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Stripping The Goodness From Pizza

July 24, 2017

We can talk for hours, if not days, about the things that makes pizza great. You could break it down into its component parts, like the crust, sauce, and toppings. I’m a crust man myself. Or you could talk about the quality of the ingredients, like fine milled flour, imported tomatoes, and whole milk mozzarella. You could make the argument for commitment to craft and investing in the proper tools for the job.

But fundamentally, the thing that makes pizza delicious is far more simple. Hold onto your hats. Because it’s two things, and they are the same two things that make any restaurant food taste better than cooking at home.

They are fat and salt. Period.

Let’s take salt out of the equation for a second. I want to focus on fat. Delicious, delicious, buttery fat. That fat may be suspended in the shreds of mozzarella cheese, or they may be contained in any one of the toppings that graces your pie. Especially those ever popular pepperoni rounds that are little more than deeply seasoned fat slices.

So if fat is what makes pizza delicious, it’s madness to remove any of it from a slice.

Yet, apparently, more people blot the fat off slices of pizza than I ever realized. And I’m drawing a line in the sand here. This is nothing less than a crime against pizza.

Otherwise good people find it much easier to perpetrate this action by diminishing the act, and belittling the precious butterfat that graces the slice. They disdainfully call it grease, like some kind of industrial lubricant.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Perhaps the only good thing about pepperoni, is when those natural casing slices curl up and collect the rendered fat in little crispy edged and smokey cups. Those bursts of hot, spiced fat are like a gift from the pizza gods.

And yet, people blot their pepperoni.

One of my favorite pies is the sausage, peppers, and onions from Marino’s Flying in Schenectady. The secret is that they put on clumps of loose raw Italian sausage right on the pie before it goes into the oven. So the pork fat renders out and infuses the whole pizza with its sausage goodness.

Removing some of the fat from the top of your pizza is akin to choosing dry bread, over bread with butter. Or perhaps a closer example might be scraping the melted butter off an order of french toast, since it’s already been griddle fried.

But it’s not just about butter. Here are a few other examples.

If you wouldn’t dream of removing the skin from your roast chicken, you shouldn’t blot.
If the thought of making a milkshake with low fat milk seems heretical, you shouldn’t blot.
If you turn up your nose at reduced-fat anything, you shouldn’t blot.
If you are just fine with a bacon cheeseburger, you shouldn’t blot.
If the idea of eating around prosciutto fat makes you sad, you shouldn’t blot.
If the notion of scrambled egg whites makes you yearn for whole eggs, you shouldn’t blot.

I could go on. But I think you get my point.

And if you just can’t imagine eating a slice of pizza with all that glorious, glistening, and delicious fat that sometimes separates from the confines of its toppings, perhaps you should consider a nice bowl of cereal.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. EPT permalink
    July 24, 2017 1:45 pm


  2. July 25, 2017 11:17 am

    Pizza should NEVER be blotted. The grease drips on to the plate and at the end of your slice you use the otherwise useless crust to sop up the delicious goodness.

  3. July 26, 2017 11:39 am

    Totally agree with King of Bacon, blotting no, letting some excess drip (to avoid getting butteryfat on your shirt) yes.

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