The Best Water Makes the Best Pizza

It costs $482.79 to get a decent pizza in San Francisco — $17 for the pie, $85 for cab fare, and $378.80 for the flight to New York.
-Popular joke in California

Out of all the delicate gastronomical offers in New York, there is only one that you would be fatally wrong to miss: their pizza. Shed your stereotypes of overweight Americans devouring industrial pizza and realize why a city so far away from Italy could have perfected their invention so much.

Their secret, unlike most of the city's essence, is tangible. Here's a hint: you shower with it

19 Reservoirs of Pure Water

Craig Zucker

Craig Zucker always keeps about 20 business ideas in his drawer. He's one of those people, those hopeless cases. He didn't seem so when, at age 8, he set up a lemonade stand in his front yard in Cleveland. But ever since then he claims he has suffered an addiction for entrepreneurship -- at 16 he set up a contest in a golf course where anyone could swing at a ball and if, he made it to the hole 150 yards away, he would win a million dollars. Nobody won it, but Zucker earned himself some extra cash. There are more stories about him but the point is made. He's a hopeless case.

In 2009 he pulled his boldest move yet -- he bottled New York's tap water and sold it everywhere in America, from Ohio to California. He was not wrong. The water was bought, for $1,50 a bottle. Which says a few things of Zucker's entrepreneurial boldness -- but says many more things about New York City's tap water.

Coming from a system of 19 reservoirs and three lakes North of the state, New York City's tap water is filtered by the natural process of upstate ecosystems. It dissolves natural minerals while traveling over land or through the ground. This makes it better than 150 other municipal water systems in the state. But it does more: it makes it one the healthiest waters to come out of a U.S. tap.

It's so fresh that in 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency said it did not need filtration (it's something they like to do every 5 years.) According to city official and water connoisseurs, it's the purest in the world.

The city's tap water is so naturally pure, in fact, it's impossible to recreate. That's what gives the city the best pizza in the country.

A Pizza Over a Hundred Years in the Making

New York pizza

A New York pizza is a very wide, very thin type of pizza. It can easily be folded. It cannot so easily be recreated. If your visit to New York includes traveling through America, you will see "New York Pizza" shining in neon lights in plenty of stores. Stores which look deceivingly similar to pizza stores in New York. They may even recreate the high-gluten bread flour that, supposedly, gives its crust that instantly recognizable taste.

They all fail. The secret, as has experience has shown caterers all over the country, is not in the flour. It's mainly in the water -- the water used to create the bread that conforms the crust. See, pure water has the ability to bring all of the ingredients together. And in California, water is not as pure. This is why their crusts are either exceedingly flaccid or overly stiff. In New York, however, the opposite is the case.

Other chefs and pizza purists have argued that the city's over-a-hundred-years-long pizza tradition (an inheritance from the vast number of Italian immigrants) has left an indelible stamp in the final result -- as some ingredients tend to vaporize in the oven and their smell and taste gets attached to the oven's walls. Some establishments, like the very recommended Arturo's (106 West Houston Street) have not changed their ovens in decades, and thusly get their pizza as special and unique as Mt. Rushmore.