Ensuite, copiez la balise ci-dessous et collez-la entre les balises body () sur toutes vos pages AMP. This Man Can Identify Pizza From Its Grease Stain « - Samado food
American food

This Man Can Identify Pizza From Its Grease Stain «


CLIP (SCOTT WIENER): We’re doing to a place called Fiori’s, which is similar to Ruby Rosa. It’s actually based on the owner of Ruby Rosa’s father’s pizzeria.. This place is going to be really small …

Dan Pashman: Early on in the documentary about Scott Wiener, he’s leading one of his pizza tours in New York. He’s walking down the street with a group. They’re on their way to the next pizzeria, when suddenly, Scott stops dead in his tracks.

CLIP (SCOTT WIENER): And by the — all right, guys. Guys, come here. Check this out … 

Dan Pashman: He gathers the group around a paper plate on the ground. It’s filthy, looks like it’s been stepped on a hundred times. To most people, it’s garbage. But to Scott, it’s a precious pizza artifact.

CLIP (SCOTT WIENER): This … so this has — had pizza, you can tell, but you these two grease puddles … 

Dan Pashman: The grease puddles end in straight lines that, when seen together, make out the shape of a triangle. It’s like a chalk outline, where a slice used to be.

CLIP (SCOTT WIENER): So the slice was laying right there. And I would say that was probably from — not from Artichoke, which is up the block. Artichoke has a much bigger grease footprint. But it’s probably from this place called Dollar Slice, Two Dollar Beer.

Dan Pashman: And why does he know so much about pizza?

CLIP (SCOTT WIENER): So how many entries do I have? 


CLIP (SCOTT WIENER): 1,859 times that I’ve had pizza in the past three years. 401 pizzerias, 2,491 slices.

CLIP (SCOTT WIENER): I love pizza but I really don’t think I’m insane. 


Dan Pashman: This is The Sporkful, it’s not for foodies it’s for eaters. I’m Dan Pashman. Each week on our show we obsess about food to learn more about people. And it’s not an accident that the word “obsess” is in our show’s tagline of our show, which is why Scott Wiener is really an ideal guest. Giving pizza tours is his full time job. He calls himself a pizza enthusiast, but let’s face it — he’s obsessed.

 Dan Pashman: When I arrived at his apartment for our interview, he had just been baking bread.

Dan Pashman: It almost smells like a pizzeria here in your apartment.

Scott Wiener: That is the greatest comment and honor I could ever get. Yeah, it’s — I try to keep oregano dust everywhere. 

Dan Pashman: [LAUGHS] 

Scott Wiener: I flick it into the corners.

Dan Pashman: Yeah, yeah. Flicking is a real art.

Scott Wiener: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Well in the flick, you crush the herb and you open up more of the herb so the oil is able to enter the air. I would take a four-week class just to learn that method.

Dan Pashman: I don’t think Scott was joking about taking a class on flicking. Over the years, he’s visited tomato farms in California and buffalo farms in Italy, to see the source of the milk in buffalo mozzarella. He’s scoured old phone books and marriage records to see when certain pizzerias opened or closed, which owner of one place was related to the owner of another. He’s planned entire vacations around visits to pizza box factories.

Scott Wiener: It started off because I just enjoyed eating pizza and I liked the culture of the pizzeria. The kind of restaurant and maybe the only kind of restaurant that I would go into alone or with a friend as a 12 year-old kid in suburban New Jersey and, you know, be able to handle myself. It was just this warm, welcoming place. And then as I aged, I realized that was always still the same.

Dan Pashman: Were there other things when you were younger that you got really into to an extreme degree?

Scott Wiener: There was nothing quite as deep as this pizza thing. But of course, you know, when I was little it wasn’t like there was a job attached to it. 

Dan Pashman: [LAUGHS] Right. 

Scott Wiener: But I — you know, I was always really into music. And, like, you know, in high school and in college I was playing in bands and recording bands. And that’s what I thought — that’s what I thought my obsession was gonna be and that was it.

Dan Pashman: What I’m curious about understanding is like, were you bound to get obsessed with something?

