Pizza Rant #1 of many to come

Pizza Rant #1

I’m all worked up about pizza right now because our beloved President Obama has chosen to fly his Deep Dish Chicago style pizza from …

I’ll chalk this one up to higher priorities (fixing our economy, iraq, afghanistan, flying in the Jonas Brothers for his daughters) and a limited experience with St. Louis and their history of ‘pizza’. Mister President, not all midwest pizza is the same.

Normally, when talking about pizza, people divide into two categories and start a ‘NY vs Chicago, Deep Dish vs Thin Crust’ war. Often, I argue that you’re comparing apples to oranges. Few can argue that pizza started in Italy and the original American concept of pizza was created (quite nicely) by east coast Italians in the US. Chicago Deep Dish is a different animal. It is only part-Italian and was a collaboration between an Italian American and a Texan who originally came to Chicago to run a Mexican restaurant .

Now we come to St. Louis. This city has embraced the “bar” or thin crust style pizza which is done quite well in many places in Chicago and other cities. I have no problem with thin crust pizza, and in fact am a fan of a few places in the Chicago area that make it well (Rosati’s, Barnaby’s, Jakes, Nick and Vito’s – or is it Vito and Nick’s – to name a few).

St. Louis, however, has chosen to top their version of thin crust pizza with an abomination, a processed cheese called PROVEL . This ‘cheese’ , created over 50 years ago by Hoffman Dairy (and Kraft) , ‘was developed to meet perceived demand for a pizza cheese with a “clean bite”: one that melts well but breaks off nicely when bitten.’
Sticks to your teeth like the worst movie theatre nacho cheese is what it does! Falls off the crust onto your lap is what it does!
Silly St. Louisans! Pizza cheese is supposed to be gooey and stringy!
QUESTION: How can you think you’re going to get anything close to a Chicago style deep dish pizza from a city that created Provel? ANSWER: YOU AREN’T. You cannot trust any culinary expertise from a city that justifies ‘Provel’ as an acceptable cheese for a pizza.

More pizza rants to come. I have more about deep dish pizza, and a tasty anomaly originating from Morton Grove called Pequod’s. mmmmm…. Pequod’s

Click to read PIZZA RANT#2

8 thoughts on “Pizza Rant #1 of many to come”

  1. All my Italian relatives were from Riverton,IL. When young I was never in a house that didn’t have noodles drying on the bed and dried red peppers hanging somewhere in the kitchen. They grew tomatoes from their seed, made Dago red wine, dried onions, garlic, and most had chickens in the backyard. But I never ever saw YELLOW CHEESE! anywhere! including the Italian-American store my cousins owned. St. Louis pizza is the worst pizza. When there I went to Pizza Hut.

  2. I have lived in St. Louis for 7 years. Provel is an abomination. Pi is good, but nothing beats Giordano’s. Please open one here.

  3. Just to set the record straight…

    I’ve lived in St. Louis for twenty years. When I moved here I quickly discovered there is no good pizza around. What they refer to as “St. Louis style, ” Provel and all, is just Italian nachos as far as I’m concerned. Sevral deep dish places serve what I consider to be soupy flavorless crap.

    Then a place opened called Pi. They try to emulate Chicago pan style and that’s what Obama got. I tried it and it tastes burnt IMHO.

    I make my own.

  4. I never understand these kinds of debates. For me the best pizza tends to be the one I am eating. Still I must say, with all due respect (you know your stuff) but not all pizza cheese is supposed to be gooey and stringy. The buffalo mozzarella on Pizza Margherita in Naples (where pizza was probably invented) isn’t gooey or stringy. The heavenly texture is something like an ethereal cross between ricotta and cream cheese. Maybe Kraft should have created an American buffalo mozzarella to avoid stringiness. :))

  5. This is ludicrous. Pi pizza does not use provel cheese. Sounds like your jealous of the supremacy of St. Louis’s culinary expertise. By the way, provel on pizza is about as good as it gets!

    1. Looks like I struck a nerve. Don’t take it personally. I’m sure there’s some great culinary minds in St. Louis, but the guy who invented Provel isn’t one of them. It’s just one Chicagoan’s opinion (which happens to be the correct one). Thanks for visiting the site! 🙂

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