I had been wanting to go on a New Jersey pizza tour for some time now. I finally did it. My goal was to hit the classic pizza places, especially those started by Italian immigrants for a cultural, historical pilgrimage as well. So for the next two weeks, I will showcase one pizzeria per day.
Just to recap my pizza cred, my parents owned a pizzeria and my relatives opened some in New Jersey in the first half of the 20th century. I’ve eaten pizza in Naples, New York and New Haven. Now, it’s time for New Jersey.
(The writer in me couldn’t resist the alliteration, but I’ve had pizza in other parts of the country too, including Chicago.)
In 2002, I wrote an article on pizza for Hobokeni.com where I sampled pizza from every pizzeria in the Mile Square at the time. It was a huge task for one person, but I accomplished it with the help of friends (although I personally tried each slice too).
When critiquing pizza, I think it’s best to order a plain pie with no toppings. The three components of pizza are crust, sauce and cheese. I think it’s easier to taste each one when there are no other toppings. Also, I think it’s best to order a whole pie instead of a slice because slices can be sitting around at many pizzerias. The whole pie comes fresh out of the oven to you. Personally, I think the crust is the true testament of whether someone can make pizza or not. However, I’ve eaten pizza where the crust was great but the sauce or cheese was not. So I do believe a good pie is a combination of the three.
Hope you enjoy my journey, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on your favorite pie!
–Dina Di Maio