Scott Wiener: I think I was, because whenever I — I guess at the time, I didn’t think of it as an obsession, but whenever I get into something, if it was a project for school, or whatever it was, I would get fully into it. You know, I would dig myself as deeply as possible and concentrate. So, I guess, when I wandered into this whole pizza thing, that was this sort of undiscovered country for me. And maybe that’s — maybe it’s the same brain pattern that allowed me to dive into that. 

Dan Pashman: So, Scott’s career path was determined by a deep love of pizza, a personality trait, and a twist of fate.

Scott Wiener: In October of 2007, I rented a bus and I just took my friends on a pizza crawl. I would not have called it a tour. It was just a pizza crawl. Let’s go out for my birthday, we’ll hit up a bunch of pizzerias. It’ll be 30 of us and we’ll bring ’em on the bus and eat ’em. And that was awesome. Right after that all my friends kind of like encouraged me to do it as a real thing. And it was in that 6-month span that I thought, uh-oh, people are gonna come on this tour, who know way more than me, have been eating pizza way longer than I’ve been alive. So during that 6 months when I was like, uh-oh, I better learn what I’m talking about. So I just spent a lot of time researching and I — you know, and for that first 6 months of running the tour, I guess, I was always concerned that, oh, today, somebody’s gonna show up who’s been making pizza for 35 years and they’re gonna school me, which is fine. I want that, but it’s hard in front of paying customers. 

Dan Pashman: Right, right. 


Dan Pashman: And do you remember a moment when you realized, oh, maybe I am an expert?

Scott Wiener: Yeah. Well, I started to get people who owned pizzerias. And these exact people I was terrified would come on the tour — started coming on the tour and instead of it being them telling me how wrong I was, it was their minds being opened because they have been doing the same thing for 35 years. It’s their family’s pizzeria, they do it that way, and that’s what they know. They don’t necessarily know why they do it. 

Dan Pashman: For instance, why do some places use coal ovens while others use wood or gas? Well, coal takes up a lot less space than wood. So traditionally, where real estate was more expensive, coal was more common. And when people who’ve only ever used one pizza oven for decades come on Scott’s tour …

Scott Wiener: They realize where they fit into the mosaic of pizza and how they are not the definition. They see themselves as a piece of that puzzle. And so that’s when I started to realize, oh wait a second, I do have something valuable, even to people who are in this longer than I’ve been alive. And that was a huge moment.

Dan Pashman: What’s one of the most extreme things you’ve ever done in search of pizza knowledge?

Scott Wiener: Well I crawled inside of Lombardi’s oven once, back in 2010.

Dan Pashman: Was it on?

Scott Wiener:  It was not on. [LAUGHS] So, every few years they have to shut down their oven and Lombardi’s uses this coal fired brick oven from the 1890s.

Dan Pashman: And we should tell people Lombardi’s is the first pizzeria in America.

Scott Wiener: I will say Lombardi’s was the first pizzeria in America.

Dan Pashman: Okay. 

Scott Wiener: I’m only changing the words there because they were out of business for several years in two different times in their history.

Dan Pashman: Okay.

Scott Wiener:  And they moved locations and changed owners. But yeah, Lombardi’s was the first pizzeria in the United States. So every couple years they have to shut down the oven to do repairs on the floor because it’s all brick.

Dan Pashman: The floor of the oven is the surface on which the pizza is placed.

Scott Wiener: Precisely. They have to close off the oven, let the coals die down, and then two days later they send people in to work on the oven on the inside, while it’s still pretty hot. So I had just bought an infrared thermometer and I used the opportunity to go there and check out the oven when it was open. And I’m reading temps of over 300 F on the floor.

Dan Pashman: This is days after it was turned off.

Scott Wiener: Yeah. So I said, “Hey when they have a lunch break, can I crawl in there?”. And they said, “Yeah, go for it.” I was maybe in that oven for 45 seconds … 

Dan Pashman: [LAUGHS] 

Scott Wiener:  Before the owner pulled me out because … 

Dan Pashman: Right. [LAUGHS] 

Scott Wiener: Because he — I don’t know what, but he decided at the last second that maybe this is a bad idea that they don’t have insurance to cover me.

Dan Pashman: Right. [LAUGHS] 

Scott Wiener: And I’m just like, “Just let me in! I just …” — well, because, you know, in — when you phrase it in the right way, it’s really just — if I talk about this oven every day and I have an opportunity to understand it, literally, from the inside out, then I need to take that opportunity.  

