While the onions and squash roast, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a small skillet, until shimmering. Add the grated garlic and a large pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir to incorporate, then immediately pour the oil into a small heatproof bowl, the garlic will keep cooking from the residual heat of the oil.
C’EST NOUVEAU – Une moitié comptoir, moitié couloir, sympathique à singer le Naples des rues dans un bas Pigalle pressé d’avaler comme de cavaler.
Genre: une moitié comptoir, moitié couloir, sympathique à singer le Naples des rues en roulant-pliant des pizzas tout terrain aux lèvres de ce bas Pigalle pressé d’avaler comme de cavaler. Cause? Effet? La pâte souffre d’un four à la cuisson parfois trop précipitée.
Prix: entre 7,50 et 16,50 € la pizza. Pizza antica mortadella a portafoglio (fior di latte, salame rosa, pesto pistache, huile d’olive infusée à la bergamote): riche, riche. Pizza rotolo spaccatelle: tient au corps. Cheese misu: hybride (vraiment) entre le cheese cake et le tiramisu.
Every Friday morning, Bon Appétit senior staff writer Alex Beggs shares weekly highlights from the BA offices, from awesome new recipes to office drama to restaurant recs, with some weird (food!) stuff she saw on the internet thrown in. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll get this letter before everyone else.
Duchess of Pepperoni
I’m not going to get into hamberders at this point in the week. There are (actually) 2.7 million other places you can seethe and salivate over that one. The biggest food news for me this week was KATE MIDDLETON MAKING PIZZA with ADORABLE CHILDREN. Not nearly enough fanfare for this. Oh wait. (38,400,000 results.) When a kiddo asked if the Queen’s ever had pizza, the Duchess replied: “You know, that’s such a good question. I don’t know. Maybe next time I see her, shall I ask?” YES, PLEASE ASK. A million royal bloggers across the world pondered this historic question. No one had answers. In fact, I believe this is what you call Small Talk, but no matter, it’s the Duchess of Pepperoni, and it gets us one step closer to “Royal Secrets REVEALED!” Peter Morgan, get your research team on this! I need this addressed in the next season of The Crown more than I need anything else, other than ibuprofen and a Diet Coke, right now.
When you really love black pepper
Wee-ooo, wee-ooo! Do you know what that noise is? THE PEPPER POLICE. On Basically this week, Molly Baz wrote about how salt and black pepper work in a dish, daring to suggest pepper isn’t as big of a deal as salting. The headline alone provoked over 1,000 Facebooks comments. My favorite were about the pepper police, which I might add, are a volunteer police department, subsidized by the passion in their hearts for public pepper safety. Rhys turned down the volume on MSNBC, threw his or her hands up in the air, and wrote, “Really? We’ve come to this? Spice shaming?” Katie double checked her notes and declared it the “Dumbest argument ever.” Leah time traveled in from 1867 and dropped the word “Poppycock!” David, who can’t resist us, said: “this is why I cancelled a subscription years ago.” While multiple living readers shared the sentiment: “How bout dont tell me how to live,” “you should really mind your own business.” And then we all went on our ways, salting and peppering to our hearts discontent. I …kinda want this on a t-shirt:
Here we go
My Trader Joe’s reviews for 2019 have begun. NO, I haven’t been able to find the pancake bread yet. The jackfruit cakes are strange celery-salt patties, chewy, but interesting. The best new thing I tried this week: gluten-free toffee cookies. Heavy on the salt, in a good way. FOR CRUNCHY COOKIE LOVERS ONLY. No softies.
Alyse Whitney, a karaoke queen and the biggest pop culture fiend on staff, left us this week to go to Every Day with Rachael Ray. Alyse, thank you for introducing me to the Scrub Daddy and the best damn seaweed snacks on the market. But Alyse, curse you for making me go to one of my biggest social anxiety-fueled nightmares: karaoke. Also, Alyse had to produce and CODE this newsletter, which is a technical, tricky job on an outdated program. Congrats, Alyse!
