The Artisan Pizza business has truly always been a hands-on operation.
The tradition is not only going strong but gaining momentum across the United States .Originally it was a couple of guys in New York making pizza in giant coal and wood burning ovens. The sheer size and necessary expertise required to build one kind of kept in a very limited circle with Italian Americans. Then once WWll rolled around many an American G.I. was introduced to pizza as the troops fought across Italy to kick some Nazi !@#$.
Originally it was a couple of guys in New York making pizza in giant coal and wood burning ovens. The ovens were some of the original coal bread bakery ovens from the turn of the century and some are still in use today. The sheer size and necessary expertise required to build one kind oven kept in a very limited circle with Italian Americans. Then once WWll rolled around many American G.I’s. were introduced to pizza as the troops fought across Italy to kick some Nazi !@#$. Well, when these worldly troops returned with “A taste of Italy” they began to seek out pizza and it became a much more popular and desirable item.
This lead to many an entrepreneur trying to figure out he could make a buck by bringing it his hometown. Then you had a boom in oven manufacturing and the inevitable demand for distributors to import and provide the flour, cheese, and tomatoes to make this newly Americanized delicacy called pizza.
Who would have predicted at that time that pizza would become a staple for families, and a multi-billion dollar industry within a few short decades?
The original Pizza Hut, Domino’s and many other franchise stores had quite a lot to do with the general acceptance and demand. They were really marketing companies (although they did make “pizza’). But as any Italian American that grew up in New York eating not only Grandma’s and Mom’s home cooking but also the local ( on every corner) pizza guys pizza will tell you-“this ain’t pizza”.
So fast-forward a couple of decades and we get back to the Artisan Brick Oven phase of pizza. It is really just going back to its roots” hand tossed” and fresh.
Pizza started simply with the brick oven and fresh basic ingredients. Now it has come full circle away from the pre-manufactured, frozen dough, cheap powder mix sauce of the low-cost pizza chains. It has emerged back into to the high-quality comfort food, hand-made product that it was.
Your average “Joe’ or college kid knows quality products now. We have become a nation of “foodies” and pizza snobs. Places like Chipotle have been marketing the “Fresh ingredients and locally grown” mantra down our throats, and that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned . Specialty shops like Starbucks have emphasized the social aspect and value of a quality specialty items.
Artisan Pizza Business it’s time
The bottom line is that people are more than ready for real gourmet artisan pizza. Just like the pizza at like the original Goodfella’s Pizza of Staten Island New York. Ahead of their time making wood fired gourmet pizza they built the first brick oven on Staten Island . They created what was considered exotic pizza at the time . “Vodka sauce” pizza , porcini mushroom sauce pizza , , homemade cheeses, imported tomatoes , fresh basil all wood fried and back to basics .
The Vodka Pizza that started there in 1992 (with fresh mozzarella, vodka sauce peas, and prosciutto ) became a national trend after they became the international pizza champions and published the recipe.
Back then they had to ”sell” gourmet toppings and even fresh mozzarella (it was an educational process for many clients) since the average consumer didn’t have any knowledge of these things yet.
Also, if you weren’t making your own fresh cheese or you didn’t have an Italian food specialist nearby you, you didn’t even have a chance to offer those things. It is an entirely different playing field now. Fresh mozzarella is readily available everywhere imported tomatoes, cheeses, and olive oils. It’s actually getting hard not to make great pizza!
Today People watch food shows, they use the internet, and social media explodes with the latest recipe or chic pizza eatery they are on the look out for the artisan pizza business in their town.
And that artisan pizza is made by hand that’s true and the difference between handmade dough and store bought its night and day. Add to this a few gourmet toppings and cook it in high-temperature oven close to 900 f and you get the picture. Great Pizza! These are the glory days of pizza and we are lucky to be involved in this industry, whether it be from the consumer side or the production side. All roads use to lead to Rome but now they lead to great pizza.