Dan Pashman: On each of his tours, Scott hands out pocket pizza journals and shows people how to evaluate a slice. He even gives them tips on how to eat it, explaining the temperature at which hot cheese will burn your mouth. (It’s 175.) He also gets into the origins of pizza itself, as he did when we met up. For centuries people made flatbreads — they’d bake dough and then put stuff on top. Scott says pizza was born when people started putting the toppings on before baking the dough. And that change served a purpose.

Scott Wiener: The earliest pizzas were being baked by bakers — by bread bakers  — as a way to cool down the floors of their ovens. So they would set a fire on the inside of their ovens to set the temp of the oven for baking for that day. But once the oven reached its maximum heat potential, what they call the soak point, then you’d let the fire die down, and you’d have to bake something on the floor of that oven just to cool it off slightly so you could start baking breads. And that thing that a lot of people would bake would be flatbreads, little stretch out a dough, throw something on it just to weigh it down.

Dan Pashman: Why does having weight on the dough matter?

Scott Wiener: If you don’t have weight on a flattened dough, that’s sitting directly on the hearth of an oven, then it inflates like a balloon, and then it doesn’t do a very good job of absorbing heat in the oven because it’s essentially turned into a ball. 

Dan Pashman: Most of it is not touching the surface anymore.

Scott Wiener: Exactly. So to keep everything touching the surface you put something on there to weigh it down, which back in those days, pig fat was an early item. Like, anchovy or anchovy paste? Anything that was cheap and available, that’s what you would used. Nowadays, tomato, cheese, pepperoni, whatever.

Dan Pashman: Right. So the initial purpose of the toppings was to hold down the dough to keep it on the floor of the oven so that it would cool to that surface.

Scott Wiener: Right.

Dan Pashman: And putting aside exactly when that happened, I understand there wasn’t an invention moment, but that evolution took place in Naples, Italy. Is that right?

Scott Wiener: Yeah. exactly. 

Dan Pashman: Surrounding areas. 

Scott Wiener: Exactly. Naples, somewhere around the late 17th century.

Dan Pashman: And that’s Southern Italy?

Scott Wiener: Exactly. Southern Italy. 

Dan Pashman: Why didn’t it spread throughout Italy?

Scott Wiener: All these areas of Italy, there are 20 separate regions of Italy, and they all don’t love each other. 

Dan Pashman: [LAUGHS] 

Scott Wiener: So when Italy became a unified country in 1861, it wasn’t like, okay, we’re all together now. Groovy. No. it was still — there was a lot of internal racism. And prior to that even, a lot of the internal racism was based on people in the south were looked at as dumb and uneducated and diseased, which Naples did have several time periods of cholera epidemics and tainted water supply and even now there are a lot of garbage strikes that keep people away from visiting Naples. So when you associate a food with a place, then suddenly that food takes on the characteristics of the place in the mind of the consumer. So pizza napoletana, it’s like saying Philly cheesesteak. If you don’t like Philadelphia, then you wouldn’t like the cheesesteak. You know, it’s the same kind of relationship with the city and the food. 

Dan Pashman: Right. 

Scott Wiener: So pizza had that connection with Naples and it was the fault of Naples that pizza never spread around Italy.

Dan Pashman: In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a lot of southern Italians came to the U.S. to work in factories in the northeast and they brought pizza with them. At first Americans avoided pizza — it was considered street food for poor people. But around the 1950s, it started to really take off. Americans were looking for more convenience foods and pizza was cheap and portable — perfect for delivery.

Dan Pashman: Which brings us to the other part of Scott’s pizza obsession … the boxes. He holds the Guinness record for the largest collection of pizza boxes — over 1400 of them. He has them from all over the world. He’s exhibited his collection in New York and Berlin.

Dan Pashman: Scott stores most of his collection in his Brooklyn apartment, which by the way is very neat and tidy and not overly adorned with pizza paraphernalia. He does have the Guinness certificate framed on the wall, which, I mean, if I had a Guinness record, I would do that too. But the boxes are mostly packed away.