Cook this, why dontcha
We were so psyched to have nacho expert Rick Martinez back in the Test Kitchen to develop this Super Bowl nacho recipe. The chile-chicken topping (made with rotisserie chicken, no sweat!), is so good I plan on making it on its own for hashtag meal prep. After the recipe was cross-tested for quality control (seriously), the tray sat on a stove getting cold and soggy. But I watched as bite by bite, hour by hour, people ate every last cold nacho. It’s THAT good.
Unnecessary food meme of the week
Unnecessary food feud of the week
In honor of our 200th podcast episode, Rice 3.0 (if you haven’t heard rice episodes 1 and 2, I highly recommend it; you’ll laugh out loud in your car), we’re debating: RICE. PUDDING. The comfort food that we should all be making the next snow day. Chris Morocco agrees with me: “Who doesn’t like rice pudding? Kozy Shack, love it! A really extra chewy rice like Arborio—” then he made this guttural “oomph!” noise. “Coconut milk, cinnamon, vanilla, a little lemon peel—” another “Oooh!” But Julia Kramer is horrified at the thought. “Rice pudding is the most disgusting dessert of all time. First of all, it’s borderline savory, second, do you want to eat oatmeal for dessert?” Rice has a bounce that oats don’t have, JULIA. “It’s wet sand,” she concluded. “The texture is—” Meryl Rothstein then made a face that looked like she’d just sniffed a dirty diaper. “But it’s dessert, so I’ll still eat it.” “Kozy Shack? Put that in front of me and I’ll inhale it,” said Amiel Stanek. Adam Rapoport reported from his Mystery Location Out of Office to comment: “Yuck.” I guess I won’t be pitching any 15-page rice pudding features anytime soon.
The only thing better than a good recipe? When something’s so easy to make that you don’t even need one. Welcome to It’s That Simple, a column where our staffers talk you through the process of making the dishes and drinks that they can make with their eyes closed. This week, Alex Delany’s perfect pizza dough flatbread recipe.
Here’s a thing you might enjoy: It’s a party snack that’s also a meal that’s also a distraction from the countless stresses of your life, whatever and wherever they may be. It doesn’t take much effort. Or time. The ingredient list is simple and affordable. And at the end of the day, it can be whatever you want it to be. What’s the name of this mighty crowd pleaser of which I speak? It’s called pizza dough flatbread, and honestly, I’m so stoked you two are getting the chance to meet.
You’ve had flatbread before, right? Maybe you bought it at the grocery store, in an individually wrapped package. Maybe you heated it up. And maybe it wasn’t all that great, because it wasn’t all that fresh. Or maybe you tried to make flatbread from scratch. And it took forever to make your dough. And then after all that work you overcooked it. And you basically wasted a few hours of your life. Both of those scenarios sound terrible! Luckily, this flatbread is neither of those things. You’re baking it up hot and fresh, but building it from pizza dough that’s already made. How cool is that?
When it comes to buying pizza dough, you can pick up whatever your grocery store has to offer (fresh is always better than frozen), or you can hit your local pizzeria and ask them to sell you some dough. This is my preferred method and only costs about three or four bucks a pop. Regardless, you want a pizza dough that is about one pound.
When you get home, let the pizza dough come fully to room temperature in a container or tray, covered with plastic wrap. Then turn around and preheat your oven to it’s maximum heat, without going into broiler territory. You’re looking for something in the 450° to 500° range, whatever your oven cranks to.
Is your dough at room temperature? It is? Great. It’s time to shape it into a flatbread. Let gravity do most of the work here. Hold the dough up and let it droop, rotating it around with your hands it so it spreads evenly. We want a vaguely rectangular shape, but it’s actually going to be cooler if it looks a little irregular. Are you a rectangle? Or a shape that can’t be defined, because you’re a special, beautiful individual? That’s right. You’re special. And so is your flatbread.
Drizzle a little olive oil on a rimmed sheet pan, and place the semi-rectangular dough on the pan Continue to spread it, making sure both sides of the dough come in contact with the olive oil. That oil is going to make the edges of your flatbread well-browned and crispy, not to mention flavorful. When it’s spread across the pan, use your fingers to create dimples in the dough.
