Guest Blog: Connie Evers – Pizza Perfection!
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We all know that pizza is delicious but can it be nutritious?

Truth on Health founder Paul Pierce is likely enjoying some pretty good pizza since his move to the Brooklyn Nets. It’s a supreme understatement that Brooklyn is known for wonderful pizza – a google search for “Brooklyn Pizza” yielded 474,000 results. There’s even a “slice of Brooklyn pizza” tour!

Since I’m located roughly 3000 miles west of Brooklyn, I had to consult my nutrition colleagues with Brooklyn roots in order to get the scoop on the local pizza scene and also learn what I’ve been missing out on my whole life.

I talked to Melinda Hemmelgarn, MS, RD, the food sleuth dietitian and radio host who spent part of her childhood in Coney Island and New York dietitian and author Elisa Zied, MS, RDN, CDN.

Connie: I’m not from Brooklyn and sadly, I’ve never even tasted Brooklyn pizza. Can you describe why it has such a reputation and is it really THAT good?

Melinda: One word: Italians. They know how to make it. Period. Always eat the real thing from a family owned pizza place. Fast food pizza chains are a far cry from the REAL thing. Italians also know how to spin the dough in the air to make it thin and round, perfectly fitting it onto the round aluminum pans, then topping with sauce, spread with a ladle and sprinkled with cheese.

Elisa: My facebook friends told me these are THE BEST places for Brooklyn pizza:

  • Di Fara is THE best! Real deal, old school deliciousness.
  • Totonno’s … Wonderfully thin and tasty crust.
  • Di Fara is by far the best! Don’t be put off if the crust gets a little charred- it’s STILL amazing! And, you wouldn’t believe the size of their calzones.
  • Totonno’s!!! And I love La Villa in Park Slope too. Not a “cult classic” but definitely delish!
  • Connie: Wow, two votes each for Di Fara and Totonno’s. Sounds like I’ll have to visit both in order to decide for myself.

    Connie: What can you tell me about the ingredients?

    Melinda: Every pizza place/family has its unique sauce recipe. Regarding the crust, my favorite is round, thin crust, cut in wedge shapes (triangular pieces) that you eat by bringing the two widest points at the bottom together. There’s also Sicilian style – or deep dish pizza – that is cut in squares.

    Connie: As dietitians, what would you say about the nutrition of Brooklyn pizza? Or is it just one of those delicious foods to enjoy in moderation?

    Melinda: It’s a complete meal: cheese, tomato sauce, bread. Aren’t we supposed to eat everything in moderation??

    Elisa: Who doesn’t love pizza? You should never feel guilt or regret when you eat pizza. But you should pay attention to how much of it you’re eating. Never arrive at a pizza place when you’re starving or surely you’ll go overboard. Plan how much you’ll have, pace yourself, and I always think it’s a good rule of thumb to choose one slice paired with some kind of vegetable. Try a small colorful green salad, light on dressing, OR some grilled veggies on the pizza or on the side (eggplant one of my personal favorites).

    Connie: Agree with both of you! All the food groups are represented and you can always add more vegetables and even a side salad. Sounds like a great, guilt free delicious way to go!

    Now, could someone please overnight some authentic Brooklyn pizza to Portland, Oregon?

    Truth on Health

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