Greetings, fellow food enthusiasts.
Now, let’s talk about a culinary marvel that is as polarizing as it is delightful: pizza. In my extensive experience with global cuisines, I’ve yet to find another dish that evokes such passionate divides. Some pies can be disjointed affairs, where one tastes each ingredient separately, not coalescing into that harmonious symphony we affectionately know as “pizza”. Yet, I respect that for some, mainstream choices like Papa John’s, Domino’s, or Pizza Hut resonate deeply.
New Yawk Pizza
The world of pizza is a mosaic of regional specialties. Take the iconic New York slice, for example. It’s characterized by its slender profile, crispy underbelly, delicate sauce-to-cheese ratio, and a smorgasbord of topping combinations. Comparing a classic NY cheese pizza to one adorned with meatballs and anchovies is akin to contrasting Bordeaux with a Cabernet—both wines, but oh so different.
Chicago Deep Dish
Venture to Chicago, and you’ll be introduced to the majestic deep-dish, a rich, buttery affair baked to perfection in pans, generously layered with cheese and sauce. It’s more of a culinary experience than a mere meal.
Then, there’s the “artisanal pizza”, a sublime creation that often rivals the New York variant in terms of crust thinness. Baked in fiery wood-fired ovens, these pizzas are canvases for gourmet ingredients like figs, arugula, sumptuous burrata, and the delicate interplay of pears and prosciutto. They might not resonate with a purist yearning for a straightforward pepperoni or the ever-controversial Hawaiian, but their place in the pantheon of pizzas is undeniable.
Even Chains have Fans
On the commercial front, chains like Pizza Hut and Domino’s prioritize value and accessibility, often offering deals that are hard to resist. Though they might not offer an authentic regional experience, their appeal is universal.
Being partial to both the robust Boston and the airy Detroit styles, I believe the Roseville/Rocklin area should stick to the classics: NY, Chicago, Artisanal, and Chain. As a New Jersey native, I have a nostalgic affinity for a well-executed NY pie, with Celestino’s topping my list. Their white pizza is a must-try, though the crust lacks the characteristic crispness found back home (often attributed to the water difference). For those craving Chicago flair, Chicago Fire is a revelation, especially their sumptuous deep dish.
Long Live Pizza Rock
Recent events have kept me from exploring the artisan pizza joints downtown, so recommendations are welcomed. That said, the loss of Pizza Rock, with its impeccable pies in an unfortunately chosen location, was truly disheartening. As for chains, Round Table’s pepperoni with extra cheese on a thin crust is an unexpected delight. Of the plethora of places mentioned, only a few truly captivated my palate. But, as I’ve gleaned from my college days, when hunger strikes, any pizza can seem like manna from heaven.