The new-to-the-tournament pizzerias in this Round 1 pool competition of sausage pizzas:
Pizza DaVinci - Troy
Deli and Brew - Troy
Elia's - East Greenbush
Goomba's - East Greenbush
The judges gathered at the Arts Center of the Capital Region...
A quick note about how all this works:
The judges taste the pizzas blind. That is, they don't know which pizza they're tasting during judging. They taste the competitors side by side. Each judge assesses the pizzas by crust (5 points possible per judge), sauce (5 points), toppings (5 points), and overall taste (10 points). Each judge represents either 1/4 or 1/5 of the possible points, depending on the number of judges present. However many judges, all scores will be according to a 100-point scale.
How this year's brackets were selected.
If you'd like to get a closer look at the pizzas, there are large-format closeups above -- scroll all the way up.
Round 1 pool
Deli & Brew
This shop, near HVCC, is known for its subs. But its pizza represented in this round, thanks in large part to its crust. The judges called the cornmeal-dusted crust "very good" with "good flavor," "nice char" on the bottom, and "a little chewy." Another winning category: toppings. The judges called the sausage crumbles "fatty but flavorful" with good fennel flavor, and concluded one judge "Yum!" Overall the judges praised Deli & Brew's pizza for its balance.
This East Greenbush pizzeria posted a solid score thanks in part to its sauce. One judge said it had "solid tomato flavor" and another described it as "flavorful" and "spicy." The judges were split on Elia's sausage, though -- with a few calling it "meaty" and "very tasty." But it didn't light up some of the others, with one remarking that they didn't like the way it worked with the cheese.
Another suburban competitor, it also scored well with its sauce, with judges describing it as "sweet," "herb-y," and "garlicky." Its sausage did not go over as well. Some of the judges found it "chewy" with a flavor that didn't register for them. And though some of the judges enjoyed the texture of the crust ("end nice and chewy"), others were turned off by its flavor.
This pizza from this shop, on a busy section of Hoosick Street, didn't work for the judges. They didn't appreciate the texture of the pizza's crust ("too many properties of cardboard"), its sauce hit the wrong notes, and the pizza's sausage didn't register for them.
Deli & Brew posts a solid score to advance to the second round, where it will perennial Troy power DeFazio's.
Tomorrow: the Tournament of Pizza heads to Albany.
Thank you, thank you
Many thanks to The Arts Center of the Capital Region for hosting us in their kitchen. We've always been treated warmly there, and this was no exception.
The 2013 Tournament of Pizza is sponsored by The College of Saint Rose.
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