Friday, July 17, 2009

Should Costco offer anchovies on its pizza?

If you live in Hackensack, as I do, any debate about great pizza begins and ends with Brooklyn's, the coal-oven place on Hackensack Avenue that doesn't charge extra for the attitude baked into every pie: no slices, no delivery, no credit cards.

But there's no denying the appeal of the massive, 18-inch pie made fresh at Costco less than a mile away -- and at $9.95, it's a comparative steal. You can get slices at Costco, but you can't get anchovies as one of the toppings. And if you ask for it well done, they just humor you, because the pie is baked on a moving belt whose speed can't be varied.

I topped the pie I brought home this evening for dinner with anchovies, olive oil from the can, and slices of the wild lox I buy at Costco. To get some crisp into the crust after the pie had cooled, I baked my slices for about 20 minutes in a 350-degree oven. The Costco pie is doughy, but has lots of full-fat cheese. Each pie has 12 slices.

In my youth, I ate my first slices of pizza at Spumoni Gardens, near Lafayette High School, in Brooklyn. You could hold a well-done slice at the thick end and it wouldn't droop at the point. You can't do that with either a Brooklyn's or a Costco slice.

I can't resist all that luxurious-tasting cheese on the Costco pie. I'm ashamed to say I ate 5 of the 12 slices for dinner, plus a big salad, but I assure you the slices were smaller than in a typical pizza. The rest went into the freezer. (This post has been revised.)

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