I’m a big fan of the traditional cheese/red sauce/crust pizza. Nothing fancy. If a pizza can’t hold its own when it comes to the pizza triforce, it’ll never be good. Ingredients piled on only serve to trick the eater into making them think they’re eating something better than they are.
I bring this up because I recently visited Fazio’s pizza on Penn Ave in Bloomfield to eat their white pizza. I normally shy away from pizza that doesn’t have that red sauce fueling its tastiness. It’s like the life blood of the pizza. Without red sauce it’s like eating a pizza that perished. A vampire pizza of some kind that’s been resurrected after 200 years. Something is just off and there’s an uncomfortable amount of garlic. But the owner of Fazio’s, Jon Fazio, told me that his favorite pizza is their white pizza. It’s a staple. Everyday they create the “white pizza mixture” by hand. It’s something he’s very proud of and I had to eat it to believe it.
I recruited John Carman, local Italian expert, to help me conquer this fabled white pizza. Would it satisfy our hunger? Or, like Captain Ahab, would we come away from this experience unsatisfied and spend the rest of our lives finding the white pizza that Jon Fazio whispered in my ear.
We ordered a large white pizza from Mr. Fazio. There was some hesitate before we dove deep into the depths of this white pizza. We looked at the pie and returning our hungry gaze were images of ourselves. Below the diced tomatoes, ricotta, mozzarella, and oregano, was a shimmering layer of grease. Precious grease that would line our gullets as we slipped slice after slice down our throats.
The ingredients were fresh and each bite was accompanied with a flood of flavor. It was peculiar at first. Finally a white pizza that satisfies. Then a kind of melancholy set in. I had hyped it up to myself and thought about this white pizza for so long that its extraordinary mixture of toppings failed to meet my expectations after the second slice. While it’s not strong enough to be a staple in a pizza diet, it’s worth eating just once. Like a pizza tourist attraction.
Oh, and bring some napkins, cause this thing gets crazy greasy.