Is there any food more perfect than pizza? Of course not. It’s portable, cooks in minutes at impossibly high heat. It’s even good cold, for crying out loud. And yet, if you know from pizza, like really know from pizza, you know it can also be less than perfect, too. How dare certain establishments pass off their soggy cheese and sauce on bread for pizza pies (!!!), you rant. Take heart, you’re not alone. If you find yourself identifying with the following signs, you might be a full-blown pizza snob.
1. You pizzablog. And, yes, you use the term as a single word — an active verb — even as the title on your business card. As in, this conversation happens. Q: What do you do? A: Oh, I’m a pizzablogger.
2. You’re a pizzaiolo groupie. Some guys toss dough and bake pies. But you only have eyes for true artistes, those mysterious Italian-ish men with powerful forearms and marinara-stained chef whites. Dom DeMarco. Anthony Mangieri. Carlo Mirarchi. Paulie Gee. If there were player cards, you would own the box set.
3. Your Lamborghini? A wood-fired brick pizza oven. But not just any wood-fired brick pizza oven. One that was forged in Naples, the pizza snob’s Mecca, by a 100-year-old kiln master — then brought brick by brick to America by a special order of Neapolitan monks who have been charged with the sacred task of transporting wood-fired brick pizza oven bricks since the Age of Aquinas.
4. You are a card-carrying member of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. This is the organization that regulates the standards of true Neapolitan-style pizza. Membership is usually reserved for professional pizzerias. So how did you get approved? Wouldn’t we like to know. Let’s just say you once found your way into the back pocket of that pizzaiolo you like to stalk. It wasn’t easy. But it was worth it.
5. You are more than a little familiar with tomato varietals. You know your prized San Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-Nocerino plums from your heirloom Corbarino tomatoes from your Piennolo vine tomatoes of Mount Vesuvius. Actually, you have that last kind tattooed in the general vicinity of your genitalia — and when you’re having an intimate moment like to ask your partner how he or she “likes these tomatoes.”
6. Your pizzablog is so successful that you feel you have real crossover potential to start pizzaioloing yourself. But first you must apprentice under a master. Baby steps.
7. Regardless of where you live in America, you have made a pilgrimage to one of the pizza-happy Brooklyn neighborhoods for a pie. Midwood and Bushwick in particular.
8. You eat fior di latte by the bucket. You consider mozzarella made from mere cows substandard and believe buffalo to be such superior dairy animals that you even pour latte di bufala on your morning bowl of Cracklin' Oat Bran.
9. You’re also pretty picky about basil. Who isn’t? It should be fresh and peppery. Duh. But you refuse to admit that naming your daughter Margherita was going too far.
10. You’re well versed in non-Neapolitan styles of pizza. Including but not limited to Roman-style, Sicilian-style, Greek-style, grandma-style, New York-style, Chicago-style, coal-fired New Haven-style and Providence, Rhode Island-style grilled pies (insider shorthand: ProRI-gri-pi).
11. You can discuss the appropriate levels of char into the wee hours. And you make a point of hanging out with people who don’t find this insufferable, those you know as well as you do that crust is key.
12. You think deep-dish pizza is cute. It’s fun to try on a lark. But you know very well that no one serious – not even in Chicago – really eats the stuff.
13. You think cheese-stuffed crust is an abomination. And you are right.
14. You think gluten-free pizza is sad. As in, truly tragic. You donate regularly to celiac disease research.
15. You’re not averse to kooky toppings. Pizza-making is an art, after all. Why not throw Brussels sprouts, fresh figs, venison sausage, grilled peaches, Canadian bacon, a raw egg, even caviar on there. But you draw the line at chicken. Hey, you have to draw the line somewhere.
16. On dollar pizza: You secretly love it. But you make a big show of tut-tutting when you pass by one of these joints with your fellow pizza snobs. Little do you know they all secretly want to go in and wolf down a slice for a buck, too.
17. You live in New York City.
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