World's Best Pizza Not in Italy, Nor America

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World's Best Pizza Not in Italy, Nor America

Humble Australian chef Johnny Di Francesco took the top prize at the Pizza World Championship in Parma, Italy.

While Italy invented the pizza, plenty of people have argued that chefs in the United States of America have perfected the vegetable, creating many unique "only in America" variations such as the Chicago deep dish. So, you can understand the shock when at the Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza (Pizza World Championship) held in Parma, Italy this year, it was neither an Italian or an American that walked away with the coveted "best margherita pizza" prize.

Instead, humble Australian chef Johnny Di Francesco of Melbourne took away the top prize. "It's been an amazing reaction," Di Francesco told CNN. "Honestly, I just went to Naples to do what I love. I didn't think it was going to make such a stir."

Di Francesco, 36, beat more than 600 competitors from 35 countries to take home the Specialita Traditionale Garantita pizza prize in the annual competition. Competition rules in this category are very strict, as only peeled tomatoes, certain types of mozzarella, garlic, olive oil, salt and fresh basil leaves can be used to top the pizza.

"With a lot of other pizzas it's easy to mask the flavor with toppings so you don't really get the flavor out of the dough. With a margherita there is no hiding anything that isn't right."

Furthermore, despite claiming the title, Di Francesco has no plans to "cash-in" on his fame by raising the price of his pizzas at 400 Gradi, his Brunswick Street store. They will stay at $20 a pop, which is a fairly average price for a large pizza in Australia.

Source: CNN

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Wooooo!

Aussie Aussie Aussie!

Honestly though, it is suprising an Australian won.

Steven Bogos:
400 Gradi, his Brunswick Street store.

I'll have to remember to pop in there sometime.

Steven Bogos:
They will stay at $20 a pop, which is a fairly average price for a large pizza in Australia.

To be honest, that is pretty darn fair in Australia. Especially if it is the world's best Pizza.
Heck Dominos can be even more expensive over here.

Which is completely bull if you ask me.
Everything is so expensive. D:

For the world's best pizza though, 20 dollars sounds worth it.

Good on him.
If I'm ever in Australia and more specifically, Melbourne and haven't completely forgotten about this (which I probably will because my memory is terrible) then I'll have to try one.

Yeah, Most non-franchise pizza joints charge at least $24, so that's damn good, especially for inner city mebourne.

Makes me a little disappointed I don't live in Melbourne (I'm based in regional NSW). I'd give him some business if I did.

I'm not that surprised.

I've tried pizza in Japan, Italy, America, Canada and even Sweden, and while some countries do certain things better or have certain unique combinations; for your regular, local pizza joint, the Australian standard is actually much better more often than not.

In fact food in general here is pretty damn good. Word just doesn't get out much because we tend to get overlooked in most of the 'best restaurant's in the world' lists.

dumbseizure:
Wooooo!

Aussie Aussie Aussie!

Oi Oi Oi!

My sister lives in Melbourne. Guess it's time to get packing and go for a visit soon.

As for the price, that's brilliant. Inner City Melbourne is a posh expensive place, even Dominoes and Pizza Hut can hit $20 per pizza around there.

Australian pizza. Hmmm... Gotta ask the folks on the other side of the world about that. Fortunately, I know a few.

Huh, when I saw this I thought "The winner is definetly from Croatia".

No, seriously, if you'll ever come to Croatia, try their pizza. This stuff is gooood.

Yeah Australia!
If he was from New Zealand I'd claim that as a win as well.

We love to celebrate a winner (If they don't show off about it) regardless of how tenuous their links are to Australia.

We'll even take seventh place in a caber tossing competition with great enthusiasm.

Good gawd, I see the Australia pricing from time to time and it still shocks the hell out of me. $20 for a large Pizza just sucks (especially when I know places around here that I can get two larges for that price and have enough for a 2-liter left over).

