Thursday, March 8, 2007
Perfection is elusive, subjective, and ultimately unattainable but worth striving for nonetheless. Isn't an almost perfect pizza better than a pizza that doesn't even try. It seems the simpler things can be the hardest to perfect. A pizza has just a few components, so there is no hiding for a flawed crust, a lackluster sauce, an unwise choice of cheese. No one pizza will be perfect for everyone but is it all subjective? Taste is ingrained and trained, some things I will never like, some things I've learned to love that I once despised. Pizza is like a haiku, so few words, so few ingredients, each must be perfect, or at least strive to be.
Each week I make pizza dough for work, each week I get closer to what I think an ideal dough is. It isn't fancy cuisine, but there is no hiding behind an expensive ingredient, or fancy equipment. Flour, water, yeast, salt. Just as a proper sushi chef must perfect his rice before being allowed to touch a fish, a proper dough is the foundation of pizza. Some may say the sauce is essential, but really, without the dough there is no pizza. I think there is a lesson in this, that there is something necessary and essential about focusing on the basic things in life, an obvious conclusion but something we often forget in the face of expensive ingredients and fancy techniques.