Archive for November, 2011

On Spiritual Pizza Making

In my car, I have a battered copy of The Magic Of Believing
by Claude Bristol I have read this book many times and I always seem to get something new out of it. If I know I need to wait in a line, such as at a bank or food shopping, I will take the book along to read. This seems to make the line move faster.

Simply put, The Magic of Believing states, the energy of the subconscious mind can help individuals achieve any goal. If you believe it, it will happen. This book contains countless examples of the hidden power of the subconscious mind and how it can influence our lives.

Bristol speaks about two people cooking an item using the same ingredients, and the same recipe. One item turns out to be a failure while the other is a successful culinary achievement.

The successful cook, saw the finished product in their mind’s eye. This successful cook, baked their heart and soul in to the finished dish. They created a spiritual link with the food.

Making pizza, is no different. You must put your spirit into each pizza you create. The great pizzaiolos such as Gennaro Lombardi (Lombardi’s), Frank Pepe (Pepe’s) and Salvatore Consiglio (Sally’s Apizza), knew this, and made pizza for the body as well as the soul. They were masters of Spiritual Pizza.

Spiritual pizza is made when you connect with your pizza on a higher level. You put a part of yourself into each pizza.

Make all of your pizza, Spiritual Pizza. Your pizza will taste better. Your pizza will be better.

Robert writes:

In your article on spiritual pizza making you say:” Spiritual pizza is made when you connect with your
pizza on a higher level. You put a part of yourself into each pizza.
Make all of your pizza, Spiritual Pizza. Your pizza will taste better. Your pizza will be better.”

That really hit home with me, you wouldn’t believe what I put into my pizza making and it really shows in
the pizza. If I’m making a pizza for company and really want it to be its best I will turn on the oven
light and keep looking in at it to make sure it is just right, my wife laughs at me but the pizza is
always great.

I’ve spent years now trying to perfect the crust, after all it’s the crust that makes the pizza, everything else
is just toppings, right?. A couple of very important things I have learned along the way.

If you are going to experiment away from a recipe,
remember what they did the next time.

I’ve found that “Hotel and Restaurant” flour seems to provide the most “Pizzeria” taste and consistency I
believe it is the extra Gluten.

More yeast and sugar (or honey) in the mix than is
usually called for seems to work well for me as far as a nice light dough that tastes great.

Let the pizza rise! at least once but even better twice and at least an hour each time, then roll it out
at least half an hour before you put a topping on it of any sort and cover it with plastic wrap so it can
rise a bit before you squash it with toppings.
5. And finally, make sure you preheat the oven and get it as hot as you can for the amount of toppings you
have on it. More toppings, less temperature so it can have a chance to cook all the way through, raw dough
is nasty. the reason for the hot oven is that the dough does an initial rise just after it
is exposed to the heat and that makes for a much better crust I think than you get with lower temps.

Yipes, and I don’t even do this for a living! but if you look in my pantry and fridge and freezer you would swear I did.

Anyway yep, pizza is a spiritual experience for me and everyone that tastes it begs me to open a pizza

Pizza on Earth and Good Will to All!
Robert Cotterill

My Response:

Thanks so very much for sharing your great advice, Robert.

I received many wonderful comments about Spiritual Pizza. I feel to do anything worthwhile, we must put our heart and soul into it. We will then connect with a higher spiritual power.

We must realize there is a greater power that we can connect with. Thanks everyone for your wonderful positive energy.

You should check out The Magic Of Believing
This is an incredible life changing book.

I can tell you that your first bite of Tomato Pie is a Pizza Altering Experience! It’s not ‘like’ a NY Slice, it’s not anywhere near a Neopolitan Slice, it’s not similiar to any pizza type you’ve ever had in my experience, it’s it’s own unique style of Pizza and rightfully so. There are now 4 types of Pizza in my Universe, NY Slice, Neopolitan, Brick Oven, and Drum Roll PLEASE……Tomato Pie!

Do Not mislabel Tomato Pie as ‘Pizza’ my friends, no, it’s as distinct as a Ferrari is from a Porsche, both are great examples of great cars. Such are Maruca’s Tomato Pies on the Boardwalk at Seaside Park, NJ where they have been serving up the Ferrari’s of Tomato Pies since 1950. Now, you have to understand that quality ingredients do not come cheap, and Tomato Pies at Maruca’s come in large 18″ for $16, and extra large 24″ for $25.
They offer a standard fare of toppings, but I insist that you try your first Tomato Pie ‘Au Natural’, or ‘Margherita’ to get the whole experience I have described above for you!