Dan Pashman: Scott says when he was looking for an apartment, he kept telling realtors that he needed a lot of closet space. So they’d say, “Oh, are you moving in with your girlfriend? Are you getting married?” And he’d have to like, “Not exactly …”, which made me wonder – how does all this affect dating?

Scott Wiener: I’m very conscious of the fact that my job and my whole lifestyle and this whole world is unique. So I don’t like that to run a whole conversation. But I’m — I also know that it’s very much truly me. So it’s okay if I’m getting to know somebody, they will need to know this at some point. 

Dan Pashman: Right. [LAUGHS] 

Scott Wiener: But maybe not the first five minutes of like …

Dan Pashman: Right, right. 

Scott Wiener: Hey how you doing?  Hey I gotta tell you about this pizza I saw yesterday. Listen to this …

Dan Pashman: [LAUGHS] 

Scott Wiener: They were using bituminous coal. I can’t believe it either!

Dan Pashman: [LAUGHS] But I would think just on a practical level like, you work a lot on nights and weekends. When you travel you’ll always be tempted — this has happened to me, like my wife and I went on a babymoon before our first daughter was born. We went to Quebec city, and I insisted on eating poutine at five different places. 

Scott Wiener: [LAUGHS] 

Dan Pashman: And my wife to her credit, you know, at that point she was already stuck with me. [LAUGHS] 

Scott Wiener: Yeah, yeah. 

Dan Pashman: She put up with it, but I understand that that can be hard.

Scott Wiener: Yeah. Wow. You’re hitting right deep, absolutely. Whenever I go anywhere, my first thought is, “Oh, what are the pizzerias nearby that I have to check out?”

Dan Pashman: Has anyone you’ve ever been dating said, “I think you love pizza more than me?”

Scott Wiener: [LAUGHS] Yeah. 

Dan Pashman: [LAUGHS] 

Scott Wiener: All — everyone! Everyone! Oh, now. And, you know, maybe it was acted as if it was in jest, but I know the truth. Look, I love pizza, but I really don’t think I’m insane. We’re in my apt right now. This is the way it normally looks. It’s not like there’s pizza stuff everywhere. 

Dan Pashman: Yeah you got it covered up pretty well Scott.


Scott Wiener: You know, cause people always wonder. They’re like, “Do you have a pizza bedspread and pizza wallpaper?”. They think it’s everything. And really I keep all my pizza stuff in my office. I think I’m a pretty normal human.

Dan Pashman: Well, I noted in the documentary about you that in one of your very early iterations of your pizza journal, and you had different rating levels for different pizzas, and the highest possible rating that you offered to a pizza was a pizza you could fall in love with. 

Scott Wiener: Right. It’s true.

Dan Pashman: Do you feel like you’re already married?

Scott Wiener: [LAUGHS] Yeah. I feel like the woman in my life is sort of — you know, is the other woman. 

Dan Pashman: Right. 

Scott Wiener: Yeah, I mean, look, this is a huge part. It’s not just a job. It’s not just a business. I was with a bunch of friends last night who all run their own businesses, and I kind of mentioned how, well, oh I would — why would I ever sell — this is not a business that I would ever sell. This is not a product. 

Dan Pashman: You can’t have Scott’s Pizza Tours without Scott.

Scott Wiener: No! But they were all talking about it in that way, and they’re like, “Well what do you see in the future.” And I’m like, “What are you taking about? I get up every day and I go talk about pizza and eat pizza. what more is there?”


Dan Pashman: Coming up after the break, we’ll check out Scott’s pizza box collection …

CLIP (SCOTT WIENER): This is a great one. Wow! 

Dan Pashman: He’ll show me boxes that are more beautiful and more ingenious than any pizza box I’ve ever seen. Plus, Scott and I discover that there’s one very important thing about pizza that we do not agree on. Stick around.



