Rib: roast
2007: let downs

New Year's Eve: food

"What did we eat for dinner last NYE?"

This question was posed to me by the missus moments ago.   I remember ending up at the neighbors' house up the street, eating tons of wonderful Cuban and Latino food (including, IIRC, fried pork belly), dancing (not me, necessarily), hanging out in the backyard in what I recall as 70 degree temperatures.  But what on earth did we eat before we headed down to the Cuban bash?

It took about 2 seconds before I realized that whatever it was, I most likely took a picture of it.  I don't know why I do what I do, but I do it.  Hell I've been taking crappy pictures of crappy food since 1998 or so.

A quick look at the 20061231 folder brings us to the answer...

Nye_pizza_2

Nye_pizza_1 Pizza.

Pizza was my guess even before looking in the folder:  I was on a huge pizza bender for the better part of 6 months, cooking pizza probably twice a week, trying to perfect dough and Neapolitan results (not in the above pizzas, however).

Thank goodness Ridgewood's A Mano opened in the meantime, because I was only getting so far with a standard oven and pizza stone.  A Mano is the real deal:  wood-burning oven, authentic ingredients and process -- the only real deal in New Jersey as far as I'm concerned.  All other NJ pizza is for children.  OK, I'll give the cracker-style places a pass (Star, Kinchley's, Nellies, etc.), because they're essentially uniquely North-Jersey, and pretty darned special.  I'll even throw in a Brooklyn's Pizza, because they're very close to the NY-Neapolitan style, available at only a handful of places.  But your standard run-of-the-mill pizza place?  I submit that it is horrible, regardless of if you realize it.   Trust me.  It's really not good. 

I'm an insufferable snob, I know.

Maybe by next NYE I'll have a wood-burning oven in the back yard, and I'll have the Cubans over to my place.  Fried pork belly, mozzarella di bufala,  dough.   Is Turvino's doing that?  I rest my case.

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