Now we get some seasoning involved. The idea here is to create a flavorful seasoning blend with items in your pantry—anything goes. For me, I like to sprinkle a heavy layer of sesame seeds across the dough, followed by chile flakes (I like urfa biber, but Aleppo or plain ol’ crushed red chile flakes will work), flaky sea salt, garlic powder, and dried oregano (or thyme). As a final touch, I’ll finely dice a small yellow onion and scatter it over the seasoned dough. Not into that combo? Do you!
Into the oven we go! Bake your flatbread for 10-15 minutes, until the top is deeply colored. Check the bottom of the dough after 10 minutes to make sure it isn’t getting too dark. When it’s ready, remove your flatbread from the oven and let it cool.
Before you serve it, drizzle a bit of nice olive oil across the flat bread for one last hit of fat. From there, the options are limitless. You could serve the flatbread with hummus, labneh, or onion dip. You could serve it as the base of a simple salad or a tray of pickles. Have some smoked fish, onions, and creme fraiche? You’ve got yourself a bagel alternative! And if you really want to go big, serve it with some shred-y braised meats or grilled skewers.
You see what I mean? This is literally whatever you need it to be. Whatever problems are plaguing you, pizza dough flatbread is the answer. And it really was my pleasure to make the introduction. This looks like the start of a beautiful friendship.
Edmontonian Michael Cormier was on the phone with a pizza joint in Anchorage, Alaska, last Thursday, valiantly trying to fend off a recommendation to order a Reindeer Pizza.
The air traffic controller was placing an order for pies to be sent to colleagues working at Anchorage’s Ted Stevens international airport, a cheesy show of support for the American air traffic controllers are contending with a government partial shutdown.
But that act of comfort food solidarity has since snowballed across the country, with operators across the country delivering slices across the border as a show of support for their American colleagues.
« I knew there was a shutdown and I heard they weren’t getting paid, » Cormier said in an interview Monday with CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM. « I didn’t believe it.
« And I thought well, it would be nice if I could just do something to show them that not everybody has forgotten that they’re out there working when other people aren’t, so I arranged them some pizza. »
It took a while for Cormier, an air traffic controller with Nav Canada in Edmonton, to find a place that would accept a Canadian credit card and get the idea cleared with airport security, but soon his colleagues were chowing down on some fresh pies.
« I’m sort of a pepperoni guy but he picked Hawaiian, meat lovers and some sort of barbecue chicken, » Cormier said CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.
« We actually had to talk them out of ordering a reindeer pizza. It sounded a little bit too exotic to me. »
With few other U.S. government services running due to the shutdown, some 10,000 American air traffic controllers have been working without pay since late December.
Their union filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington on Friday, asking for an order compelling the government to pay them what they’re owed.
In addition to Anchorage, Cormier collected enough to buy pies for controllers in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Then, as they say in airport lingo, it took off from there.
The next thing we knew, our members were buying pizzas left, right and centre.-Peter Duffey
Peter Duffey, the head of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association, said other facilities across Canada decided to join in.
« The next thing we knew, our members were buying pizzas left, right and centre for the colleagues in the U.S, » Duffey said Sunday in a phone interview.
« As it stands right now, I believe we’re up to 36 facilities that have received pizza from Canada, and that number is growing by the hour. »
Duffey estimated that as of Sunday afternoon, some 300 pizzas had been received by American controllers, many of whom took to social media to express their gratitude.
Duffey said many union members had been looking for a way to show solidarity with their American colleagues, who have been working without pay due to the partial shutdown.
« Air traffic control is a very stressful job, » he said.
« They say you have to be 100 per cent right, 100 per cent of the time. People just don’t need to be reporting to work with the added stress of worrying about how to pay their mortgages and grocery bills on top of it. »
Cormier said there’s a bond between Canadian and American air traffic controllers since the two work closely together to manage cross-border airspace.
Air traffic controllers provide essential services and are unable to suspend work or take any other job action during the government shutdown, he said. He wanted them to be recognized for working hard without a paycheque.
« Not a lot of people were aware they were working and it’s not the kind of job where they could slack off, » Cormier said.
« They were doing the job the same as they did every day of the year, 24 hours a day and somebody should actually notice what they were doing.