Since Maruca’s only has their one location at Boardwalk and Porter Ave in Seaside Park, NJ the Owners are always there making the pies and available to answer your questions on it’s history. Hailing from the birthplace of Tomato Pies, Trenton, they are masters of their craft and know it well. All the way home I kept chastising myself for not ordering an extra large to go….but then again none of it would’ve made it home!!

Now that the Summer beach crowds have gone home, street parking is FREE, the boardwalk is OPEN, and most of the stores are too, and it’s easy to walk the length of it contemplating your very own Maruca’s Tomato Pie. I suggest you park and start walking down the boardwalk from the North end. It’s a test to see how strong your Pizza willpower is as you will continue to pass one after another of typical NY style pizza shops trying to entice
you with their wares. Don’t be fooled! KEEP WALKING! Not only is it good for your health, but by the time you arrive at the South end where Maruca’s Tomato Pie’s is located the salt air will have given you the stamina needed to polish off an extra large 24″ Tomato Pie!

If you are looking for great Italain products, here is a resource for you. For example you can find Italian Cheese, Italian Pasta and Italian Truffle Products

You will have conquered the Everest of Pizza challenges, not only did you have to endure all those slice shops along the way, but you sought out, and found, in my opinion, the Best Tomato Pie in NJ this side of Trenton!! If this were 1778 then General George Washington would have stationed his troops around Seaside Park to keep the British from being able to obtain any Maruca’s Tomato Pies!! Yes, they have a website, but don’t take the surprise and enjoyment of the ‘hunt’ out of this expedition…load up your pizza loving friends and drive the whole carload of you down to see for yourselves!!

It’s a COMPLETELY different Pizza Experience then you’ve ever had on the East Coast! I
already crave another Maruca’s Tomato Pie and I was only there YESTERDAY!!

in Sandy Hook, NJ

You can find the more Best Pizza in New Jersey at Pizza Therapy

Discover incredible Italian Tomato Sauces, right here.

Maruca's Tomato Pies from Legends of Pizza

Maruca's a legendary pizza on the New Jersey Shore


Vision of Pizza by John Arena from Metro Pizza

John Arena explains the Vision of Pizza embraced by Metro Pizza in Las Vegas. Jon explains everyone has thier own vision of great pizza. Whether you are from Brooklyn or New Haven. New Jersey or Chicago. Seattle or San Francisco, everyone has their own idea of the perfect pizza.

Metro has a great concept for out of town pizza fans. If you go to Metro with a picture in front of you favorite pizzeria, you will recieve $25.00 worth of food. Metro pizza wants to recgnize and celebrate great pizza the world over.

John and his cousin Sam came from New York to begin their pizza adventure.

In the following presetation John, explains his vision of pizza.

John’s pizzeria philosophy:

“…We believe that a true Pizzeria should be a gathering place for family and friends to relax, share great food and enjoy each other’s company. We have visited hundreds of Pizzerias across the country, learning and gathering recipes to bring our guests a taste of home, wherever home might be….”

Metro Pizza( 5 Locations including:)
1395 East Tropicana Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada
Tropicana & Maryland Parkway
(702) 736-1955

John teaches a pizza class at UNLV. Here is the course outline:

Week 1: History of Pizza

A discussion of the evolution of pizza and related flatbreads from the ancient Greeks to the kitchens of celebrity chefs. We will discuss how historical events and migration have shaped pizza, where we started, where we are now, and where we may be headed. Class will be divided into three teams for final project.

Week 2: Napoli

Napoli is the birthplace of pizza as we know it. Discussion and hands-on demonstration of pizza as it is prepared in Naples. We will examine the approved standards of the VPN Italy’s governing body of pizza.
Week 3: Pizza Comes to the New World

An examination of pizza as it was prepared in New York’s Little Italy in the early 1900’s and how and why it has changed over time. Demonstration and practice of proper hand-crafting techniques.

Week 4: Dough Production

It all starts here. Basics of crust formulation. We will examine selection of ingredients, proper mixing and fermentation, and variations that will change flavor profiles and texture.

Week 5: Basics of Sauce, Cheese and SpicesWe will sample and compare ingredients and learn to prepare a base pizza sauce. This class will also examine regional preferences and variations of the basic ingredients.

Week 6: In the Thick of It

Chicago Style Deep Dish, Foccacia, Stuffed Pizza and Calzones. We will examine the origins and elements of these pizza variations including hands-on practice of basic techniques.

Week 7: Pizza in the 21st Century

An examination of multi-cultural influences and current trends in the pizza world including sample and discussion of pizzas with nontraditional toppings.

Week 8: Presentation of Final Projects

Each team will have 15 minutes to prepare the team’s Pizza Creation including a spoken explanation of the inspiration and rationale behind its development. Final written examination.

Here is the textbook for the course:

Everybody Loves Pizza: The Deep Dish on America’s Favorite Food