"Pizza, A Slice of Heaven" – A Book Review
Who'd have thought a book on pizza would start a culinary discussion that could lead to a verbal battle between pizza lovers of two major American cities, Chicago and New York?
Well, "Pizza, A Slice of Heaven" by New York Times culinary journalist, Ed Levine did just that. Ed Levine's placing Chicago's deep-dish pizza among casseroles raised the hairs on many Midwesterners. To be on the safe side and not to get on the nerves of my Midwestern friends, I'll admit to eating my best pizza in Montreal, and no, I am not a Canadian but a New Yorker displaced in Florida.
I'll have to say, in the universe of the pizzas, the more the merrier, and there is nothing wrong with any deep-dish pizza. Call it a pizza or casserole, a deep-dish pizza is another mouth-watering choice. Even though the author says the very best American Pizza is made in Phoenix, Arizona, at Pizzeria Bianco by Chris Bianco, New York Pizza – so far – is the one with the fame and the one ahead of the game.
The book "Pizza: A Slice of Heaven: The Ultimate Pizza Guide and Companion" by Ed Levine (ASIN: 0789312050) has a list price of $ 24.95 and it sells in Amazon for $ 15.72.
Ed Levine is a radio and television personality. He has regularly contributed to the New York Times' Dining section. His other books are: New York Eats, New York Eats More, Tom's big Dinners. He also keeps a blogspot in edlevineeats.com.
"Pizza: A Slice of Heaven" is not a poetry book, but to a pizza lover like me it reads like poetry. It's a book good for entertainment, light reading, and salivating, since it contains delightful personal anecdotes and pizza trivia from the history of pizza to the pizza makers in Naples. In addition, there are a few recipes, photos, and a pizza glossary at the end of the book. The author says he ate pizza for twelve months for research.
The book is divided into seventeen chapters, each chapter truly enchanting and with contributions by celebrities. The chapters are: The Perfect Pizza, Pizza in Italy, Old Pizza, New York Pizza, Long Island Pizza (my favorite), New Jersey Pizza, Connecticut Pizza, Philadelphia Boston DC and Baltimore Pizza, Pizza in the South and Southwest, Pizza in the Midwest, California and West Coast Pizza, Bar Pizza, Chain Frozen and Internet Pizza, Chefs and Pizza, Planet Pizza, The Pizza Police, and The Keepers of the Flame.
Everything about the book is enjoyable, but from my biased point of view, the chapter on the Long Island pizza, and also, Nora Ephron's piece on eating pizza on a first date during 1950's are spectacular pieces in culinary literature.
The book is in soft cover, 8 '' 'by 8' '' in dimensions. The print and the bone color of the pages are easy on the eyes, although some pages are green. This book would be even more fantastic, if it had contained more colored photos.
Pizza is a cultural force and Ed Levine's book would make a wonderful gift to any pizza lover. "Pizza: A Slice of Heaven" is a book to enjoy anytime, anywhere.