+++ BREAK+++  



Dan Pashman: Welcome back to The Sporkful, I’m Dan Pashman. Hey, let’s keep in touch a little more often. Let’s hang out, let’s chat. I’m gonna give you a couple ways to do that right now. First off, follow me on Instagram. I just got back from Italy and Israel where I posted tons of photos of delicious food, from suppli, which are like fried balls of rice, sauce, and cheese, to Roman Jewish challah. Oh my gosh! So many highlights, which you would see if you followed me on Instagram, @TheSoporkful. The second way to keep in touch, subscribe to our newsletter. Me and the whole Sporkful team, we share each week what we’re eating, what we’re reading, and any important Sporkful news. You get recipes, you get articles, you get a lot of good stuff. Plus, if you’re on our mailing list, you’re automatically entered to win great giveaways. We recently gave away Phil Rosenthal’s new book, a set of spices from Burlap and Barrel, and much more. So get on that list right now. Go to sporkful.com/newsletter and sign up right now, while you’re listening. Sporkful.com/newsletter. Thanks.


Dan Pashman: Now, back to Scott Wiener. Before we went out for a slice together, I had to check out his Guinness world record sized collection of pizza boxes. 

Scott Wiener: Okay. So well, now we’re in my office, which has two stacks of pizza boxes that have been photographed but not logged into my spreadsheet. So I catalog all my boxes.

Dan Pashman: I would save the discussion of the spreadsheet till the second date.


Scott Wiener: I mean, if that comes up and she’s into it, then hey … 

Dan Pashman: Right. 

Scott Wiener: I’ll buy a ring.  

Dan Pashman: [LAUGHING] 

Dan Pashman: Now with pizza box design, there are two competing concerns. You want to keep the pizza warm, which should mean sealing it in the box to hold in heat, right? But when you put hot food in a container and seal it, what happens? The steam turns to condensation, and that moisture destroys the crispy crust. That’s why, if you look closely, you’ll notice that even most cheap boxes have little vents on the sides to let some steam escape. There’s a handful of pizzerias that put corrugated paper under the pies to lift them up just a bit. This lets steam escape from the bottom and prevents underside condensation. 

Scott Wiener: I can show you some high tech pizza boxes. 

Dan Pashman: Yeah, show me. Show me some of the high tech. 

Scott Wiener: Because I get a lot of prototypes. 

Dan Pashman: Okay. [LAUGHS] 

Scott Wiener: People send me all this crazy stuff. Somebody sent … 

Dan Pashman: Scott got some beautiful boxes from around the world with full color illustrations. There’s one from Italy with a man on a moped delivering a pizza to a beautiful woman in the moon light. A Domino’s box from Japan has a psychedelic mural with a blue haired woman, piano keys, birthday candles, and a swirling pizza that looks like one of Salvador Dali’s clocks. It was amazing. But really I was most interested in seeing the latest in pizza box technology.

Scott Wiener: Oh, this is a great one! Wow. This is the pizza pod. This is from a company called Zoom in Mountainview, CA.

Dan Pashman: So I can describe — oh this is like — these containers are very firm plastic, is that what it is? Or is it like a compostable situation?

Scott Wiener: It’s compressed sugarcane fiber. 

Dan Pashman: Huh? 

Scott Wiener: So not only is it compostable but it’s also moisture absorbent. So no ventilation because the box itself absorbs the moisture.

Dan Pashman: Huh? And so the surface, the bottom where the pizza is placed, it has all these ridges, to allow for air to flow underneath the pizza so you can maintain some of that bottom crisp, so you don’t get condensation. When’s the last time you had pizza at Chuck E. Cheese?

Scott Wiener: Oh it’s been a real long time.

Dan Pashman: Well first of all, side note, did you know what the E in Chuck E. Cheese stands for?

Scott Wiener: No.

Dan Pashman: Entertainment. 

Scott Wiener: Ohhh!

Dan Pashman: That is literally Chuck E. Cheese’s middle name, quite literally.  

Scott Wiener: I did not know that.

Dan Pashman: Yeah. Fun fact for you.

Scott Wiener: That is — you learn something new every day.

Dan Pashman: Yeah. [LAUGHS] But they served their pizzas on these like black — I’m not sure what they’re made out of — plastic-y, rubbery type of a tray that has all of these round, almost like knobs — bumps. 

Scott Wiener: I know it! I know the tray! I know the tray. 

Dan Pashman: Okay! All right! 

Scott Wiener: It’s black, the outside is kind of like angled a little bit.

Dan Pashman: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Scott Wiener: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s the same reason. 

