Know What Else Sucks About San Francisco? The Pizza

"It costs $482.79 to get a decent pizza in San Francisco-$17 for the pie, $85 for cab fare, and $378.80 for the flight to New York. Throw in $1.99 for tinfoil." Wired's Joe Brown enlists New York chef and pizza hound Mario Batali to figure out just why pizza is one of the many, many things that San Francisco can't get right. "'Californians do a lot of great stuff with their green-market goods,' [says Batali] but 'some of it's just not pizza.' I called the Iron Chef to help me figure out why San Francisco-a formidable food town-can't birth a respectable pie. Part of the reason, of course, is that while Rice-A-Roni and zinfandel are native to Northern California, pizza is not.

"'New York has a grand tradition of pizza making and holds it dear,' Batali says. Which means institutions like Arturo's have been using the same equipment for decades. 'An oven captures the gestalt of beautifully cooked pizza. And it imparts that.'" While we're at it, Chicago-style "pizza" isn't pizza at all but a nasty cheese stew served in a soggy dough bucket. [Wired]