If you’re in Japan right now you may have caught a segment about Scott’s Pizza Tours on Japanese TV yesterday! We were featured on a program called “Catch! World Top News.” A crew from the show attended last Sunday’s NYC Pizza Bus tour and produced a lovely 10-minute piece for their “@NYC” segment, which features cultural events, innovative businesses, and unique people.
If you’d like to watch the segment, go to this link and use the password Pizza. The segment starts at 2:30 and it’s entirely in Japanese (besides the interviews with me and tour guests). Enjoy!
My cousin Caroline, who was born and raised in Japan, sent me a translation of a portion of the video! Here is her translation. Thanks Cousin Caroline!
Lady in Japan: Next, we will hear from Michael McAteer in NY.
Michael: Good Morning! In this show, we will talk about something I have communicated to you before, the big theme, the inflation. I’m sure you are already aware of this, but the food and energy, in particular, have been increasing. Things sold in packages, such as potato chips, appear to have the same price (as before), but the size has decreased, hence it has been called “shrink-flation”.
Lady in Japan: Shrinking size of the potato chip packages may be a healthy thing, but here in Japan, the inflation is being called “stress-increase” and the situation is quite complicated.
Michael: That is like the shrink-flation. As you may have heard, just last week, the Fed Chairman Powell increased the rate by 0.75% to stop the inflation <etc etc>…… Even if FRB raises the rates, you can’t control the increase of oil prices…..etc etc. food prices are not likely to come down. This is an insane and extreme problem.
Michael: When the New Yorker’s discuss this issue of food price increase, what they actually, and immediately, thinking is “what? So, how much will a slice of pizza cost now?” Yes, of course, the pizza price has increased. However, the New Yorker’s’ love of pizza will not change. Please take a look.
2:39 minutes: Scott’s Bus
Michael: You get on this bus from Manhattan, and you visit four pizza places. This is a tour. It is $79 per person. 32 visitors and this tour is almost always full. Most of the pizza places you get to visit are not listed in your typical tour guidebooks. They are secret, but famous pizza places.
First, the Neapolitan style. It has been baked with <gibberish> and has the unique characteristics of being “sticky”. At each place, you get to carefully enjoy the taste of the slice of pizza.
The tour guide, Scott Wiener, loves pizza and has achieved a special craftsman position in this field. He is the expert. He has visited over 3000 pizza places around the world. The trivia you hear from such an individual is definitely one of the highlights of this tour.
Next, we cross the east river to Brooklyn. We visited a pizza place that is loved by the locals. At this place, what we enjoyed is a thick, crunchy pizza called the Grandma style pizza. It is called grandma style because the Italian immigrants enjoyed their pizza in this manner at home. The sauce goes on top of the cheese. This upside-down style is popular in Brooklyn.
Michael: The last place was where you can eat a hefty slice. This is called the Sicilian style where the crust is very thick, like bread.
Everyone’s heart and stomach has been well taken cared and now the 4.5 hr tour ends.
Ladies in japan: wow. I’m definitely starting to get hungry! BTW, this pizza expert, Mr. Wiener, what is he like?
Michael: He is THE Pizza man! He is a complete pizza aficionado. Not surprisingly, given that his name is Wiener, his favorite topping is a sausage. The tour started 14 years ago, but he has also written expert pizza articles. He has appeared in pizza-focused TV shows because he is New York’s definitive Mr. Pizza.
Here, he let us film the inside of his closet. Look at this! It is packed with pizza boxes. He is also known as the Pizza Box Collector, and ten years ago, he collected 595 pizza boxes, which became the Guinness World record. Today he has 1700 boxes. I wonder if his girlfriend does not get angry about that. That could be a very serious situation.
This week, we were able to speak to Scott.
<interview in English>
Lady in Japan: Wow. What a Pizza <gibberish> So, for the New Yorker’s, how familiar are they and fond of their pizza?
Michael: Oh, they are very familiar and fond of their pizza! Pizza’s status is like the status of ramen in Japan. In both cases, distinctions are important. <something about a Gourmet King> Wherever you go, you can find a place that specializes/excels in pizza. Originally, it was considered to be a food from a foreign country, but now NY is considered as the authentic place to have pizza. In many aspects, it is like the ramen.
Michael: And today, I bought the most typical style of Pizza in NY. I don’t know if you can see it all but it is 50 cm! It is huge! Of course, you eat by grabbing a slice, but as you can see, when it is hot, it droops so that is when you fold the end, just like this, and now you can eat even as you walk.
Lady in Japan: Eating as you walk doesn’t sound easy…but, is there a distinctive New Yorker’s’ way of eating pizza?
Michael: Well, this is not unique to NY, but we also enjoy cold pizza. It’s good as breakfast food. You just put the hot pizza in the frig overnight, and next morning, you can enjoy the calmer version of pizza. The best part is that this won’t droop. You can hold it anyway you want. It is so flexible. At my home, we fight over this cold pizza. In fact, when someone tries to eat all of the pizza while it’s hot, we will say “you must save at least one slice for the cold pizza!”
Michael: During the hot weather in Japan, I hope you can eat a lot of pizza <and obtain something or the other>
Ladies in Japan: the impression here/Japan is that cold pizza is not good. But, perhaps we need to give it a try. Let’s have pizza for lunch today.