Shark in the water!
So we’ve all heard of the anchovy pizza, but I find that very few have actually tried it. Everyone seems to avoid the evil anchovy, however I was relatively certain that this was based on uninformed bias and prejudice. Why is this? Can this little Italian fish, the “Joe Pesci” of the sea really be all that bad? Well gentle readers, for your benefit the dedicated people here at Proof Pudding have taken the anchovy pizza to task.
Patsy’s is a local NYC pizza chain started by an old chap named (you guessed it) “Patsy” Lancieri around 1933. There are various locations uptown, downtown, and midtown in Manhattan. We decided to use this venerable pizza as the measure by which to grade the infamous anchovy slice.
I gathered together a group of intrepid tasters and we ordered two large pies, one anchovy, and one sausage and pepper.
The Patsy’s pies themselves were pretty to look at, with a decent amount of cheese and a rambunctiously tangy tomato sauce on top. The cheese to sauce ration was saucier than most, but with ample mozzarella. The crust looked spectacular, thin with a nice crispness. The sausage and pepper pizza was ensconced with toppings, and the delicious aroma of it wafted throughout the room as soon as the box was opened. On the anchovy pizza there were approximately three anchovies per slice which at first seemed like a reasonable amount, (definitely used sparingly… more for flavor then for additional calories) but we will delve more into that later.
My associate Mike volunteered to be the guinea pig and to be interviewed following his first-ever anchovy experience today… The transcript is as follows:
Proofmeister: What’s your name and where are you from?
“Mike, and I’m from the Bronx.”
What’s your least favorite borough?
Where do you live?
Brooklyn. Haha, just kidding… I don’t really have any qualms with any borough…
What’s your favorite pizzeria?
Rambo’s Pizza on Gun Hill Road.
Badass! How do you get there?
Car. You can take the 2 train though…
What’s your favorite kind of slice there?
It’s the plain because they really top on the cheese. It’s their speciality because you either want pizza or you want Rambo’s pizza.
Okay so it’s just the plain slice, their plain slices are the bomb. Do you find that you can judge a pizza place just by the plain slice?
It’s definitely a good first measure.
Would you ever order from a pizzeria with a bad plain slice?
Well, their toppings better be pretty damn good if they have a bad plain slice.
What do you prefer to drink to wash down your slice?
Any kind of iced tea.
Do you find garlic knots a distraction?
A distraction? No! I’m eating them at the end of the meal after I’m done my pizza; I’m grabbing for the garlic knots!
How much pizza do you eat in a month?
In a month??? Probably twice a month, so that would be 8 slices a month.
So you average about a whole pie a month. Would you consider yourself a pizza aficionado then, being from the Bronx and a regular pizza eater?
I like to think I am.
So why haven’t you ever tried anchovies before?
They never have been presented to me, and I never would go into a place and say that I want an anchovy pizza.
It’s not because fish scare you?
No. I’m not afraid of fish.
What about the movie Jaws?
That didn’t scare you out of the water huh? So there is no fish aversion in you.
No, there is no psychological reason for me not liking anchovies.
Describe the initial taste.
Distractingly salty. You take a bite, and instead seeing what it would taste like, you just say, WOW this is salty. And then the second bite is even saltier and then by the end you are just kind of numb to it.
So your taste buds are dead. Besides that, how do you feel right now?
I feel just like I ate a fish… like I ate a raw fish… with cheese on top.
Gross. And what is your impression of Patsy’s pizza?
The pizza itself is good, I especially loved their sausage and pepper pizza! The sausage is made just right, and there is just enough peppers so it’s just a nice blend to go along with the rest of the slice. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE SAUSAGE AND PEPPER PIZZA!
I think we get your point. Next time you’re ordering pizzas with a group will you ever suggest the anchovy pizza?
No I will not.
The verdict is in: Anchovy pizza is a negative proof! Other impressions ranged from “fishy” to “this makes me nauseous…” Order the sausage and pepper, the pepperoni, garlic, the plain, anything! Just don’t ever ruin your pizza with this vile sea-dweller. Proofmeister out!