don't turn out to be a better pizza cook, you cannot fail to have gained a greater understanding of the pizza art by reading it. Starting with a great, light-hearted history of the pizza - as much as one can tell as academics disagree - you quickly start to see how many known pizza types possibly got their names, how the pizza culture developed and how it has transformed and split over time into many pizza "variants" all based around a common central theme.
Pizza has became a very popular food in the United States - as well as over the world - but for many years it was a food mainly eaten by Italian immigrants, their direct descendants and no doubt a few curious other citizens. It took World War 2 and the exposure of many American soldiers to pizza dishes when stationed in Italy for the pizza to slowly become mainstream. When reading this book you cannot fail to learn a lot of interesting nuggets of information that will not lead to a better pizza but a better understanding of the pizza itself.
After reading a LOT of good information about the pizza, the various variants that exist and the regional loyalties they form and, of course, the changing face of pizza with chain restaurants and ready-made home cook pizzas, it is finally time to start looking at how to make them for yourself. Of course, you don't get it nice and easy as you are given a great overview of each component, their regional differences and practical advice of where (in the U.S.A.) to possibly b them. The tips and advice given are great and considered yet they do not labour the point either. You just learn!
The book concludes, almost on a whimper, with over a dozen good tried and tested pizzeria recipes and a directory of over 500 different highly-rated pizzerias. The latter, some years after the book first appeared, might be slightly out of date but one can be sure that many institutions remain institutions still.
If you are looking for a pure pizza recipe book this is probably not for you. Yet this is a great book for anyone who wants to put a bit of love into their pizza making and who wants to learn more about the pizza and demolish the myth that it is a cheap, nasty fast food.
And the photos make me hungry.
It's strong on the history of famous indies and pizza chains, and the recipes look good - and they throw in a lot of fun blurbs here and there to keep things moving along ("best pizza moments in movies," "ten great pizzeria names," even a funny sidebar on "Seinfeld"'s apparent obsession with pizza).
There's a top ten list of the best pizzerias in the country, and I can't say I totally agree - where's Zachary's in Oakland? - but I guess that's the point of these things. Besides, the directory of 500+ great pizzerias has all of my favorite local (and national) places.
If you buy one pizza book, make this the one.