By From the editors - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - 0 Comments
Today, pizza. Tomorrow … the world.
Agriculture Canada has announced that restaurants will soon pay less for their mozzarella cheese: a move that’s designed to cut the cost of pizzeria pizza and bring joy to hungry undergrads across the country. It certainly sounds like good news. But it’s really just a small step toward unwinding Canada’s antiquated supply management system that keeps prices high at home and discourages farmers from selling abroad. The best plan? Canadian cheese should follow Canadian wine into the bracing world of free trade.
Canada’s Byzantine supply management system uses quotas, tariffs and price controls to restrict imports and boost farmers’ incomes. As a result, mozzarella cheese, the dominant ingredient in most pizza, is signiﬁcantly cheaper in the United States. To help make them competitive, makers of frozen pizzas have enjoyed a discount on mozzarella tied to U.S. prices since 1995. But not restaurants. This new rule addresses the discrepancy between frozen and fresh pizzas. According to the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, which has been lobbying for decades for the change, mozzarella costs should drop five to 10 per cent. This could cut the price of a large takeout pizza by a dollar or so.
As pleasing as cheaper pizza sounds, however, Ottawa’s new policy doesn’t go nearly far enough. And, bizarrely, it creates a new federal pizza bureaucracy.
By Blog of Lists - Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 9:30 AM - 0 Comments
“Every year we see hundreds of pitches, and probably one in 10 is a good business idea, so nine others make no sense for whatever reason,” says Kevin O’Leary, the Dragon’s Den outspoken dragon. “Sometimes you go into the most insane space.”
1. Bottled Intentions: The idea was to sell bottles of water with inspirational words written on them. When O’Leary questioned the sanity of the entrepre- neur making the pitch, she asked him, “Are you suggesting that I’m a nutbar?” “Yes,” O’Leary replied.
By Jacob Richler - Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 4:28 PM - 0 Comments
A new pizza-oven insert held promise, just like all the BBQ gadgets that came before
Manufacturers of barbecues and their many accessories can sell the average, power-tool obsessed backyard chef just about anything this time of year. And they do: from miniature rotisseries built to handle a single ear of sweet corn to digital meat thermometers that broadcast wirelessly to a receptor in the hot tub and $10,000 grills with power outputs fierce enough to convert the family pet into pure carbon in eight seconds flat.
But now and then one of them actually comes up with something new that is useful too—and I have seldom encountered anything filling that description that captures the culinary taste of the day quite so tidily as the new KettlePizza, a device for converting your basic kettle barbecue into something so much more.
“Imagine authentic wood-fired pizza from your kettle grill,” their website taunts. The insert is a stainless steel sleeve that sits between the kettle grill and the lid, and at the front, along with a helpful thermometer, it features a mouth-like opening wide enough to accommodate a pizza paddle. Which is to say that in theory—and after a little practice—you would be free to invite friends to gather, awestruck, as you slip pies in and out of the thing as effortlessly as the tattooed and over-ogled Neapolitan at the parlour down the street.
By Jen Cutts - Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 1:10 PM - 0 Comments
Will Domino’s really be delivering lunar pizza?
Some might call it a pie-in-the-sky idea, but Domino’s says it plans to build a pizzeria on the moon. The company’s Japanese arm outlined its cosmic ambition on a website, moon.dominos.jp, with an artist’s renderings of a two-storey concrete dome containing a kitchen, eat-in space and plantation (staff living quarters and a “play room” with zero-gravity bowling lanes are below the surface). The project, envisioned with the help of well-known Japanese construction firm Maeda Corp., would cost roughly $21 billion—about 240 times Domino’s profits in 2010 (though costs would be offset by using the moon’s mineral deposits to mix the concrete).
In light of that shortfall, and NASA’s recent shutdown of the space shuttle program, the plan is likely nothing more than an elaborate publicity ploy. Domino’s Japan is known for cheeky stunts—last year, it had a flood of applicants for a one-hour pizza delivery job that paid $32,000. But, in a video on the website, Domino’s Japan president Scott K. Oelkers (in a space suit, naturally) assures “fellow earthlings” of his company’s sincerity, saying, “Perhaps you think we’re foolish to take on such a challenge, but we have a dream to deliver our pizza on the moon.”
By Alex Ballingall - Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 8:20 AM - 0 Comments
When a cop pulls up behind you on the side of the road, what…
When a cop pulls up behind you on the side of the road, what do you typically expect to happen? At best, a gentle warning; at worst, some time in the slammer. In Fredericton, it appears you may be treated to a free pizza courtesy of the local Pizza Hut—if you’re following the rules.
The Fredericton Police Force launched an initiative last week giving free pizzas to drivers who choose to pull over when ﬁddling with their cellphones. Police take their licence plate numbers so they can mail drivers coupons for a free, medium, three-topping pizza from Pizza Hut. Drivers’ names will also be entered in a draw for a Bluetooth headset.
