THE PIZZA BOOK: Everything There Is to Know About the World's Greatest Pie by Evelyne Slomon

THE PIZZA BOOK: Everything There Is to Know About the World's Greatest Pie

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Pizza-lovers of the world, here it is--the kind of Britannica Eleventh equivalent for which other treatments of the subject have made you yearn. Slomon, a New York cooking instructor, opens your eyes, indeed, to a whole Babel of pizzas--Chicago-style deep-dish pizza being the despair of anyone who learned the True Way in Boston, and the nouvelle CaLifornian school being an affront to people who dig those all-stops-pulled-out indigestion specials at Goldberg's. There is also a lot of solid Mediterranean tradition that deserves exploring, and any number of lusty or refined improvisatory possibilites just crying out for gifted cooks to think of them. Slomon wades into all these aspects with indefatigable energy and generally very good taste. Her guide to ingredients, equipment, baking methods, and basic doughs is not just useful but practically exhaustive. The recipes not only cover a hugh range from beloved cliches to outrageous inventions (""Lone Star Chili Pizza,"" for example), they communicate an understanding of the primitive hearth bread as an ongoing culinary form. Though there's something here for everybody (calzone-lover, vegetable freak, goat-cheese fan, snob, plebeian), the book's most irresistible section is Slomon's treatment of variations on the simple flat bread called focaccia or fougasse. Abundant homage is paid to the elegant pizzas of Chez Panisse in CaLifornia, but the sheer scope of the other material included here as well makes this unquestionably more worthwhile than the comparatively slight treatment in the recent Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza and Calzone. All in all, nothing worth mentioning in the same breath as this is likely to come along for quite a while.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Times Books