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What Makes Good Pizza Good? by Nuala G.

Last Saturday, my mom and I were eating our favorite pizza, and we started talking about what makes good pizza good. We did not agree. Pizza seems to be one of those foods where everyone has a strong opinion, and they think their opinion is correct. And where you come from seems to matter as well. My mom is from the NY area and has a firm idea about what pizza should be like. It made me wonder what other people like, so I decided to ask them.

I interviewed five of my friends, and most of them indeed had strong opinions. Half of the people thought that if the pizza has the right amount of each ingredient — cheese, sauce, and chosen toppings — that’s what makes it good. For others, it was a specific detail like whether the pepperoni was crispy enough or if it had the right kind of cheese. When describing why good pizza is good, Brooklyn stated, "the details count because the details are what makes up the pizza."


If there was one thing, everyone could agree on, it was the crust. People liked their outer crust crunchy, but fluffy in the middle. Describing an ideal crust, Sadie mentioned, “The crust has to be soft on the inside, but slightly crunchy on the outside.”


It was a bit of a free-for-all on the rest of the ingredients. Half of us wanted extra sauce, whereas the other half thought equal parts sauce and cheese sounded good. Thick, gooey cheese was a no-no.


In the battle of meat versus vegetables, carnivores won. Meat, of many kinds - pepperoni, meatball, bacon, sausage - were the preferred toppings. Just two of us agreed that they would rather have vegetables or just cheese. Describing her favorite toppings, Gabriela stated, “I like red onions, mushrooms, green peppers, and sometimes artichokes.” Maya told me that she rarely had toppings, which means the cheese has to be of good quality and the right amount, or else the pizza won’t taste as good.


I also asked about the weirdest kinds of pizza that people have encountered. The craziest one was from a YouTube video. It was a pizza with a blue crust and a sunny-side-up egg in the middle with peppers, olives, and hot dogs on it. Eww! Most people don’t eat sweet pizzas, and a few people mentioned Hawaiian (pineapple and ham) as weird and not very good. But, then again, it turns out pizza with Nutella, marshmallows, and frosting is pretty good.


I asked people where they are getting pizza during the pandemic, so I wanted to share their recommendations to encourage people to visit and support local restaurants. The list is in no particular order:

  • Frankly Pizza (Kensington)

  • Potomac Pizza (Rockville)

  • Anthony's Pizza (Bethesda)

  • 2Amys (Washington DC)

  • Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant (Rockville)

  • MOD Pizza (Rockville)

  • Pizzeria Paradiso (Washington DC)

  • Pieology Pizzeria Gaithersburg

  • Paisano’s Pizza (Rockville)

  • Slice of Rockville (Rockville)

In the comments below, let us know your favorite pizza place or anything pizza-related that you would like others to know!

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