What is arguably the best and most famous pizza in New York City has very recently decided to start pizza making classes at its old shop in Midwood, Brooklyn. The new manager of my team decided to do a team event here tonight, so I got to benefit from these classes. While it’s not a traditional cooking class in that you do not actually make the pizza dough, the tomato sauce, etc., from scratch, what you do get is to try one slice each of their signature slices, then shape your own dough into a pizza round/oblong, add your own seasoned tomato sauce (San Marzano tomatoes, no less) to the dough, then top with mozzarella, parmesan, and olive oil.
The DiFara pizza is noticeably different than other NYC pizza slices: the crust is thinner and crunchier, the tomato sauce is a bit more balanced between sweet and tangy, and the topping of parmesan and olive oil as a finish is always just right to add the last bit of savory and salty. I would not say it is my favorite pizza, as that would be a hard call to make, but it is definitely delicious and noteworthy, even without the original owner making every single pizza the way he always wanted. That just wasn’t scalable for his level of demand.
I enjoyed every bite of the pizzas, even the slice of the pizza I made where I tried a bite out of it right out of the oven. At 600 degrees F, I burned the roof of my mouth and left the place with tender and sore gums, but it was all worth it in the end. These are the moments I am so grateful to not have a gluten allergy.
And during the class, they closed DiFara’s. We noticed four guys knock on the door, and they begged and pleaded to let them buy two full pies, as they traveled all the way from London just to try this famous pizza. After some back and forth that probably lasted a few minutes, the workers relented and let them in. They freshly shaped and made the pies, stuck them in the oven, and the Brits paid and left happily with their hot and steamy fresh pies.
As I walked out, I noticed that even though DiFara’s says they are cash-only, they actually did have a credit-card machine that the Brits used to pay. And they also left the receipt on the counter… which showed that they tipped these guys over 50 percent.