“Our officers are really excited about it,” Const. Rick Mooney of the Fredericton Police Force tells Maclean’s. “I think it will create dialogue around the issue.” The issue is distracted driving, which Mooney blames for 80 per cent of vehicle collisions. On June 6, New Brunswick enacted a new law stipulating a fine of $172.50 for those caught texting and using their phones without headsets while driving. Ever since, Mooney says, police have noticed a number of people pulling to the side of the road to use their phones. The free pizzas, he says, are meant to reward the public and encourage more discussion about distracted driving. “Why not try something different and actually put a thank you out there and tell people we appreciate that?” Mooney says. “Hopefully we’ll see some good results.”
And if they do, what’s next—candy canes for sober drivers at Christmas?
By Joanne Latimer - Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 3:20 PM - 3 Comments
A London, Ont., pizza pro is hoping to take his show on the road
Here’s the elevator pitch: the Pizza Rider, a culinary superhero, rides across North America on a custom Harley, and stops to help families revive their old-fashioned pizzerias. When he isn’t turning struggling restaurants around, he’s visiting famous pizza haunts, or retracing the history of the pie. “I’m a pizza expert playing a character who is bigger than life, like Batman,” said Dino Ciccone, the London, Ont.-based creator, executive producer and star of The Pizza Rider. “The show has 30 to 40 million potential viewers. I crunched the numbers. Everyone loves pizza.”
For now, the show is in pilot mode. But CBS nibbled after seeing the first episode. In it, Ciccone helps a son and daughter who have inherited a pizzeria in London from their father. “They know the front of the house, but not the kitchen,” he says. “I have to explain how hard their father and grandfather worked to create this legacy. I get them to love pizza again.” CBS offered some suggestions, and Jamie Mitchell, the show’s new producer-director, flew from Hollywood to London last month to reshoot the pilot. “Initially, we thought we might have Dino act like more of a kick-down-the-door kind of guy,” says Mitchell. “But Dino’s a sweetheart. He’s a sexier Emeril Lagasse. Women in L.A. loved him!”
At 53, Ciccone, a jeans and T-shirt type who sports a goatee, is a youthful bear of a man. He was born in Argentina to Italian parents and raised in London, where he delivered pizzas in high school for East Town Pizza. His parents have always made cheese, sausages and wine at home. “They didn’t have a restaurant but they taught me how to cook,” says Ciccone, whose specialty is thin-crust pizza with unusual toppings, like hemp and bitter green salad. “It was like I was living the Food Network at home.” So after a short stint as a London bus driver in the ’80s (“bad back, a few accidents”), and two years in the Canadian air force, Ciccone found his way back to food. In 1990, he bought East Town Pizza with his brother and brother-in-law, and things blew up for him in 1995 when he won the award for Best Pizza in Canada. The following year, he won the “World’s Best Pizza” title. “My secret to winning is simple,” says Ciccone. “I’m very spiritual about pizza. When I make it, I make it like Jesus would be sitting down and eating it with me. Sometimes it takes me three hours to make a competition pizza.”
By Jacob Richler - Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 3:40 PM - 1 Comment
So much for locavorism. Authentic Neapolitan pizzas require overseas ingredients.
This was my kind of pizza. The casually formed dough of its periphery was blistered from intense heat, while its crumb was well-aerated and surprisingly elastic. Where crust met toppings, the texture grew moist and invitingly creamy. It was also very thin, a mere vehicle for the truffle paste, shredded mozzarella and thinly sliced porchetta—all centred by a whole runny egg. This pizza was not built for sharing, so I ate it all, and swiftly.
That was last week at Pizzeria Libretto, which shares space on a bustling stretch of Ossington Avenue in Toronto with a handful of happening tapas joints and trendy watering holes, some scary Vietnamese karaoke bars, and a few rundown garages. Libretto is unique: it is the only pizzeria in Canada to boast membership in the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN).
“VPN Member 291,” the menu reads. “Vera Pizza Napoletana requires strict adherence to the culinary discipline of the association. A wood-burning oven, San Marzano tomatoes, all-natural fresh mozzarella and double zero flour, along with proper technique, must be used.”
By Andrew Coyne - Monday, February 16, 2009 at 12:05 PM - 23 Comments
Back in 1994, I wrote the first editorial for the Globe and Mail trying to explain this “Internet” thing (or as it was known then, the Information Superhighway) to befuddled readers. “What is the Internet?” it began. “Is it, as Dave Barry says, like CB radio, only with typing?” (Which, come to think of it, is not far wrong.)
Anyway, in the course of my research I kept coming across the same example of the Internet’s alleged wonders, the same cribbed illustration of the fabulous new era we were about to enter.
“You’ll be able to order a pizza,” it ran, “through your TV set.”
As technological revolutions go, I should say, this left me somewhat cold. What did my TV set, with its ready signal and friendly, 13-number dial, have to do with the Internet, which required detailed knowledge of a forest of secret computer codes (PPP, TCP/IP, etc.) and a willingness to sit through 45 seconds of earsplitting modem chatter just so you could get a blank screen. And how exactly was this an advance over, say, the phone? When you can deliver a pizza through my TV set, I found myself saying, then I’ll be impressed.
Nevertheless, there it was, a shimmering golden vision, beckoning us toward a future of limitless pizza-visual convenience….
So it is a pleasure to report that, a decade and a half later, the future has finally showed up: