9 episodes

The Modernist Pizza Podcast will record the science, history, and culture of pizza, all told through in-depth interviews by host Michael Harlan Turkell, as well as insights by Nathan Myhrvold & Francisco Migoya, the coauthors of Modernist Pizza a 1700+ page book all about pizza. They’ll chew over the world’s most popular food, with the people who have been part of its storied past, and are shaping its yet to be told future.
Each slice of this series examines a different piece of pizza, from its origins to evolution, deep dives into flour, sauce, and cheese, as well as the proliferation of regional styles and its boundless global influence. From Naples to New York City, South America to Japan, pop-ups to frozen mail-order pies, listen in as we talk to experts, enthusiasts, and the pizza elite who have put this humble pizza pie on the map.

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Modernist Pizza Podcast Modernist Cuisine / Michael Harlan Turkell

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 38 Ratings

The Modernist Pizza Podcast will record the science, history, and culture of pizza, all told through in-depth interviews by host Michael Harlan Turkell, as well as insights by Nathan Myhrvold & Francisco Migoya, the coauthors of Modernist Pizza a 1700+ page book all about pizza. They’ll chew over the world’s most popular food, with the people who have been part of its storied past, and are shaping its yet to be told future.
Each slice of this series examines a different piece of pizza, from its origins to evolution, deep dives into flour, sauce, and cheese, as well as the proliferation of regional styles and its boundless global influence. From Naples to New York City, South America to Japan, pop-ups to frozen mail-order pies, listen in as we talk to experts, enthusiasts, and the pizza elite who have put this humble pizza pie on the map.

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    La Boca & Tokyo Marinara

    La Boca & Tokyo Marinara

    🍕 Pizza is a universal language, one of love, and legend. 🍕
    We’ll start with a trip to South America, by way of Argentina and Brazil … No, we’re not doing this alphabetically, but rather, chronologically. The first pizzas sold in Buenos Aires were by Don Agustin Banchero, at his bakery Olivarria in 1893, who, surprisingly, was a Genoan immigrant, not Neapolitan. Banchero, the standalone pizzeria, wasn’t opened until the 1930s in the La Boca port area.
    Whereas Brazil’s pizza culture dates back to the early 1900s, thanks to an influx of immigrants from Campania — here, the style is personal pies, served at dinner only, and eaten with a knife and fork.
    In Japan, there’s an emergence of Tokyo-style marinara, a 50/50 ratio of tomato sauce to olive oil, but what seems to be most important there, is the experience, or as they call it: ometanashi.
    And of course we’re going to talk about Italy … but what is there to say that hasn’t been said already? A lot it seems! We’ll hear from modern day masters, a chef in Rome applying modernist techniques to toppings, as well as the making of “mountain pies” in the hills between Venice and the Dolomites.

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    • 1 hr 33 min
    We Bought The Pizza Farm

    We Bought The Pizza Farm

    Don’t worry, we’ll address the elephant in the room: why does Modernist Cuisine think Portland, Oregon, is the pizza capital of the United States? Francisco will make this abundantly clear. We’ll also clarify California-style pizza, do a deep dive into Chicago’s pizza allegiances, get our fricco on with Detroit’s cheesy crust, and drive a 250-mile stretch of highway along the Mississippi river to visit seasonal pizza farms in Wisconsin. We’ll also cross bridges and tunnels to find out why the best pizza in the tristate area may be from New Jersey? And how Mystic, Connecticut, a seaport town that came to fame in the late 1980s for a pizza-themed movie, now has a umami-packed pie of its own!
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    • 1 hr 30 min
    Burning Down The House

    Burning Down The House

    We survey the multitude of pizza making ovens around the world, why wood is the romantic choice for fuel source, how one pizzeria had to burn to the ground to reinvent themselves, what the first steps to building your own oven are, and how to take that portable pizza oven from the backyard to realizing your own brick and mortar — not to mention how pizza trucks are driving the pizza oven revolution. Oh, and pans. Because who doesn’t love a pan pizza!
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    • 1 hr 21 min
    Frankencheeses & Cherries On Top

    Frankencheeses & Cherries On Top

    Why is buffalo mozzarella considered a luxury cheese, and what makes it different from regular mozzarella, anyway? And why don’t more people make mozzarella at home? We’ll talk to the makers of DIY mozzarella kits, how Wisconsin brick cheese defined Detroit-style pizza, and how to make your own Franken-cheeses like St. Louis’ Provel, as well as why vegans are nuts for imitation cheeses. Modernist Cuisine will teach you the tricks of infusing your mozzarella for extra flavor like you’ve never had before — even before you put on your pepperoni, pineapple, anchovies, and/or mayonnaise.
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    • 1 hr 22 min
    Aplomb Tomato

    Aplomb Tomato

    Why is the humble plum tomato the gold standard for pizza sauce? According to the AVP, there are only three tomato varieties permitted to make real authentic Pizza Napoletana: San Marzano (the most famous/infamous), Piennolo (known for being preserved in bunches, hanging on a piece of twine), and finally, the Corbarino. We’ll talk to growers of the two latter tomato types, and find out what sets their fruit apart. We’ll also find out what happens when a California canning company joins forces with a wood-fire pizza legend, how northern Italian pesto Genovese became the go-to green sauce for many pies, and what sauces Modernist Cuisine constituted as pizza sauce. Spoiler alert: that can of soup you have in your pantry may comply. What’s in your sauce?


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    • 56 min
    Know When to Hold Them, Know When to Fold Them

    Know When to Hold Them, Know When to Fold Them

    Dough is a living, breathing thing. It rises, it reacts to its environment: temperature, time … it’s an extensible object that shapes the way we interact with pizza. But how malleable is it? People are pushing the boundaries of what constitutes crusts throughout the country, giving new parameters to how we think about grain builds, proofing, shaping, baking, and handling the process of pizza making in general. While there are unlimited options for pizza toppings, Nathan posits that what may set it apart the most, is its base.
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    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

Rob DiNapoli ,

Pizza Sauces

Great exploration into sauces and the folks who make and use them! History, education and inspiratation.
Terrific!

LIZ1351 ,

Can’t wait for more!

Love this topic, love this host! I can’t wait to learn more about pizza through Michaels curious and thoughtful view.

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