Words: Shamim de Brún
There is no accounting for taste in life, which is why so many pizzas are shockingly shite. For every great slice, you will have to eat a mediocre one, so best to come prepared.
Bad Pizza exists on a spectrum. A slick can be anywhere from Grand Bad – the cheese isn’t fully melted, too Almost Good – the sauce is weirdly sweet to just plain Bad Bad – but you have to eat it no matter what because Pizza is Pizza, and you’re hungry.
So many pizzas are shockingly shite so here are three sure-fire ways to save a pizza from death by certain meh-dom.
When confronted with a nasty slice, my instinct is to douse it in spice and pray to Baccus for my mouth. Instead, depending on the place, you’ll have access to at least one of the following; red pepper flakes, chilli oil siracha, or jalapenos. Spice the meh right out of your za, and you’ll almost come away thinking it was good.
So you can’t handle the spice. That sucks for you, but that doesn’t mean you should have to put up with mediocrity in the form of Pizza. You probably already know to go all-in on a garlic dip if you need to munch down sup par pizza. Heck, you’ve likely paid extra for the privilege. But there’s an even better solution: If you’re ordering Pizza from a not-thoroughly-vetted parlour, order it well-done.
This trick is pretty simple. When you order, request the slice or whole pie well-done. If the place doesn’t know what you’re talking about, you’ve picked a shocker of a spot. Then, to be sure they understand, you can politely ask them to ‘cook it for a bit longer than normal’ that they should get.
Ordering Pizza well-done may not make all elements of it taste better. But at least your crust will be crunchy, and your cheese will be melted—two basic requirements of functional Pizza.
A pizza is not a steak, so don’t worry; asking for it cooked hard will not make you look like a monster and/or as grim as Leo Varadkar’s food aesthetic. It’s already an option on the American Domino’s menu. Nothing beats the crispy, crunchy result of requesting your pie well-done.
When to use this hack? It’s best when the Pizza looks a little weak in the centre or too light on the crust. Or if you haven’t tried the schpot yet and are worried it could be bad (always keep your expectations low regarding Pizza).
Well-done Pizza on the cusp of being mainstream. It’s for people who love the crisp crust and hate floppy structure. It’s for mavericks who don’t just accept the status quo.
Disclaimer: If they burn it, that’s not my fault.
Elsewhere on Char: The Disputed History of the Flat White