We got a Domino’s flyer in our mailbox the other day advertising the Brooklyn Classic pizza. If you’ve ever eaten pizza in Japan, you know that Japanese pizza has very little in common with Brooklyn pizza. Japanese pizza is classically adorned with corn, shrimp and squid on a bed of ketchup and a few shavings of Velveeta. Not much difference from Domino’s in the U.S. except for the corn… and squid.
But, influenced by the birthplace of the pizza pie, Japanese pizza in recent years has undergone a renaissance. Forgetting its American diner roots, the Japanese pizza has taken on a decidedly Napolitano flair. Pizza margarita, fungi or quattro formaggi are common now in Italian cafes with espresso machines in the windows. Looks chic, tastes alright, but it don’t take me to Brooklyn.
But there it was, in full color, on the Domino’s ad. The Brooklyn Classic. Our mouths watered at the implications. If the pizza were half what the name advertised, it would be worth the call–and the short term loan needed to pay for it. We ordered. Italian sausage, pepperoni and seasoned ground beef. Then we waited. We checked the doorbell just to make sure it was working, and we waited some more. At last it came. Extra-large Brooklyn classic with a 2 liter bottle of coke. Total cost: 4150 yen. That’s about $55.00 U.S. That’s right $55.00 for a delivery pizza.
We set the box down on the coffee table and tuned on the Japanese Baseball All-Star game. we opened the box slowly so as not to let the heat out–anticipating what East Coast delight might await in side. Simultaneously, I braced myself for disappointment. But the pizza looked like a pizza! A real pizza! Sure it looked more Domino’s than Howard Beach, but it was real pizza. No corn, no squid.
I took the first bite. Not bad. Not classic Brooklyn, but not Naples either. And certainly not Tokyo. The sauce was tomato sauce, The spices spicy, and the cheese was likely once a dairy product. The Coke sucked though. Coke always sucks in Japan.