« That was the whole idea. If you worked with someone and you knew they weren’t getting paid, wouldn’t you buy them lunch? »
When PIZZA opened on the corner of Girard and Shackamaxon in Philadelphia’s Fishtown back in April 2018, people complained. Maybe it was because another pizza joint was taking over the hallowed ground where Joe Beddia had been slinging 40 pizzas a night for five years, before closing last April to relocate and expand. Maybe it was because residents didn’t want another pizza shop in Fishtown. But from what I heard, it was because it was expensive.
Seven blocks east on Girard, Tommy’s Pizza sells a whole cheese pie for $7.00. A block further, Fishtown Pizza does too. So why would you ever pay $4.00 for a single slice at PIZZA (yes, the shop’s name is just PIZZA) when you could get a whole pie for three dollars more? If you ask me, it’s because cheap pizza is actually a terrible investment. If you want a good slice, you have to pay for it.
It’s long been assumed that all pizza is created equal: made with the same ingredients, using the same techniques, requiring the same overhead investment. That assumption should be buried. We’re past that. We’re in the midst of a sea change, as our everyday American slice evolves, improves, and yes, gets pricier as a result. If you need proof, go ahead and take note of the pizzerias leading the charge toward a more wholesome, delicious future.
There’s Scarr’s Pizza in Manhattan, which mills all their grains in-house to create fresh flour for the dough each day. At Brooklyn’s L’industrie, they let their dough ferment for three days, as opposed to overnight like most run-of-the-mill slice shops. At PIZZA, the produce is organic, and bought from Riverwards Produce, a grocer that works with local organic farms. Look to the crew at Pizza Jerk in Portland, OR. Or the team at Belleville in Portland, ME. Or the folks at Dino’s Tomato Pie in Seattle or Home Slice in Austin, TX. They’re all rising above the bar. Sure, it means they sell their slices for around $4.00—roughly twice (or three times) as much as their neighboring joints handing over a wedge. But they’re all worth it.
Pizza, like most foods, can only be as good as the ingredients from which it’s made. Longer fermentation means superior crust texture. Freshly milled flour means healthier, more flavorful dough. Organic produce from small farms means a healthier planet, happier farmers, and profits reaped by the people who actually put the effort in. All of these commitments require extra time, labor, and money from pizza makers, and they all make the stuff taste better. They also make a slice more expensive. But that’s not to be exclusive, alienating, or elitist.
“A person should pay what they’re comfortable paying for anything,” says Josh Phillips, PIZZA’s general manager. “If they’re willing to spend the extra clams then they’re surely in for a treat, but it’s up to that person to decide if it’s worth it.”
At many of the average slice shops in existence today, you’re shelling out for two things. The first is extremely mediocre ingredients. White flour treated with potassium bromate, an additive that strengthens weak dough. Pepperoni loaded with non-meat fillers. And cheese that tastes nothing like milk. These ingredients are not valuable for anyone except the pizzeria, since they are cheap and increase profit per slice.
The other is reputation. Slice shops, especially in the Northeast, are usually judged by their history, the neighborhoods in which they reside, and the people with their names on the buildings. Slice shops in Manhattan like Joe’s Pizza or Ray’s Pizza are applauded for their pasts and the reputations they built as the best slice shops of their time. But the thing that most customers fail to realize is that while the their technique might be proven, they’re still using the same ingredients as any other run-of-the-mill slice joint.
History and reputation alone don’t taste like anything. If you’re paying for a slice because it’s billed as “traditional” or “authentic” or “the same since 1957,” you’re making a bad investment. If you’re paying $4.00 for exceptional ingredients, masterful technique, and the kind of product that has the potential to elevate the pizza industry across the board, you’re getting considerably more bang for your buck. It doesn’t matter if you’re judging from a taste perspective, a quality perspective, or a perspective that takes the future of the industry into account. Spending the $4.00 is a win-win-win. And if you’re already willing to spend five bucks on a cappuccino or a poorly made umbrella, what’s holding you back?
