Daniel Raffel and his wife, Sara are a bit of pizza snobs. Having spent nearly a dozen years in New York and having devoted much of my girth to pizza, it is safe to say, we are kindred souls. They recently hosted a pizza shoot-out in order to determine where one could get the best deep-dish pizza (you know the kind Chicago loves) in San Francisco. Now you would think that it would be hard to get a slice of Chicago-style pizza in San Francisco. But that isn’t really true. There are quite a few places — and the shoot-out wanted to determine the best.
The shoot-out involved Dr. Elizabeth F. Churchill one of my favorite Yahoo! who is a scientist and cognitive psychologist. She has spoken at some of our events and she was running the very scientific experiment that involved 12 testers. I stayed away at fervent urgings of my cardiologist. The pizza’s came from Little Star, Patxi’s, and Zachary’s. For comparison, the testers used pizzas flown in from Chicago’s Lou’s and Gino’s.
Dr. Churchill, who was not taking the test herself, designed a ‘pizza score card’ to measure peoples judgement on each pizza on a 1-5 scale: Appearance, Smell, Texture, Taste, Finish, and Overall-loving-feeling. Each pizza was presented unbranded on a standard pizza board labeled only with a number. Each taster drew numbers from a hat to determine the order in which they tasted pizzas. This helps to control the error of the pizzas getting cold as they sat out. As each taster sampled a slice, they rated the pizza numerically on the dimensions listed and left write-in comments—a qualitative measure. Some did this in a more controlled manner than others.
Here are the results of this Pizza shoot-out:
- Little star.
Using an unscientific, aka my taste buds, I had come to similar conclusions independently. The frozen/reheated pizzas from Chicago proved to be pretty lame. You can read how the experiment was conducted in further detail h