What Makes A Good Pizza?

What Makes A Good Pizza?

I want to talk about the most divisive dish in all of the land: the pizza.

Seeing as I was born in Mississippi and grew up in Los Angeles, I don’t have a ton of strong feelings around pizza, besides feelings of adoration. I like floppy foldable crusts; thin, crispy crusts; and both Chicago and Detroit-style deep-dish crusts. I also like pineapple on pizza. In short, I am the opposite of a pizza purist, but I am now dating a man from New Haven, and I didn’t even know this level of snobbery existed. (Honestly, I didn’t even know New Haven had a pizza of their own, but don’t tell him that.) So, even though I don’t have a favourite style of pizza, I am fascinated by all the different regional styles and very strict rules that go along with them.

Feel free to leave your pizza treatise in the comments below, or simply fill out my questionnaire:

  • What is your favourite kind of crust? I like a foldable, blistered thinnish situation the best, but a greasy, thick crust with crispy edges and chewy interior is also welcome.
  • What is your least favourite kind of crust? I’m not a fan of cauliflower crust.
  • Which city does pizza the most “correctly”? I haven’t tried this New Haven pizza yet — it comes with clams? — so I guess I have to say New York.
  • What was the first pizza you ever had? The first pizza I ever had was a BBQ pizza from Pizza Hut in Aberdeen, Mississippi. I liked it.
  • Is “California style” pizza even real? As far as I understand, it’s just a small BBQ chicken. I don’t mind it.
  • What are you favourite toppings? My preferred pies are sausage, mushroom and garlic, and Hawaiian, and I am not ashamed.
  • Speaking of toppings, how do you feel about pineapple on pizza? What about anchovies? Pretty into both, though not at the same time.
  • Does pizza have to have cheese to be considered pizza? I’ve seen some cheese-less pizza both in Italy and state-side, so I’ll allow it, though I won’t order it.
  • What about sauce? Must it be red? I like a white sauce pizza just fine.
  • Is it ok to put ranch dressing on pizza? There is a pizza place in Portland called “Ranch” and you know what? It’s very good.
  • How do you make pizza at home? I usually order in, but if I do get the urge to make it myself, I use fresh, store-bought dough, a cast iron pan, fresh mozzarella, and prosciutto.
  • What is the “strangest” pizza you’ve ever had? I once had a pizza in Israel that had tuna and corn on it. It wasn’t my favourite.

Again, diatribes, screeds, and angry ramblings are encouraged, as long as they’re about pizza. Yell extra hard if you love making your own from scratch, which is undoubtedly the best.

This story has been updated since its original publication.


  • I am a pizza snob, and totally believe that to make the perfect pizza you need only: flour, water, olive oil, yeast, salt, tomoato, mozzarella. Oh, and maybe some basil. It’s what you do with these things that counts. I have spent many years trying and failing to make the perfect pizza, and probably never will. But each one has been better than anything from Dominos, etc

  • There is a reason the pizza in Rome and New York are the best. It is the water. Both source water that is filtered through rock.

  • Actual ingredients and not the processed crap you see on Dominoes and PizzaHut Pizzas. Their pizzas look no different to the frozen supermarket ones.

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