So it was purely a test of skill at baking the pizza. No competition about creative recipes and the judges being biased by their own preferred tastes. Good for him. He should put the trophy or plaque right in the dining area. I don't think it would be too boastful to put it on display for customers already walking in the store.

Still, $20 doesn't seem bad but has the feeling of the better beaches tax. The local franchise around my Midwesten American town charges slightly less for a large. And, I known the big, national pizza franchises charge US$12 for a large smothered in preservatives to masked the taste of their stale, usually thin cardboard crust. (it probably cost them $2 to make and get to my door, too.) You just pay more for real pizza.

Fuckin' awesome. I don't normally like celebrating Melbourne's already celebrated bars, cafes and restaurants (Sydney is a jealous city), but this is just fantastic.

On'ya mate.

First, most of your 'made in america' kind of pizzas suck big time. Second, congratulation to the guy. :) He went to Napoli, beat everyone else and took the prize home? As an Italian, I can only say congratulations.

Meinos Kaen:
First, most of your 'made in america' kind of pizzas suck big time. Second, congratulation to the guy. :) He went to Napoli, beat everyone else and took the prize home? As an Italian, I can only say congratulations.

Yea pretty much. I guess it's a cultural thing but the kind of pizzas americans make are just... Awful. Maybe you'd have to grow up there to appreciate them properly?

OT: nice for him. Kind of strange thst they chose margherita pizza. i guess it is all about the dough then as the article says. Still. Nice one mate.

Steven Bogos:

While Italy invented the pizza

First of all Italy, did not invent the pizza, they named the dish which already existed hundred of years. The main influence on the pizza as we know it comes from Turkey.

Steven Bogos:

perfected the vegetable

It is not a vegetable. No matter how stupid US congress is, it never was and never will be a vegetable. It is a dish which one prepares, it does not grow in nature.

Generally, what I've seen of most American and British Pizzas is what I'd call takeaway level. Budget dough, cheap tomato sauce, more cheese than any sane person would add, and so many toppings you lose any semblance of balance.

I mean, they're great for soaking up beer, but they just don't compare to a nice super thin crust, with spinach and mushrooms, sprinkled with goats cheese.... Mmmmmmmmmmmm

That, right there is a good pizza. And everything is very easy to prep, aside from the dough.

It also doesn't surprise me an Italian didn't win, they tend to be too focused on tradition.

yeah doesn't surprise me an american couldn't win last time i went to the USA i got shot but i also had a real bad pizza that was almost as big as me and noticed that everything especially the food is cheap and crap you cant get a decent bottle of milk there and if you cant get decent milk you sure as hell cant get decent cheese and thats one of the main ingredients

As someone who lived in the Chicago for almost 5 years, the "deep dish" sucks astronomical levels of donkey balls and should never be eaten by anyone with functioning taste buds, ever. In fact, Italian food tended to be terrible in the entire region, unfortunately.

I'm just glad we've got so many Italians here in Switzerland, who know how to make 'em right. And I'm glad for the Australians they've got at least one pizzaiolo who does as well.

Damn, now I really want that pizza.

Awesome! Will have to pick one up next time I'm down that way. I was actually considering moving to Melbourne this year, so I suppose this is even more incentive.

How can anyone like american pizza? It's all greasy and have no taste. Often it has almost nothing on it.

Makes me think of this;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5AZhjhbxf8

Congrats to the Aussie! :D

(Also, I just want to say, the only people who think that American pizzas are better than Italian pizzas are generally Americans... ;P)

I've always said the key to a good pizza is the base. People make it too doughy or too thick.

It's the same with a green salad. If your lettuce isn't good, it doesn't matter about the rest.

Asia and the Middle East have just as weird and and myriad of pizza concoctions as America. In fact, a lot of ideas seem to get tested out there before being brought over.

I remember eating this overseas...a good year or so before seeing it in the states...

image

Obviously this is mass produced, etc, etc. However, this forces the local restaurants to get even more creative. Some of the bistros in Asia have some ridiculous combinations.

