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The Perfect Slice: Taste Testing Local Pizzerias

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If eating is one of America’s favorite pastimes, then the obsession with pizza definitely contributes to the culture.  With a rich Italian population in Marlton, pizza is one of the most popular foods in South Jersey.  Thus, demand calls for supply, and many local pizzerias have opened and have since been trafficking many customers.  With so many options, a review panel was created.  This panel consisted of the author, staff writers Sarah Hennell and Alex Shamet, arts and entertainment editor Aayushi Parikh, opinions editor Mathew Bissichia, and co-editor-in-chief Sam Schepps. There were three family owned pizza places–Franco’s Restaurant, Luigi’s Pizza Fresca, and Scotto Pizza–to decide which cheese pizza is the best. The ratings and descriptions were based on several categories including appearance, flavor and taste, texture, and smell of the pizza. The overall best pizza title was awarded to the pizza with the best combined overall rating from all four categories.  

The cheese pizzas that were tasted were the Scotto 14 inch thick round pan baked pizza, the Luigi’s Pizza Fresca 14 inch cheese pizza, and the Franco’s small hand tossed 12 inch plain pizza. Each pizza slice from the three restaurants were tasted separately and simultaneously side-by-side tasted.  To make it as unbiased as possible, the slices were given at random so the five participants did not know from which pizzeria they were eating.   

At the end of the pizza tasting and descriptions, they ranked the pizza, #1 being the most liked and #3 being the least liked pizza when compared to one another. Thus, the lower the number, the better the pizza preformed in that section. The table below shows the average value of the five evaluations.  

The higher the bar of the pizza restaurant, the worse it is in the category

Despite our pursuit of a completely blind taste test and unbiased results, some steps of our approach may have lead to some imperfect opinions and ratings.  For example, the pizza from Franco’s was smaller than the other two pizzerias because that was the smallest size the pizza place offered.  Therefore, the comparison between pizza was not completely equal. Also, all of these pizzas were room temperature by the time they were eaten, unlike the hot pizza that is eaten immediately after served.  Additionally, some bias may exist since the participants congregated at Scottos pizza to do the tasting. 

Sanjana Kondapalli

By appearance alone, Franco’s pizza is very neat, but basic looking.  It “looked eerily similar to school pizza,” said one reviewer. On the bright side though, the pizza was slightly dry, and therefore it wasn’t soggy.  The pizza could hold its structure if lifted up. 

Franco’s chewy and dry crust tasted good.  Or, as one reviewer said, they “did not hesitate to eat the crust along with the pizza.”

However, Franco’s pizza is slightly greasy and heavy. The cheese has no stretch due to the high cheese to sauce ratio.  This concentrated cheesiness slid fine on the pizza, but came off in chunks when bitten into. Overall, it was nothing special, but it is satisfying with its balanced and even flavors and textures of the sauce and cheese. 

Sanjana Kondapalli

Luigis Pizza Fresca’s 14 inch pizza is thinner than Francos pizza (maybe due to the difference in diameter).  Comparatively, the cheese has undertones of yellow and orange rather than white.  And unlike Franco’s pizza, Luigi Pizza Fresca’s pizza could not hold its own when lifted up, and is very flimsy.

One described this dough as having “more of a brick oven feel.”  This small crust is smokey, chewy due to its hardness, and very dry. Luigi’s Pizza Fresca’s pizza is thin, making the dough slightly burnt and crispier.  On the other hand, the pizza is oily and greasy because of the cheese. The cheese gives the pizza its sharp and poignant taste.  When the cheese is chewed on, it naturally comes off into mouth, with no real aftertaste. 

Scottos Pizza’s pizza’s main feature is its grease and oil from the cheese on the pizza. One reviewer even commented that they “can barely tell it’s ‘a pizza’’ because it “tastes purely like grease” and “top layer feels liquid.”  Only one participant out of five participants commented that “the taste was good, cheesy, [and] saucy, [all of which are]… in good balance.” Another commented that the cheese was the worst, and that it “did not taste as ‘solid’ as the other ones.”  However, this cheese seemed the most fresh and natural cheese than the other restaurant’s pizzas.    

In general, all of these pizzas have a less sauce to cheese ratio.  The group was split on whether this pizza was better than the first they tried, Franco’s pizza.  Some liked the balance and appealing look of the Franco’s pizza, while others thought Luigi’s Pizza Fresca had more of a distinctive flavor. Although Scotto’s pizza has the freshest tasting ingredients and Luigi’s Pizza Fresca was the saltiest, Scotto’s pizza was too greasy, and Luigi’s Pizza Fresca is balanced.  Franco’s pizza looked the least natural and more like a frozen pizza, but does not have nearly as much grease and oil that came with the other pizzas, and therefore, is one of the favorites. However, when rated, Luigi’s Pizza Fresca came out on top.  

 

The Awards:

Best Appearance: Luigi’s Pizza Fresca

Worst Appearance: Francos

    

          Greasiest: Scottos

          Least Greasy: Francos

 

          Thickest: Francos

          Thinest: Luigi’s Pizza Fresca

 

Best Flavor/Taste: Luigi’s Pizza Fresca

Worst Flavor/Taste: Scottos Pizza

 

         Best Crust: Franco’s Restaurant

         Worst Crust: Scottos Pizza

 

         Saltiest: Luigi’s Pizza Fresca

         Least Salty: Franco’s

 

         Least Sauce:  Luigi’s Pizza Fresca

         Most Sauce:  Franco’s

 

         Least Cheese Stretch: Franco’s

         Most Cheese Stretch: Scotto’s

 

Best Texture: Francos

Worst Texture: Scottos

 

Best Smell: Luigi’s Pizza Fresca

Worst Smell: Scottos

 

Overall Best: Luigi’s Pizza Fresca

Overall Worst: Scotto’s

 

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The Perfect Slice: Taste Testing Local Pizzerias