While working on this issue I remembered a strange tidbit from my childhood. As a young child, say, four to eight years old, I didn’t like pizza. Actually, it was worse than that — I flat-out refused to eat it, instantly transforming me into a problem child at the endless round of birthday parties that were de rigueur in those years. I also thought soda was the “grossest thing ever” until I was a teenager. I’m happy to report that I overcame these horrible childhood afflictions and can confidently declare that I have eaten and enjoyed hundreds, if not thousands, of slices of pizza in my life. Even my disastrous one-day stint working at Sbarros during college (my boss insisted that I flip the pizza dough in front of all the customers, and then screamed at me when I couldn’t perform these acrobatics) hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm for a perfect pie.
Of course, it is no secret why Americans love pizza: It’s cheap, delicious, easy and fun. My personal local favorite is Brother’s Trattoria in Beacon. While I often get pepperoni, I have recently been introduced to their legendary “Grandma Pie” — a thin, square, simple pizza (usually just mozzarella, tomatoes, and garlic) that supposedly originated in Long Island. It’s supposed to be comforting, and I can assure you that it is almost worth creating a crisis for.
But now, I’m going to let my fellow editors share some of their pizza parables. Web Editor Jessica Friedlander writes, “I have a long, loving relationship with pizza. My grandpa — real old-school Italian guy — owned a pizzeria in Peekskill. My aunt managed the kitchen. Every weekend, Mom brought us there for a slice. My sister and I would sneak around the counter, and when Mom wasn’t looking, Aunt Cathy would drop two fistfuls of fresh mozzarella into our little hands. Then we’d watch Connie (the guy who helped my aunt cook) sling dough into the air, and we’d all eat Italian ices after. We could stay there all day.”
Senior Editor Polly Sparling has been going to Emiliano’s Pizza on Poughkeepsie’s Main Street for a “very, very, very long time.” She adds that it became the family favorite because “they seem to know who you are, the slices are huge, and it is just really traditional: sauce, bread, cheese. They’re not trying to be too fancy.”
Assistant Editor Rosemary O’Connor has worked at the magazine for nearly a year. I have never heard her be as determined about anything as when she announced “The best pizza in Hopewell Junction, and probably the whole Valley, is Pizza Village. Hands down. No questions asked.” We all admitted that we had just seen a new side of Rosemary when she added: “It’s overflowing with cheese, not too thick of a crust, but also not too crunchy. Sauce is divine. I’ll fight those who say otherwise.”
Our pizza story begins here. Of course there are many other things in this issue, including our Winter Survival Guide (featuring spas and shopping and other solutions besides pizza!); and Hudson Valley Home, which highlights an interior decorator’s cottage, and takes you inside a hot new ceramics studio.
Enjoy the issue, and Happy New Year!
Olivia J. Abel
Editor In Chief