Three million pizzas are sold in the United States every year, and each American devours approximately 46 slices of pizza annually. With that kind of popularity, it’s no surprise that many people have strong feelings about what constitutes the “correct” way to eat it! Some folks even believe the way you consume your pizza gives some insight into your personality.
To fold, or not to fold
The first debate is over how to consume your single slice of pizza. Most people eat their pizza slices from the narrow end to the wide end, but the burning question that’s provoked many a late-night discussion is this: do you take that delicious slice of pizza and fold it lengthwise to eat it, or not?
There are strong opinions on both sides of the issue. Folding your slice makes it a lot easier to eat if you’re not sitting down—otherwise, grabbing a slice and walking with it can be a messy endeavor. And for those of us for whom patience is a virtue rarely exercised, folding the slice allows you to eat it immediately—you won’t be burning the roof of your mouth with hot bubbly cheese if you’re protected by a double helping of crust.
On the other hand… are you really in that much of a hurry? Pizza deserves respect, and you’re giving it short shrift by barreling through it instead of taking the time to let the cheese cool slightly and giving every bite the time it needs. And if you have toppings, folding the pizza jumbles them together so you don’t appreciate each separate delicious flavor.
The real question, though, is whether you can fold your pizza, and that depends on the style of pizza.
Should your pizza even be cut into slices at all?
This is where style really comes into it, and our perspective here at Pizzeria Locale might help you make your own decision about the question of slicing.
Back in 2011, when we opened the first Pizzeria Locale in Boulder, we didn’t cut the pizza… and we still don’t cut it there today. But when we opened the first Pizzeria Locale Denver location in 2013, we did cut the pizzas—and we still cut our pizza at all Denver locations today. So why the change? What’s the difference between one location and the others?
Well, we believe that whether pizza is served cut or not depends, not necessarily on your own preferences, but rather on the style of pizza you are ordering.
The style of pizza we make at our Boulder location is a traditional Neapolitan pizza: we bake our pizzas at a high heat for 90 seconds, and the traditional Neapolitan toppings—fresh mozzarella and uncooked tomatoes—work together to create a wetter style of pizza. We recommend eating this pizza with a fork and knife so you can have a little bit of each ingredient with each bite, making every bite perfect.
On the other hand, at Pizzeria Locale in Denver, we bake our pizzas longer—for three minutes or more. Our sauce there uses tomatoes with a little less juice, and the mozzarella is drier. What this means, of course, is that the whole pizza is drier… and therefore easier to pick up and eat. A drier pizza is stronger: it can hold the weight of the ingredients just fine, though you can still choose to eat it with utensils if you prefer.
Naturally, here at Pizzeria Locale we hear a lot of opinions about pizza; the conversations can verge on the philosophical. Most folks conclude that it’s a matter of taste. Well… yes; but it’s also a question of style, of the best way to enjoy a certain kind of pizza.
And—lest we forget—the original pizza, the street-food of Naples since the Middle Ages, was first eaten by people walking down the street. And yes, they folded it!