Thursday, August 09, 2007

Yesterday Tony made me a half cheese, half pepperoni pizza on the Pyzano's-style crust (thick), as well as garlic bread and meatballs. Today he made me a Pizza Margherita (the pizza that won in Italy), with a couple minor differences. The first difference was the cheese. Because buffalo milk mozzarella is hard to find in the US, he used Grande fresh mozzarella. The second difference was the oven. True Neapolitan pizza is baked in a wood-fired oven at a temperature over 800 degrees, but Pyzano's doesn't have one of those; they have a RotoFlex deck oven, so exact duplication was impossible. Still it was close, and it was very good. I liked his Neapolitan crust (made with 00 flour) much more than I liked the other two crusts, although they are all good. I think the ideal Pyzano's pizza would be the "Little Italy" on a Neapolitan crust. You really can't do much better than that. The pizza I
had today was a lot like my own pizzas. I am confident that if I had a pizzeria, it would do well.

Another pizza day

Tony left the pizzeria at noon and will be back at about 4:00. While waiting for him to return, I've been charging my batteries and reading the pizza book he co-authored, titled "Pizza." If my memory is correct, I think I say something on the Aimless pizza page about how I've never found a remotely good pizza cookbook. Well, 33 pages into this book, I believe I've finally found one. Interestingly, the methods, ingredients, and recipes/formulas in this book are very similar to my methods and recipes, with some exceptions. The most puzzling exception is when it says to use a rolling pin for New York style pizza. NEVER use a rolling pin for New York style pizza. I understand why Tony uses a rolling pin for "New York style" pizza in his pizzeria--because that produces what his customers think New York style pizza is--but I can't figure out why the book says to do it (and I'm not going to
ask). Having said that, I also will not pretend to know anywhere near as much about pizza as Tony does.

World's bests

As you already know, I was a witness to history Tuesday night, with Barry Bonds breaking Hank Aaron's home run record. Hours after the baseball game ended, I found a sidewalk to nowhere for an extended nap in the cold San Francisco night. After some grocery shopping yesterday morning I walked to downtown SF and hopped on BART for a tour of about half the system, eventually getting off at the Castro Valley station for a return to Pyzano's Pizzeria: Home of the World's Greatest Pizza Thrower. I still don't know what kind of story I'm hoping to find here at Pyzano's because so many networks and newspapers have already done stories about Tony, so I've kept the camera rolling a lot. This morning some folks from the SF Chronicle are at the pizzeria to taste the pie that Tony made in Naples to win "World's Best" honors. He's going to make me one later, too. I can't say enough nice things about
Tony. He's clearly a great boss and a great guy... Someone slipped $15 into my gear last night.


I don't think I've ever revealed this on either the blog or the web site before, but the idea for Aimless came to me only because I wanted to die. Now, 14 months later, I really love being alive. My life has become so unbelievably wonderful and exciting that I've had to shed at least a couple dozen tears tonight. This experience has been such a gift to me; I just wish I could let everyone plug into my brain so I could share every image, every thought, and every feeling. I wish you could meet all the people I've met. If you are one of those people--and I know there are at least a few of you reading this--I wish you could see yourselves how I see you. It would make you smile. As the voluntary guinea pig in this grand experiment, I can assure you that all these little acts of kindness have added up to something monstrously huge. It has saved a once dying soul and is constantly making me a
better person. Now let's all go out there and save some more lives with kindness, OK.