It all comes down to what your slice is actually worth. After eating a slice at a place like PIZZA, the next late-night dollar slice or 2-for-$5 pepperoni special comes with some context. People will hopefully start thinking about why cheap food is cheap, and what that low-cost mentality means for the industry. Faced with the choice, ask yourself: What exactly am I paying for? What are these dollars, whether they be two or four, going toward?
Shops like PIZZA are going to make American pizza better across the board. Being complacent in the pizza game isn’t going to be an option for the pizzerias using flavorless flour and industrial toppings. If business owners want to compete with this new wave of pizza visionaries, they’re going to have to step up. Eventually, all pizza-shaped ships will rise with this tide, but not before many of them sink.
My good friend Benjamin Franklin once said, “When you are finished changing, you’re finished.” We need to embrace and support the people who are making this change happen. We need to make sure that these new slice shops develop the reputation of being the best, not because of their history, but because their pizza actually is the best. For them. For us. For the environment. For everyone. And we do that by paying for it. Take my $8.00. I’m getting two.
Perparim Kapllani opens his Toronto pizza shop every morning at 11 a.m. and closes it every night 12 hours later. He’s been doing it seven days a week for the past decade, not counting brief vacations.
There’s nothing unusual about immigrants working hard. But Kapllani, who arrived from Albania in 2000, juggles a second job at the same time in a rather striking way.
Between serving customers and making pizzas, Kapllani squeezes into a backroom office no bigger than a broom closet. He sits at a tiny desk and shifts his focus “like a rabbit” between two screens: on one he can see when the next customer walks in; on the other, connected to his desktop, he writes the next sentence of his novel.
“There are little moments when I can write something,” Kapllani says.
Since opening his west-end shop in 2008, Kapllani has stolen enough little moments to write a play, a collection of short stories, and two novels. His most recent novel, The Thin Line, was published in November by Mawenzi House.
Were it not for the pizza shop, “I might publish a novel every year,” Kapllani quips.
He comes from the Balkans, a peninsula in southeastern Europe that has been carved up by empires and regional powers for centuries. The 1998-99 conflict between Serbia, a largely Orthodox Christian state, and Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian Muslims is the backdrop to Kapllani’s latest work.
It’s based on a true story about a 10-year-old boy in Kosovo, the sole survivor of a massacre by Serb forces in April 1999. The boy watched as 20 ethnic Albanian women and children were shot to death in a house, including his mother and three sisters.
The boy was wounded, but survived by playing dead. He eventually came to Canada with his father as a refugee.
His horrific story is well documented — he testified years later at a United Nations tribunal on war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. But Kapllani asked that the survivor’s name not be published because his novel fictionalizes his experiences.
“It’s a story of very slow healing,” Kapllani, 52, says of his novel’s main character.
“The ghosts of the loved ones, of the dead, they follow you — they chase you. What are you going to do?”
Kapllani’s book was edited by M.G. Vassanji, a novelist who twice won the Giller Prize. Vassanji says it reflects the traumatic experiences refugees bring to Canada, and the Canadian values that help most overcome feelings of revenge.
“You cannot forget the fact that you lost your mother and three sisters right in front of you, but you can put the past to rest and you can start again,” Vassanji says in an interview.
“It says something about the quality of our society that you can do that,” he adds, “that you’re allowed to be who you are and are given the space to grow and to find yourself.”
Kapllani wrote about the boy when he worked as a journalist with Albania’s biggest newspaper, Shekulli, in the capital Tirana. The boy was one of an estimated 900,000 Kosovar Albanians expelled by Serb forces, and Kapllani met him while he recovered in a military hospital. He identified with the boy’s pain.
Kapllani grew up in Elbasan, a city in the middle of what at the time was communist Albania. When he was 10, his father was found dead in the street with a fractured skull, after years of struggling with mental health issues. The circumstances of his death were never determined.
The municipality found Kapllani’s family a room in a building known as “the fish palace,” because of the fish shop on the ground floor.
“There were 28 families living there and five washrooms outside the building,” he recalls. “It was a nightmare.”
With the help of a locally connected man, Kapllani entered a military school at the age of 14 and graduated as an artillery officer. He became a journalist with the department of defence and, when the communist system collapsed in the early 1990s, got a job at Shekulli.
