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National and Global, United States

Friday, January 29, 2010

"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore”

Historically, I attempt to look at myself as a person of many talents. Some would say 'non talents'. Nevertheless, there has been one challenge that I seem never to be able to overcome. That is 'opening a pizza'.

Originally, I had a problem understanding what that term actually meant. So, I decided to find out and conquer the task. Quite simply, 'opening a pizza' means taking the raw pizza dough and getting it to fit into the pizza pan. Sounds easy.

When I first started I would simply roll the dough out with a rolling pin, and presto...I had a pizza. No drama. Lack of flair! No theatrics. Just a plain 'brown wrapper' pizza.

But you know, I went to New York and saw people throwing the dough in the air as they made circular hand motions. They'd toss that dough five feet in the air, and it would magically just roll and roll and roll until they had a perfectly round pizza. It was amazing.

I said to myself,'now that's the way to open a pizza!' Some expertise with lots of drama was needed. Family members and Customers would applaud! They would consider me an expert. They would recognize my talent. I would be famous. I'd have my own tv show. Forget this rolling pin tactic. There's no drama in that. No expertise required.

I was committed to the dramatic effect of throwing the pizza dough five feet in the air, and coming up with a perfectly round 16" pizza when I was done. Everytime. All the time!

As you might imagine this type of 'opening the pizza' takes skill...and time, and a few lost in space pizzas. The first few times I tried it (when no one was around), the dough hit the ceiling and it did not return. It looked somewhat lonesome hanging from the ceiling, bits and pieces dripping on my head. Then, the next few times I would throw it in the air, and catch it right in the middle of the dough. That didn't work very well either. My hand went right through the dough. I was making a pizza, not donuts!

Finally, I got the hang of it so to speak. I would now spin the dough from the circumference (the outside) and when I tossed it, I did not catch it in the middle. I moved off center by a few degrees. Now I also recognized that I need to use TWO hands in the toss, not one. That makes a big difference.

Today, I can spin the dough and open the pizza with the best of them. I can entertain. I can add drama. I have FLAIR! No more rolling pin (how gauche). I can even sing as I toss. I can toss with one hand or both. I'm the "king of pizza" in our house. There is no competition, no proposals, no conference calls, no politics. Just me and the pizza dough.

And the only thing that gets 'fired' is the brick oven. It's a breath of fresh air, when I take that dough and spin it to 'high heaven'.

“Yogi Berra ordered a pizza. The waitress asked How many pieces do you want your pie cut? Yogi responded, Four. I don't think I could eat eight.”

And my friends, That is 'amore'!


  1. I can attest...the best pizza maker this side of the Mississppi. :-)

  2. BTW- great piece- but it's GAUCHE- french word don't you know- not gosh- sacrebleu!
    love these pieces- have you seen Jersey Shore??-
    OMG !- you should rant on that a bit
    George D


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