Dan Pashman: Right. And that — and I will tell you that — those pizzas maintain crisp for a while after coming to the table. 

Scott Wiener: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I’ve seen those. Not a lot of people use those. Nobody in New York uses them.

Dan Pashman: What about the octagonal box? I associate that with Domino’s or you know, the …

Scott Wiener: So, let me see what I got right here in that closet, but … 

Dan Pashman: What’s the purpose? what’s the purpose of the octagonal box?

Scott Wiener: Oh, so that’s the D-cut box. So, it’s — technically, I think it’s a hexagon. But it’s those two angles in the front are good for stability, you can stack a lot of pizzas because they have those two corners bent in. And it’s also using less paper. So for two reasons — actually, wait. Third reason, this is the best reason of them all. A standard paper board pizza box takes about 25 seconds to assemble. One of the corrugated boxes is closer to 10. But one of those D-cut Domino style boxes — it takes as little as 3 seconds to assemble. I got a job at Domino’s in 2012, just kind of for fun. And I was delivery guy. And part of my job every day was to show up and you do the boxes. And I really started to love that box, because I was like, woah, it’s one motion. You don’t have to fiddle with little clips and nips and things. 

Dan Pashman: So you went and got a job at Domino’s just like for research for your pizza business? 

Scott Wiener: Exactly. 

Dan Pashman: What did you learn?

Scott Wiener: I learned a lot about how they’re set up for delivery and delivery is — of course, it’s their focus. But the differences between a restaurant and a delivery unit. And being a delivery driver for them, I really saw that, that the pressure was out on those delivery people. It was not so much — they didn’t care about the pizza makers.

Dan Pashman: After that, Scott and I left his apartment and walked to his local pizzeria.


Scott Wiener: So Lo Duca’s been around since the ’80s, always in this neighborhood, still family run. It’s just your typical neighborhood slice joint, you know, with the booths, like the bent wood contour booths?

Dan Pashman: Right. Let’s go in.

Scott Wiener: What’s happening? How you doing? 

Lo Duca Employee: Pretty good. And yourself? 

Dan Pashman: Lo Duca would probably remind you of your local pizzeria, even if you’re not in the New York area. They’ve got the shiny stainless steel ovens, bunch of pies on display, TV on in the corner.

Scott Wiener: The regular grandma, but then you’ve got the low-moisture grandma. What do you call this one?

Lo Duca Employee: The grandson!

Scott Wiener: Oh, the grandson?? 

Lo Duca Employee: I gotta get family. You know, I got grandma, I got …

Dan Pashman: A grandma pie has a crust that’s like a hybrid between a regular pizza and a Sicilian. Like a Sicilian, it’s rectangular, and it’s cooked in a pan with olive oil, so it gets extra crispy. But the crust is still pretty thin, like a regular pie. On top it’s usually fresh mozzarella, uncooked tomatoes, garlic.

Dan Pashman: At Lo Duca they also had this grandson, which was the grandma crust, but with the standard shredded cheese and sauce on top.

Scott Wiener: We’re gonna do two of “the grandsons”, with quotes around it … 

Lo Duca Employee: Okay. 

Scott Wiener: Two of the grandmas … 

Lo Duca Employee: Okay. 

Scott Wiener: And let’s get two regular slices.

Lo Duca Employee: All right. 

Scott Wiener: What do you think about that?

Lo Duca Employee: For here or to go?

Scott Wiener: Dan, I’m ordering for you. I hope you don’t mind. 

Dan Pashman: Perfect. No, thank you. I appreciate it. Yes. 

Scott Wiener: Or … or do you want to get funky and try a couple other … We’re gonna stay here. 

Dan Pashman: No, no. I want to follow your lead. Let’s do that.

Lo Duca Employee: Have you ever eaten the Evil Sicilian?

Scott Wiener: Wait, what’s an Evil Sicilian?

Lo Duca Employee: It’s a marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella, [Scott Wiener: Yes!] sausage, peppers, onions, topped off with extra virgin olive oil.

Scott Wiener: Okay. Okay. It’s gonna be — we’re gonna go back to basics.

Lo Duca Employee: Right. Let’s do it. [LAUGHS] 

Scott Wiener: We’re gonna split them all. 

