Our man in Chicago, Daniel Zemans, sent a simple email to me this morning:
Subject: New Omaha coal-oven pizza
End of message.
While I'm happy to see the coal-oven madness spread throughout the country, I have to wonder how good this is for the genre overall. This latest one to come to my attention, Pitch Coal-Fire Pizzeria, has some crazy shit on its About Us page:
Unless you've been to the Northeast recently or Naples, Italy, you probably haven't experienced a pizza like it.
Coal fire is part of an Italian pizza-making heritage.... It's Naples, old-style cooking....
Coal fire is rooted in Naples but is growing in popularity across the country.
Wow. As far as I know, coal-fired ovens were used by Italian-Americans as a substitute for the wood ovens they had used back in the old country. Coal ovens are totally NOT ROOTED IN NAPLES.
Unless you allow a broad interpretation and make the claim that the people who came up with coal-oven pizza were rooted in Naples.
I don't think that's what Pitch is saying though. Considering it's from the same guy who introduced Godfather's Pizza to Omaha, it's not surprising. This doesn't sound like pizza as passion but pizza as gimmick and trend.