He covered crime, and once went into hiding after exposing local mobsters laundering money in construction projects. He also witnessed the terrifying brutality of the Kosovo war.
“To myself I said, ‘How can this happen in the middle of Europe, just because they have a different religion or nationality?’” Kapllani says.
He came to Canada as a landed immigrant with his wife and son. His wife is a chemical engineer who works for a company that produces medication; his son graduated last year from the University of Toronto with a degree in industrial engineering.
After working in pizza shops for years, and getting entrepreneurial tips from the non-profit Toronto Business Development Centre, Kapllani opened his own place on Lansdowne Ave. near Dundas St. W.
A small man with an easy smile, he says he learned quickly that in Canada, ancient ethnic grievances find no foothold.
“My son, his best friends are Serbians; two Serbian brothers. They came to my house one day — a little boy with a (T-shirt) that said, ‘Proud to be Serbian.’ I said, ‘What! Who is this guy?’” Kapllani says, laughing.
“Canada is a miniworld,” he adds. “When everybody comes from somewhere else, diversity becomes the culture, not ethnic or religious nationalism.”
He’ll continue to explore those themes in literature, right after he wipes the flour from his hands and serves up his “deluxe” pizza, with pepperoni, mushrooms and green peppers.
Sandro Contenta is a reporter and feature writer based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @scontenta
La pizzeria du groupe Big Mamma a passé le tarif de son produit d’appel de 5 à 9€ depuis début novembre. Une inflation impressionnante que les jeunes entrepreneurs justifient pour maintenir la qualité des produits.
«Le prix de la margherita chez Pizzeria Popolare vient de passer de 5 à 9 balles». L’information relayée, par le site du Fooding ce mardi 20 novembre, va faire de nombreux déçus. Et pour cause, la pizzeria du groupe Big Mamma s’était justement lancée, en mars 2017, autour de la margherita facturée comme à Naples, à 5€ seulement.
Une proposition alors unique dans la capitale – du moins avec une telle qualité dans la confection de la pâte napolitaine et dans la garniture (mozza fior di latte, tomates San Marzano et basilic) -, que Big Mamma s’était largement vanté de pouvoir offrir, notamment grâce à des économies d’échelle sur l’importation en direct des producteurs de la Botte. Un an et demi après, qu’est-ce qui justifie ces 80% d’augmentation, quand l’inflation oscille entre 1 et 2%?
«Ne pas baisser l’exigence sur les produits»
Par la voie de leur attachée de presse que nous avons contactée, cette flambée du prix – installée en toute discrétion depuis début novembre – se justifie par le maintien de la qualité de la cuisine servie. Comprendre que la margherita à 5€ – et sa petite soeur la marinara à 4€, exclue elle-aussi de la carte – n’était pas assez rentable. Dans les autres restaurants du groupe – excepté La Felicità, qui la facture 8€ – la même margherita coûte 12€ mais ne représente que 15% des commandes, contre 50% chez Popolare. «Comme ils n’ont jamais voulu baisser l’exigence qu’ils ont sur les produits, ils ont préféré ajuster le prix» explique-t-elle.
Le duo Victor Lugger et Tigrane Seydoux, qui compte sept restaurants ultra-lookés à Paris – dont l’immense Felicità à Station F inaugurée cet eté -, s’est exportée à la rentrée à Lille avec La Bellezza, et travaille sur une ouverture à Londres. L’ensemble des trattorias Big Mamma, qui refuse les réservations pour maximiser son chiffre d’affaires, continue de faire le plein avec des queues interminables chaque jour pour décrocher une table. A moins que le public ne finisse par s’agacer de cette recherche de la rentabilité à tout prix?
Earlier this year, teachers across the state of West Virginia left their classrooms and went to the State Capitol Building to demand better wages and healthcare for all public employees. After nine days standing and holding signs on highways in bitter February weather, the teachers won a five-percent pay increase from the state legislators. Jessica Salfia, a public school teacher at Spring Mills High School in Berkley County, West Virginia, says that she and the teachers couldn’t have kept going without the steady arrival of gift packages, pizzas, and what became known lovingly as “strike tacos” from supporters locally and across the country.