Lo Duca Employee: All right. 

Scott Wiener: We’re gonna do one … 

Lo Duca Employee: So one grandson … 

Scott Wiener: One … 

Lo Duca Employee: One grandma.

Scott Wiener: One regular … 

Lo Duca Employee: One regular and one evil. Of course, a little tasting of everything. I got you.

Dan Pashman: You should have seen Scott’s face when the guys at Lo Duca showed him that Evil Sicilian. Just the sheer joy and excitement of a new discovery. You know, when I started this podcast, I was worried that if food became my job, I wouldn’t love it as much. It would be work. As it turns out, the opposite has happened. The more I’ve learned, the more into it I’ve gotten. Scott says, he’s had the exact same experience over the years with pizza. And you could hear it the moment he saw that Evil Sicilian for the first time. Let’s replay that moment, and listen when he cries out …


CLIP (LO DUCA EMPLOYEE): … sausage, peppers, onions, topped off with extra virgin olive oil.

Dan Pashman: After the slices were warmed up, we sat down to eat.

Dan Pashman: All right. Our pizza just arrived. Scott, what are the firs things you’re noticing?

Scott Wiener: So, right away, I’m observing the color on the crust of these is beautiful. It’s not pale, like you see in some pizzaria. It’s a dark color without it being burnt or even charred, and there’s also microblistering happening on the edge of the crust, which means that this dough was made at least one day ago and it was allowed to sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Dan Pashman: That’s a good thing?

Scott Wiener: That’s a … yeah, I just think it’s — to showing age of dough, if the dough was made today, it’s a sign that it’s probably gonna sit in you real heavy, because the yeast hasn’t had time to break down a lot of the complex starches and and carbohydrates. So the longer fermentation, the more broken down the starches and carbohydrates will be.

Dan Pashman: And the microblisters basically look like little bubbles on the surface of the crust. 

Scott Wiener: Exactly. They’re just little raised bits.

Dan Pashman: I do notice a lot of oil on the surface of some o these slices. How do you feel about blotting?

Scott Wiener: I am anti-blotting for myself. 

Dan Pashman: Why? 

Scott Wiener: I feel like the napkins — I’m gonna whisper — the napkins that you get in pizzerias are not of the highest quality, so the fibers tend to stick to the pizza. So although you mean well, by blotting to sort of dampen out some of that extra oil, you’re just leaving behind deposits of grainy napkin.

Dan Pashman: But I think you can solve that with a quick blot. You got to be very quick and tactile. 

Scott Wiener: I guess you can, if you’re good. 

Dan Pashman: Okay. 

Scott Wiener:  But you know, I see people all the time who, they lay napkin on, and then they go to give it CPR — they like — they’re pressing it on to it .. 

Dan Pashman: Right and then they peel it off and it gets stuck. 

Scott Wiener: Right. 

Dan Pashman: Right. 

Scott Wiener: I am a — I’ll drip. You know? I don’t — I do not — when people say like, oh, that’s the flavor. I’m like, no, listen. It’s — sure, it tastes fine but you don’t need it. The flavor of the pizza is in the crust and in the sauce and in the cheese itself. 

Dan Pashman: Right. 

Scott Wiener: But I’ll drip a little bit of it off. 

Dan Pashman: All right, let’s eat.

Scott Wiener: Yes. Absolutely. 

Dan Pashman: I’m going regular slice first.

Scott Wiener: Yeah. Oh, so there is some beautiful light char on the underside. And then it — sometimes I’ll look at the cross section and and I’ll look at the crumb, which is the center of the bread part of the slice. 

Dan Pashman: You’re talking about the cross section of edge crust, where it’s like the thickest bread part. You’re looking to see how much air in there.

Scott Wiener: Yeah, exactly. 

Dan Pashman: And what can you tell by that? 

Scott Wiener: Well, if it’s really dense, then it was stretched with a lot of aggression. And if it’s lighter and more open, then the air was allowed to hang out on the very, very edge. So to me, that just shows a higher level of skill. 

Dan Pashman: So more space, more air in there is a better sign?

Scott Wiener: Yes. I like that. 

Dan Pashman: Okay. 

