When that pizza comes out of the oven and is garnished by whatever pizzaiolo is behind that counter, I consider that pizza finished. Pizza isn't home to too many accessories outside of a sprinkle of parmesan cheese or chili flakes. Pittsburgh, of course, has a rich history of serving pizza with a side of ranch dressing for dipping. But, it wasn't until Pizza Taglio opened that I tasted, what I would say, is the perfect companion to pizza: Mike's Hot Honey.
Mike's Hot Honey is exactly what it sounds like; it's honey that has chili flakes soaking in it. The result is a dressing that, as Jim would say in the video above, a bit of heat and a bit of a sweet.
Mike's Hot Honey got it's start in Paulie Gee's, a pizzeria in Brooklyn. The creator of Mike's Hot Honey, Mike Kurtz, was inspired by a creation down in South Africa. Mike discovered this in Brazil when he was hiking through the mountains and discovered a mysterious village with a more mysterious Brazilian pizza parlor. In that pizza place they were soaking chilis in vats of honey - Mike was inspired and brought the idea back to the United States.
When he became a pizza apprentice at Paulie Gee's he created the Hellboy - a pizza drizzled with this hot honey. It was an instant classic. Somehow, the honey outshines the pizza and customers demanded to have the honey on its own. Not one to argue with customers, Mike began to bottle and sell Mike's Hot Honey on its own.
It's rare for a single topping to outshine a pizza itself, but Mike's Hot Honey is a unique creation that should be in every pantry across the globe.
Here in Pittsburgh Tony Giamarita pays homage to Paulie Gee's with his Greenpointer pizza. It's my favorite pie at his shop and is topped with mozzarella, spicy clabrese sopressata and a generous drizzled Mike's Hot Honey. While this pizza can sometimes gives me heart burn it's too delicious not to order. It's a staple of my visit to Pizza Taglio and one of the best pizza's in the city.