According to the people who monitor Pizza sales, NAPO [National Association of Pizza Operators], the U.S. consumes over $38 billion worth of pizza each year. That’s about 100 acres worth of pizza each day and about 350 slices every second. Along with that we consume over 250 million pounds of pepperoni each year! We eat pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner and that kind of demand is easily met. There are an estimated 70,000 pizzerias in the U.S. and 9,000 of them in New York. As if eating pizza didn’t satisfy our pizza obsession; there are over 5,000 books about pizza listed on Amazon.com.
In Buffalo, New York – the first and always number one inventor and contender of wings (that’s Buffalo wings for everyone else not living in Buffalo) – we too are crazy about pizza. With the start of football season in full swing I wondered what makes good pizza. Is it the sauce? Do you like your sauce on the sweet side or classic marinara style, maybe just olive oil? Is it the crust? For me the crust is the tell-all for an enjoyable slice of pie. Or is it the style;
arguably the most discussed aspect of the pizza. Thin crust, thick crust, deep dish, Chicago Style, New York Style, California Style, are all easily defended. Is it the toppings? Classic cheese, pepperoni, veggie, Hawaiian style, white pizza, mushroom, sausage, mild peppers or even hot peppers for the truly adventurous are also easily defended. Then comes the question that sparks discussion when you’re having a beer and talking about pizza – who? Who makes the best pizza in your town?
Based on volume, the top three dogs in Buffalo (in alphabetical order) are: JUST PIZZA (Elmwood), LA NOVA PIZZERIA (West Ferry) and MISTER PIZZA (Elmwood). Each of them reported selling 500 or more pizzas on the last Super Bowl Sunday. Pizza lovers began placing orders 1-2 weeks in advance to ensure that they had their favorite pizza available for game time. Prep for these pizza moguls consists of all hands on-deck, nobody stays home; long shifts with little rest and 20-30 speed racks full of prepped dough; 250 pounds of pepperoni on stand by and 600 pounds of cheese ready to cover the top of your pie. Pre-folded pizza boxes are stacked to the ceiling the night before. Our love of pizza is so strong that these three pizza makers are only closed between zero to two days a year.
So, what’s your favorite style of pizza and who makes it? Who’s the pizza king in your town?
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Sources: Atlantic Wire, The Daily, Food Industry News, NAPO, Pizza Today, Packaged Facts, The Week.