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A16 Pizza Crust: A Photo Essay

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A16 Pizza Crust: A Photo Essay

Porthos | Jul 3, 2006 11:24 PM

I decided to revist A16 based on my recent excellent experience with their verde pizza (onions, luganega sausage, mozzarella, garlic, chiles). To me, the crust on that pizza was crispy and very substantial. This was in contrast to my previous experiences with the margherita pizzas which were always very good but the crust seemed "wet" at times.

I brought a camera this time to show 1) The difference between the crust when it's a verde pizza vs a margherita and 2) The difference in between slices of the same margherita pizza.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/45818056...

Though it's the same dough, the difference in the end product between a verde and a marghertia is quite substantial. The verde is crisp, and holds up straight when held up in the air. The margherita by contrast can droop a little (picture 1) or a lot (picture 2).

I had orginally hypothesized that this was due to the sauce. However, that is clearly wrong since both slices of the margherita had tomato sauce. Upon closer observation, I realized that the difference wasn't the sauce but whether there was mozzarella near the center (thinest part) of the pizza. The first slice drooped slightly when held up while the second slice folded nearly in half. I suspect the moisture in the fresh mozzarella seeps out when baked and renders the surrounding area "wetter". If this happens to be near the center, the pizza can droop significantly.

And just to make things clear, no one is saying that one way is right or wrong, it's easy to eat a droopy pizza by folding it in half length-wise. Personally, I prefer the amount of droop more around picture 1 but picture 2 was just as tasty. I find that the Lomardi's NY style pizza has approximately a 33% droop. The pizza I had in Naples also had around a 33% droop. Maybe experts can shed some light on how much droop traditional neopolitan pizza has.

This may shed some light as to why opinions regarding the crust at A16 are so polarized. When even the same pizza can vary between slight droop (25%) and significant droop (50%), and when another type of pizza can have absolutely no droop, it's easy to see why consensus is hard to come by.

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