Since the West Virginia teachers returned to their classrooms, similar statewide strikes have happened in Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, and North Carolina. Salfia has been a public educator for 15 years and is one of the editors of 55 Strong: Inside the West Virginia Teachers Strike, an oral history of the strike published by Belt Publishing. Here Salfia talks about how the West Virginia teachers’ strike was fed. – Brooke Shuman
That first night of the strike, my friend and I drove to Charleston, West Virginia and spent the first two days at the Capitol, lobbying. That was exciting. I learned a lot about what legislators know and don’t know about the struggle of the public educator. I learned a lot about how legislation works, which the whole public needs to take a course in because I think we’d get a lot more done if we all were as engaged as the West Virginia Public Employees were then. I’ve never been more inspired by my fellow West Virginians, by my fellow teachers. I don’t know if I’ll ever see anything like it again.
A lot of legislators, when it looked like we were for-sure going to be walking out, began using lunch and food as a weapon to vilify educators. They said, ”If teachers leave their classrooms, kids aren’t going to eat.” Our local delegate published an op-ed in the Berkeley County paper leading up to the strike that said, « Teachers are threatening to strike against our students, » which was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard. People don’t realize that, in schools every day, teachers are feeding kids that need fed. They’re putting clothes on the backs of kids who need clothes. They’re going on home visits. They’re buying school supplies for kids who don’t have it. So if we’re not gonna take care of our teachers, then those kids are not gonna get taken care of.
Local school boards issued ads in the paper and sent out emails saying they would accept food donations. Then teachers converged on those locations to pack a grab-and-go-style lunch. They had such an overwhelming response to the first couple calls for donated food. It was all day on the picket line and then an evening of lunch packing somewhere. The packing of the lunches was first an act of love but also an act of strategy because it sent a clear message to both the public and the legislators that this was not about leaving our students behind.
Those first days, there was a line that wrapped out across the Capitol grounds and you had security walking down the line saying, « You’re at two hours. You’re at three hours, » to get in. So once you got in you didn’t want to get back out. You didn’t want to leave because maintaining presence in the Capitol was so important to keeping pressure on legislators, and so those pizzas, that food that got delivered to the Capitol, was critical to keeping teachers present and keeping pressure on the legislation. I would say there were hundreds of pizzas delivered from all over the country to the picket line. I know pizzas got delivered from California, from Wisconsin, from neighboring states. I think I cried every day over food. I have never seen support in the form of food in such a way.
We were right outside this little Mexican restaurant called Cinco de Mayo; it’s in the strip mall, and someone stopped by, a parent, and went in and purchased like $200 worth of tacos. They’re so good. And so here comes the guy who owns Cinco de Mayo out with these giant pans and you could just hear this hush come over the crowd, like, « Are those strike tacos? » Another day these two teachers from Michigan took the time to ship a six-pack of beer with a sweet little note inside of it that just said, « Hey, you guys are crushing it. Stay strong, keep going.”
And just the knowledge that so many teachers, not just in West Virginia but all over the country, were watching our fight for respect and for healthcare—it was just so important to see that recognition come in the form of food. And I mean, it was cold. It rained really hard. It spit snow. The weather was not good. And that’s something that made that food that people brought over so special, because when you’re cold and tired and someone shows up with hot coffee and hot soup … that is love in its most pure form, in my opinion.
The evolution of pizza, much like the progression of ordering delivery, has made great strides in the last decade. Today there is a pizza for every mood, attitude, and food preference. Thanks to the Healthyish-approved restaurants on Caviar, you can get wholesome, healthful pizzas (yes, pizza!) delivered right to your door.
Whether you’re ordering a veggie-covered ‘za from the Caviar app on your cab ride home or clicking on a classic pepperoni with gluten-free crust from the comforts of your couch, it’s never been easier, tastier, or more healthful to order pizza. In D.C., NYC, L.A., and Chicago, these are some of our top delivery picks for every kind of pie lover, from traditionalists to trendsetters.
