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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mama Velia's (Royersford) - Margherita Pizza

The appearance is of a 14" Neapolitan style pizza with a thin interior, and a doughy, bubbly, outer crust. Thick amounts of white mozzarella cheese are piled near the inside of the pie, over crushed tomatoes. Some fresh basil is scattered along the top of the melted cheese. - 3.5

The crust is thin on the interior of the pie, leading to a crust that has been given a long rise of dough fermentation, judging by the size of the bubbles on the outer rim and the doughy feel of the outer crust. The somewhat fruity dough flavors also make me believe this was a long rise. Some may consider this dough over-risen. They have flattened out the dough before cooking by pushing/flattening down at the center and working their way towards the outer rim, leaving a thick, bready crust. There are some char marks on a few spots (mainly the large bubbles) of the pie. The underside shows a golden brown crust. This pie is cooked in a wood fired oven. I'm not sure of the amount of heat that they're getting in there but if there was a way to crank up the degrees, or retain more heat on the bottom surface, this would lead to a more enticing, crispy, charred bottom. Not bad though. - 3

The sauce is of crushed tomatoes without any sugar, or thickening additions. Perhaps a mild touch of olive oil, and herbs are the only things added to this sauce. The tomatoes are on the acidic side with just a touch of sweet juice coming through. - 2.5

The cheese is of a house-made mozzarella cheese. It's sweet, soft, gooey, and retains plenty of liquid, which seems to defy any kind of charring, or overcooking in the oven. This seems to be the highlight of the pie. The dairy compliment retains all milky flavors despite the heat from the oven. - 4.5

Overall, this pie was pretty nice. The component that will make me come back is the cheese, which is the clear star of the pizza. I like how a place out in the suburbs is firing rustic pizzas in a wood burning oven. There a few things that could make this better but I'll take it for what it is. - 2.5

Total Score: 3.2/5

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