Sick and tired of your friends who don’t live in the city not understanding what makes a good bagel or a good pizza? Simply show them this list to clear things up.
What Makes A Good Bagel:
1. Volume. A New York bagel has about the same calories as a quarter to one half of a loaf of bread.
2. A tough, but still chewable, outer crust, and a soft, doughy center.
3. Little pockets of air in the center. This is just evidence that the bagels were prepared properly. But they do add something interesting to your breakfast.
4. Variation. Bagels made by a good bagel shop will vary in size and shape. They will not all be uniform.
5. Seed coverage. If you are not getting a plain bagel, a bagel should be well-coated in whatever seeds are on it, not just a few on the top and then none anywhere else.
Got it? Good. Let’s move on.
What Makes A Good Pizza:
1. Thin crust. In contrast to bagels, a good pizza should not be doughy. The crust must be just thick enough so that you can pick it the slice and the crust supports the toppings. But it should not be crunchy like a cracker.
2. Mozzarella. Do not under any circumstances put cheddar cheese—or almost any other cheese—on a pizza. It needs mozzarella, and maybe ricotta, pecorino, or parmesan.
3. Temperature. The pizza must be served hot enough so that the mozzarella hangs on when you pull off a slice, or take a bite. But it should not be so hot that the crust on the bottom is black.
4. Tomato sauce that tastes like tomatoes. The sauce should not taste like sugar, or like tin from the can that previously held it.
5. Simplicity. Plenty of New York pizza places serve interesting pies, but wannabe pizza places create designer pies to cover up the fact that their underlying product is bad. The pizza should be able to stand on its own merit without a bunch of fancy toppings.