Chicago Goes Beyond Deep Dish
When you think of Chicago pizza, you probably think of deep dish pies. Perhaps you recall a particular skit in which some sports fans, dressed in Chicago Bears regalia, huddle round a table overflowing with fast-food favorites while interjecting “Da Bears.” Thanks to the passage of time and the invention of Caviar, it doesn’t have to be this way anymore!
At Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen, purists can opt in to a margherita, traditionalists may prefer plain pepperoni, and if you want a Healthyish spin on on your ‘za, there are a wealth of options. Try the Kale and Goat Cheese Pizza, the Shrimp and Arugula Pizza, or get all your good fats in one sitting with the Avocado Pizza, which is covered (quite literally) in sliced avocado with pickled jalapeno, cotija cheese, and “frenched” onion.
Variety in The District
While the District of Columbia may not be making headlines for its pizza (they’ve got a few other things going on), the city is a notorious melting pot of cultures and cuisines. Take, for example, Timber Pizza Co. While it was started by two guys who loved pizza and basketball, it now boasts Daniela Moreira as its executive chef. Daniela, an Argentinian native, brought her impressive resume (which includes Eleven Madison Park) and native global flare to the kitchen.
In addition to tasty empanadas, the pizzas get flavorful upgrades, too. Bring the heat with The Bentley, which features cured chorizo, sopressata, and Peruvian sweet peppers with spicy honey and hot sauce, or try a unique combo with The Penelope, which has pesto, fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, bacon, and paprika.
NYC Pie with an Artisanal Twist
Like Chicago, New York City has a reputation to uphold when it comes to pizza––especially delivery. It’s a quintessential part of living in The Big Apple, like getting on the wrong train and going in the opposite direction by accident or getting caught in an rainstorm without an umbrella. It just comes with the territory. Thankfully, New York City also has a reputation for offering its inhabitants almost anything they want, at any time, anywhere. So that homemade pie you’ve been craving with guanciale and pecorino? Yep, you can get that at home, too.
Over in Brooklyn, Ops Pizza is shutting down woodfired-pizza haters one pie at a time with their unbelievably fresh, artisanal sourdough pizzas. You could embrace your inner Italian (we’ve all got one) and order the Rojo Pizza, covered in a sheet of mortadella, with peppers and cresenza. Non-meat eaters might consider the Iron Age with mushrooms, mozzarella, Parmesan, and herbs. Or you could err toward a more traditional NYC style with the Square Pie, which has tomatoes, house mozzarella, olives, oregano and basil.
Surprise! L.A. Delivers Healthy Pizza
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that the wellness gatekeepers of Los Angeles allowed pizza into the city at all. But what makes L.A. so great (among sunshine and matcha lattes) is the culinary revolution that has swept the entire city. Today’s L.A. marries its long-standing zeal for wellness-friendly ingredients with everyone’s favorite food, pizza.
Downtown at Zinc Cafe (delivering only on Caviar) they’re mixing things up with options like a breakfast pizza, piled high with mushrooms, harissa, eggs, leeks, and shallots, or the shaved asparagus and quail egg pizza made with ingredients that might as well be Kryptonite, like bechamel, burrata, garlic confit, and lemon rind. For the less adventurous pizza eater, there are creative standards, too: A pesto pizza made with homemade pesto, roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts, or a funghi pizza for mushroom lovers.
Over at fresh-is-best locale Ostrich Farm in Echo Park, husband and wife duo Jaime Turrey and Brooke Fruchtman may not be doling out pies, but there you’ll find pizza’s distant cousin, the flatbread. There’s oil, herbs, and sea salt, but we recommend keeping it as close to actual pizza as possible with cherry tomato confit, basil, and burrata. (That’s basically a margherita pizza.)
If you really want to out-L.A. yourself, however, there’s Jewel LA in Silverlake, where chef Jasmine Shimoda is taking a decidedly modern approach to fresh pizza with crusts made from activated charcoal (the health-related kind, not the grilling kind). The Market Pie has squash blossoms, basil pesto, and almond ricotta, whereas the Black Amber combines kabocha squash, kale, and caramelized onions with chili, almond ricotta, salsa verde, and mint.
You want the best, Healthyish-approved pizza? Caviar’s got it.