Why We Use These Ingredients
When it comes to making pizza or any other dish, the ingredients tell a story. They impart purpose, meaning, and specific choices behind every dish. Here at Streets of New York, it isn't any different. This time on the blog we wanted to talk about our ingredients and why we choose them.
The History of Streets of New York
The reason we use the ingredients we do, starts all the way back in 1976. When we opened the first Streets of New York restaurant, we were developing our recipes and flavor profile. We knew we wanted to bring authentic East Coast flavors to the Valley, especially New York-style pizza. To do that we had to breakdown our recipes, the flavors, and find the specific ingredients.
It Starts in the Sauce
Well, to be more specific, it starts with the tomato! Every tomato that ends up on your plate, starts its journey around the world in volcanic soil at the base of Mount Vesuvius, near Naples Italy, the home of Italian food. That volcanic soil infuses each and every tomato with an amazing, unique combination of sweet flavor, small seeds, and low acidity. Qualities that make it the perfect tomato for our food.
Handpicked for Flavor
These delicate tomatoes are plucked from the vine, put into specially made non-aluminum lined cans. Because these cans are specially lined, there is no leeching that ruins the flavor and sweetness of the tomato. They travel across the world where we have them in all of our locations to make our perfect pizza sauce. Sauce isn't just tomatoes though is it?
The Family Recipe
Listen, we're not about to reveal our secret family recipe – if you expected that sorry but you will be disappointed. What we can tell you is that it's a blend of herbs, spices, and those sweet Italian tomatoes, muah. That's the good stuff right there. It is the perfect pairing to make the foundation for all our pizzas. And it all started on the slope of Vesuvius in Italy!
Continues Into the Crust
Now, the ingredients in the crust are important and everything we use has a purpose. You need a good high gluten flour as your base. Next, you need something to activate it. We use only fresh yeast that gives the crust the best rise and aeration to the dough. In layman's terms that means the dough can get more air into it. Throw in some salt to give it the right reaction, bing, bang, boom you're in business!
First, we make the dough fresh, every day in-store. The dough is then allowed to proof for a minimum 6-8 hours. Heat, humidity, even the general weather can have an effect on the dough-making process. Giving it the time it needs to proof will guarantee it's the best dough it can be.
To the Top(pings)
With perfected sauce and crust, what's left but to look at the toppings. We don't need to go into every single one of our dozens of different pizza toppings (but we could). There are two perfect examples that sum up our entire approach to the ingredients we choose: cheese and Italian sausage!
Oooey, gooey, cheesy mozzarella goodness! In Streets of New York pizza's we only use the best in mozzarella cheese, shredded and grated right there in our own kitchens. Competitors might use pre-shredded cheese which doesn't lead to a great slice of pizza. Pre-shredded cheese might be cheaper and faster to use in the kitchen, but the way it's made involves adding a compound that keeps the cheese separate, preventing the cheese from combining when it's melted. So no, we can't be having that. Instead, we use the best mozzarella available, grate it fresh daily to ensure it melts right.
Our Italian sausage is made specifically for us. We partnered with salumists (that's the people who make sausage ya know!) to create an Italian sausage that fits our flavors and recipes perfectly. Made in Chicago to specifications of the right amount of fennel – that's what makes it Italian!
Now, we can't go into all our toppings and ingredients, like we said there are just too many of 'em! But we hope this rundown illustrates the care, consideration, and exactness we use when it comes to selecting each and every one of the individual ingredients that go on our menu.
Phew. All that got me hungry. How 'bout you?