What makes these slices so good?
"Water," [Mario] Batali says. "Water is huge. It's probably one of California's biggest problems with pizza." Water binds the dough's few ingredients. Nearly every chemical reaction that produces flavor occurs in water, says Chris Loss, a food scientist with the Culinary Institute of America. "So, naturally, the minerals and chemicals in it will affect every aspect of the way something tastes."
Batali himself encounters the water problem at his upscale New York restaurant Del Posto, where he makes traditional Italian food. The tap water in Manhattan is far different from that of the motherland. His solution: create his own mineral-water composite. Working from a chemical analysis of l'acqua italiana, Batali's team basically clones the H2O that gives the food in Italy its — well, its gestalt. He plans to do this at Pizzeria Mozza in L.A....
I've never bought the water theory. My take has been that New York pizza is good because there are so many pizzerias, leading to a competitive atmosphere. You've gotta be on your game here to get raves.