Dan Pashman: All the slices were excellent. I actually liked the grandma best. I like a simple pizza, and I love fresh mozzarella whenever I can get my hands on it. To me, one of the most basic tests of good pizza is that it should make some sound when you bite into it. There should be at least a little crispy sound and this pizza had that. 


Dan Pashman: See? If you hear nothing, then either it’s not very good pizza or the condensation got to it. Before Scott and I wrapped up, there was one more thing I had to ask.

Dan Pashman: How do you feel about folding?

Scott Wiener: I’m a semi-folder. I think you are too. Let’s see. 

Dan Pashman: Have you ever tried the inside out pizza fold?

Scott Wiener: [SIGHS]

Dan Pashman: You knew this was coming, Scott. 

Scott Wiener: I knew this was coming. 

Dan Pashman: [LAUGHS] 

Scott Wiener: I don’t know what you’re thinking with the inside out. 

Dan Pashman: [LAUGHING] Cheese and sauce directly on your tongue! 

Scott Wiener: I don’t want that.

Dan Pashman: Why not? 

Scott Wiener: Because your tongue is sensitive to the salt of the crust. And I want the sweetness of the sauce to hit the roof of my mouth. And I feel like by inverting that, I’m delaying that crust. It’s treating the crust like it’s an afterthought and for me, the crust is the fore thought. 

Dan Pashman: Have you tried it?

Scott Wiener: I have tried it, after I heard your …


Scott Wiener: I tried it. 

Dan Pashman: Well, I appreciate your open-mindedness. 

Scott Wiener: To me, I like the semi-fold. See, the semi-fold is good because when I stick my index finger in the center of a crust, and I use my two adjacent fingers to bend the crust slightly, creating sort of a flying-V formation on the crust? 

Dan Pashman: Right. 

Scott Wiener: That’s my ultimate way, because this way the top is staying exposed. I don’t like a full fold because that buries the ingredients. So I like it when the top is open and it’s able to release its steam. It’ll cool off. It’ll tighten up. And then the crust hits my tongue, the sauce and cheese hit the roof of my mouth and sides, and to me, that’s — maybe it’s because I’m more traditional? Maybe fear change?

Dan Pashman: Okay. 

Scott Wiener: But I did not find success with your method.

Dan Pashman: [LAUGHS] 

Scott Wiener: But I loved hearing about it.

Dan Pashman: I got to say, Scott, sitting here eating this pizza just feels so good. And I can definitely imagine that I could eat a lot of pizza and never get tired of  it. Yeah, I’m very far from hitting my limit in life.

Scott Wiener: Try it for 10 years. We’ll see what happens. 


Scott Wiener: No more folding it inside out. Jeez. I couldn’t show my face here anymore if that happened.

Dan Pashman: [LAUGHS] 


Dan Pashman: That’s Scott Wiener of Scott’s Pizza Tours. We taped this interview a few years back, and since then Scott’s pizza box collection has grown to about 1700, but he still manages to keep them all in his apartment. And I’m happy to report that Scott met someone right around when I first interviewed him, and he says it’s serious. He told us, “About 85 percent of what we talk about is related to food. She’s not as focused and obsessed as I am, but I think it would be unhealthy if she were.”

Dan Pashman: And listen, whether you live in New York or you’re just coming to visit, Scott’s tours are a ton of fun. His enthusiasm is contagious. It’s a great way to see and experience New York. And if you’re not in New York, they also do online classes. Get more info at Scott’sPizzaTours.com.

Dan Pashman: Finally, Scott also has a nonprofit called Slice Out Hunger. They raise money for hunger relief organizations across the U.S. through pizza-related campaigns and events. They raised over $800k throughout the pandemic to send pizza to shelters, soup kitchens, and frontline healthcare workers. More info at SliceOutHunger.org

Dan Pashman: Next week on the show, I talk with author and podcast host Malcolm Gladwell. You might know him best for writing about the 10,000 hour rule … but more importantly, did you know he grew up in the town that hosts the world’s largest single-day maple syrup festival? We talk about that, plus his mother’s Jamaican cooking, and why he only drinks five liquids. 

Dan Pashman: While you’re waiting for that one, check out last week’s episode about the French law that prohibits workers from eating lunch at their desks, and an American expat crusading against it. That’s up now.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button