Maybe Pizza?
Gus's experiments in making pizza with very hot ovens.
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April 12, 2015

Father and 3 year old daughter enter kitchen, stage right.

Father: What do you want for dinner tonight?

Daughter gives a slight pause before answering.

Daughter: Maybe pizza?

So the kid really likes pizza. That's no surprise, since pizza is amazing, and … well, she is my daughter. She's said "Maybe pizza?" enough times that myself and Kirstin thought it was pretty funny, and I even thought it'd be a good domain name.

I've been wondering what to do with this site for a while since I haven't been doing much experimentation lately, and I've really settled down into a couple of pretty good pizza routines. I feel like I've got both neo and ny / CoMo style down exactly to how I like it, though I do still change things up now and again (more on that later! I really need to tell you about some absolutely amazing flour I've discovered).


Kirstin suggested I start doing pizza reviews. And I thought that was a great idea. It would be something different for this site, yet pretty much on topic. Though I'd need a new name, because "Mueller Pizza Lab" doesn't really fit into that. And so was purchased. The old posts are still here of course, and there will be more of the usual posts- I'll just be adding reviews in the future.

I've also come up with what I think will be an interesting way to score pizzas. Two categories for my reviews: "pizza", and "neapolitan pizza". I'm a big fan of both, but I don't think it's really fare to lump neo pizza ratings in with your regular, standard pizza. I imagine the majority of pizza places will be judged on the regular scale, and if a pizza restaurant claims to serve neapolitan pizza… well, I'm going to assume they really mean it and it will be judged as such. I will be harsh, since I'm such a fan of neo pizza.

On Scoring

Since pizza is so subjective, the Maybe Pizza Grading Scale ("mp scale" for short) is going to be a little different. At first I thought I'd do a 0-10 star scale, which is what folks are probably used to. Then I remembered I'm a graphics programmer and it'd be way better to do something on a scale of 0-255 because computer bits! And then I realized that's actually pretty low fidelity for an image channel, and maybe I should go wide gamut and use 16 bits, and then I realized you skate to where the puck is going to be so f-it, let's do a single 32 bit channel represented by a float for grading.

So a score on the mp scale is going to be represented between -1.0 to +3.0. Maybe I'll even put this all in a little database so it'll do nice sorting and create a histogram and you can scale up those values evenly if you really think it should be a 0-10 star scale, etc.

Of course, I'll need a baseline / standard for scoring pizza. So I've decided the gold standard with a score of 1.0 for normal pizza is Shakespeare's Pizza, on a good day in 1998. I have very fond memories of their pizza, and while it could be hit and miss, when it was a hit it was amazing.

And the standard for neo pizza at a score of 1.0 is Del Popolo, which makes the best neapolitan pizza I've ever had.

"But wait" you say, "I thought you said the ratings went up to 3.0?!". Yes. I did say that. While those two places are my gold standards, I can't believe that they are the best pizza places in the world. But they are my favorites, so they get to set the standard.