Also toppings...GOOD LORD the toppings...I had a pizza that was essentially a giant gyro...mmmm....

sibrenfetter:

Steven Bogos:

While Italy invented the pizza

First of all Italy, did not invent the pizza, they named the dish which already existed hundred of years. The main influence on the pizza as we know it comes from Turkey.

Steven Bogos:

perfected the vegetable

It is not a vegetable. No matter how stupid US congress is, it never was and never will be a vegetable. It is a dish which one prepares, it does not grow in nature.

No, modern pizza comes from Naples. Bread was of course invented before, but pizza as a whole dish comes from Italy.

Humble Australian chef Johnny Di Francesco

Stop right there! That is one very italian dude. So it's italian pizza.

super_mega_ultra:
How can anyone like american pizza? It's all greasy and have no taste. Often it has almost nothing on it.

Makes me think of this;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5AZhjhbxf8

Wait so Ham isn't part of a pizza at all in USA?

Here in Sweden the main stuff are always. With the exception of a "Child pizza" which have removed the Ham. Even as a kid I never ordered that one.

Pizza dough part
Tomato sauce
Cheese (Not drowned in cheese then)
Ham

After that you throw toppings on and if people want less than that they are nuts.
For me, it's kebab and pineapple that rules the pizza world. Also add a kebab medium sauce as well.

Zefar:

super_mega_ultra:
How can anyone like american pizza? It's all greasy and have no taste. Often it has almost nothing on it.

Makes me think of this;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5AZhjhbxf8

Wait so Ham isn't part of a pizza at all in USA?

Here in Sweden the main stuff are always. With the exception of a "Child pizza" which have removed the Ham. Even as a kid I never ordered that one.

Pizza dough part
Tomato sauce
Cheese (Not drowned in cheese then)
Ham

After that you throw toppings on and if people want less than that they are nuts.
For me, it's kebab and pineapple that rules the pizza world. Also add a kebab medium sauce as well.

Vissa italienska pizzor är utan kött också, men amerikanska pizzor är ökända för att ha lite ingredienser. Ibland får man bara lite ost och tomat på en tunn brödbit.

super_mega_ultra:

Vissa italienska pizzor är utan kött också, men amerikanska pizzor är ökända för att ha lite ingredienser. Ibland får man bara lite ost och tomat på en tunn brödbit.

And still you hear how overpriced they are. Those poor American people.

Rawbeard:

Humble Australian chef Johnny Di Francesco

Stop right there! That is one very italian dude. So it's italian pizza.

Pretty much this. What we have here is a very Italian-blooded man who happens to have Australian citizenship.

Fat_Hippo:
As someone who lived in the Chicago for almost 5 years, the "deep dish" sucks astronomical levels of donkey balls and should never be eaten by anyone with functioning taste buds, ever. In fact, Italian food tended to be terrible in the entire region, unfortunately.

I'm just glad we've got so many Italians here in Switzerland, who know how to make 'em right. And I'm glad for the Australians they've got at least one pizzaiolo who does as well.

I grew up next to Italians and have always been spoiled with amazing Italian food, I rarely find a place that doesn't do them well around here. I must check that place out someday when I'm down in Melbourne, I must know what the best pizza on earth really is :-)

gigastrike:
Pretty much this. What we have here is a very Italian-blooded man who happens to have Australian citizenship.

Italians are quite common over here, kind of a side affect of being a country full of immigrants (great when you want a variety of good foods). IIRC alot came here after WW2 to escape Europe, then again that goes for most immigrants from the EU.

gigastrike:

Rawbeard:

Humble Australian chef Johnny Di Francesco

Stop right there! That is one very italian dude. So it's italian pizza.

Pretty much this. What we have here is a very Italian-blooded man who happens to have Australian citizenship.

Don't they allow migration in your part of the world? We have a huge Italian community here, have had since WW2.

OT: Melbourne has both really good and really bad Italian food, you have to know where to look. Personally the best pizza I've ever eaten was at Patsy's in Greenwich Village, but then I've never been to Naples.

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