It’s official: London’s best pizza is a teeny tiny establishment hidden away in the ’burbs – and I helped bring it to the masses.
To help find London’s best pizza, I worked my way through Naples’ finest export for six days in a row, as part of a team of reviewers eating their way across the city. I don’t know about the other participants, but my behind still resembles an enthusiastic pizzaiolo’s mound of dough as a result of my endeavours. But my greed was all for the greater good, so I consider my new freeform posterior an act of physical altruism.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve taken on a pizza-related challenge. When I was an angular-limbed, stick-thin 12-year-old, I beat a grown man in a pizza-eating contest. (Come to think of it, he could well have been grooming me for future gluttony, though it all seemed quite innocent at the time.)
I was at his daughter’s birthday party and we were going down the All You Can Eat route at one of those places that serve pizzas whose deep-fried bases can double as yoga mats. He asked me which of us – him or I – could eat the most slices, and I answered truthfully. He raised an eyebrow and upped the stakes by telling me he’d give me a fiver if I did manage to beat him. Whereupon I coolly proceeded to match him slice for slice…
…Thirteen slices later, I ordered a cheeky dessert while my opponent collapsed face-down on the table, banging his hand on it repeatedly to signify surrender. I sauntered out, crisp fiver in hand; he staggered home a changed – and more cautious – man. It has been ever thus.