So, let's talk pizza. As a teen in Bend Oregon, Shakey's Pizza Parlor on South 3rd was my favorite hangout. A Italian sausage with black olives was my favorite.
In the next couple decades, I continued to eat American pizza, it was never something I raved about, but I liked it fine. I had no reference, no comparison.
Then I went to Europe, then to Italy. Eating pizza there was a defining experience; I'd never had anything like it. It resembled American pizza in the same way a Ford Pinto resembles a Ferrari 350 GTO.
I stared at it, a simple margherita. could something taste like this, and be called something I'd been eating for years without notice?
Since that time, I've avoided pizza back here in the US. Until this week, when my friend L., who lived in Naples, took me to this place in Fullerton, an unpromising Orange County pizza joint.
Fuoco Pizzeria Napoletana. Wood ovens, knowledgeable servers, and imported buffalo mozzarella cheese. It was damn close to Italy.
It was rather good.