Coming Soon – All About Pizza in Pictures and Words

For now though, here’s a fun Pizza Quiz:

1. How many Pizza Huts are there are in Italy?  (There are over 900 in China).  Take a guess – Italy has a population  10 times the size of Dalian – about 60 million people.  Answer at the bottom of this page.

2. Is the pizza in the picture here burned? This is a pizza I had at Keste, which many consider New York’s best.

Why is it blackened around the edge? We get many questions about this, because pizza at Pizza Hut or Papa John’s doesn’t look like that.  Answer:  No, that Pizza is definitely NOT burned…  it’s properly CHARRED – which is important for great pizza. So let’s talk about “char”.

btw – Keste is located across the street from John’s Pizza, which has been a world pizza landmark since 1929.  It’s still my favorite.  Keste and John’s are one block from the house I grew up in.

Authentic Italian pizza has blackened areas called “char” along the crust and bottom from the high heat necessary to properly cook it. In New York and Italy, good char is not tolerated – it is ESSENTIAL. Why? Well first, because it tastes good when it’s done right with a well made crust – it adds nice variation to the flavor. More technically – pizza must be cooked at high temperature until the crust develops it’s full flavor. Proper char makes pizza crispy outside without drying it on the inside. The high heat also allows the cheese to caramelize and turn brown, which makes it much more delicious. So yes, there are “burnt” spots on the best pizzas in the world, and ours is the same. So why aren’t chain-store pizzas made with this way? In the West, chain pizza is known to be cheap, mass-produced fast food. It is formulated by “food scientists” to be cooked from frozen ingredients, heated in conveyor belt ovens without an expert chef, then boxed, delivered by car, and still be edible 45 minutes later. Pizza Hut was the first major Western company to open in China, so many people here grew up with the impression that it is the standard for pizza – it is not. This all being said, we want you to be happy! That is our main goal, and everybody has different tastes. So if you prefer a less-cooked pizza, we’re happy to do that for you. Just tell your server. It will still taste very good, but we recommend you try the authentic style first. ANSWER to How Many Pizza Huts in Italy? –  Zero!  That’s right, there are… ZERO Pizza Huts in Italy! Why? Because Italians know real pizza and would never eat there. Chain pizza is edible, but it’s not like real pizza – except that it’s round, made of dough, and has cheese on it 🙂