Hey pizza buddies! Today is October 1 and that means it is officially NATIONAL PIZZA MONTH!!! My friend Liz wrote an amazing book about pizza history called Pizza: A Slice of American History and it just came out a couple weeks ago. I am in love with it. Liz and I have shared many slices of pizza, mostly during her tenure as Editor-in-Chief of PMQ’s Pizza Magazine. In honor of her book’s release and National Pizza Month, I invited her to write a guest post about her experience eating New York pizza. I’ll let her take it from here but PLEASE celebrate pizza month by eating pizza and by devouring Liz’s delicious book! I’ll let Liz take it from here.
In lieu of blubbering on and on about my delicious new pizza book, Pizza: A Slice of American History, Scott asked me to talk a little about my past experiences with New York pizza, being that I live in Oxford, Mississippi, which isn’t exactly the pizza capitol of the world.
The first time I traveled to New York was with my mom, brother and sister in July of 2006. I remember hitting all of the typical tourist attractions, dining at Tavern on the Green, and relaxing at a delightful eatery in Little Italy. What I don’t remember is eating a whole lot of pizza. You’ll have to forgive me, but at the time, I was living in Los Angeles before the pizza boom, and had no idea that just a year later I’d be moving to Oxford, Mississippi, where I’d land a job at PMQ, the No. 1 pizza trade magazine in America.
Suffice it to say, my next trip to New York, in October 2007—and every trip since—has been jam packed with pizza! Lucky for me, I’ve had people like Scott to help show me all of the places I may have otherwise missed. Scott and I have gone on some pizza-eating extravaganzas throughout New York that should not be attempted by the average pizza eater. I always walk away with a greater love for pizza and a longer list of pizzerias to visit the next time around.
Over the years, there are three important things I’ve learned about New York pizza:
- Ninety-nine percent of it is delicious.
- No matter how hard I try, I can’t try every pizzeria.
- It pays to know someone like Scott who can show me around.
Some of my favorite pizzerias in New York are Kesté Pizza & Vino, Motorino, John’s, Grimaldi’s, Don Antonio by Starita, Paulie Gee’s, Roberta’s, Di Fara, Totonno’s, L&B Spumoni Gardens, J&V Pizza, and I’m sure I’m missing some others. The point is, it’s time to go back, and I can’t wait!
In Pizza: A Slice of American History, I share some of my photos from various New York pizzeria stops over the years, along with photos and stories from around the country. It’s a book that was seven years in the making, when you count all of the pizzas I’ve eaten! Check it out at your favorite bookseller or during a tour with Scott; you’re sure to see a few familiar faces—or pizzas—in its pages.
—Liz Barrett, author