[Gregg Pill - For Shaw Media]
Now pizza is a subject much like politics or religion. It sparks tremendous regional pride from the pie-cut slices of New York City to the coal-fired pies of Connecticut to the pizza strips of the Quad Cities to Chicago deep dish. Every area seemingly has its own unique pizza, and it is really proud of it. It’s also a $40 billion per year industry with 70,000 pizzerias in the U.S. and 350 slices consumed every second. It’s big business with independents making up more than 60 percent.
Dough recipes, thickness and proofing, along with cheese mixes and closely guarded sauce recipes, are another part of the puzzle. And then we get to the toppings, which have literally exploded in choice during the last decade.
My confession…I am not a purist, and I like toppings. I like every bite to be a bit different. I am the anti-cheese-pizza guy. That said, I went with the flow and asked each pizza joint for either the pizza that put it on the map or its bestseller.
With 14 pizza joints, this guide will run in four parts. We will begin with the first three today, followed by four more Sept. 20, four more Oct. 18 and the final three Nov. 15. While it’s not a ranking, are you locked into a favorite, or will you visit them all?