Pizza – A Slice of Heaven Revised
Without a doubt, Ed Levine knows his pizza. He is an author, food critic and full time pizza fanatic. Levine just can not get enough pizza.
Levine takes his pizza seriously. He consumed over a thousand slices in twelve months, in twenty states and several countries. The result of this journey, Pizza A Slice of Heaven, is a volume dedicated to America's favorite food.
He reviews all manner of pizza and pizzerias. He tries the fantastic as well as the mediocre. He begins his quest at the source of all pizza, Naples, Italy. He samples pizza from the East to the West Coast and many places in between. His focus is on pizza so memorable that his heart pounds just thinking about it. Levine has developed his own rubric for rating pizza. He notes the criterion is the fuel source, the oven, the crust, the mozzarella, the sauce and the balance.
This book is more than just a review of great pizza. Within these pages are adventurous tales filled with pizza obsession, passion, heartbreak, and enlightenment. You will even find a cure for the dreaded Pizza Burn. Pizza Burn occurs when searing hot cheese meets the unprotected roof of your mouth. He also includes a pizza recipe for the home cook. Ed Levine has done his homework.
Levine is wise enough to enlist the assistance of such luminaries as Chefs Mario Batali and Peter Reinhart (American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza), Nora Ehron, Jeffery Stiengarten and many others. These authors add much varied flavor to the different tastes in the book. In some ways this book is a collaborative effort full of Pizza anecdotes and reviews, however, Levine pulls it altogether in the end.
Levine is very straight forward about his pizza picks. He is a New Yorker, and his choices have a New York spin. He feels (as many New Yorkers feel), New York is the center of the pizza universe. He is not a pizza elitist, however.
He nods his head to the famed New Haven, Connecticut Pizza; Pepe's, and Sally's Apizza. He does acknowledge Wooster Street in New Haven, as being a stronghold of some of the best pizza in America. He searches New York, Boston, Chicago, The Mid West, The South, The Southwest, and The West Coast. He even touches on South American Pizza. He takes a stab at Bar Pizza, Frozen Pizza, Chain Pizza and Internet Pizza (pizzatherapy.com, a web site based in Hawaii, is referenced).
Levine rates Hawaii pizza, by enlisting the assistance of Joan Namkoony and John Heckathorn from Honolulu Magazine. As part of their research, they ordered fourteen pizzas from Kahala to Mapunupuna and bought them back to their office for a pizza party. After a blind-test-side-by-side comparison, one pizza came out on top: Antonio's New York Pizzeria. Owners (and cousins) Anthony Romano and Joe Tramantano are transported from Connecticut carrying on the thin crust pizza tradition here in Hawaii.
I recommend Pizza: A Slice of Heaven! without hesitation or reservation. This is a wonderful book for anyone who ever enjoyed a pizza. Levine does not sugar coat any of his reviews or recommendations. The book is totally opinionated and therein lies it's charm.
Levine is already braced for controversy and requests readers to contact him with additional suggestions for future editions of Pizza: A Slice of Heaven! For now, we will savor Pizza: A Slice of Heaven !, for we have found, "Pizza on Earth …" If you want to find out more about pizza, visit: http://pizzatherapy.com