Episode 87- Pizza Tours with Scott Wiener
This week’s delicious episode features an interview with Scott Weiner of Scott’s Pizza Tours. If you think that means we’re interviewing some guy who leads tours of pizzerias you’re in for so much more than that.
Scott is a bona fide pizza expert, pizza historian and all-around pizza fan. He’s a super fun interview and offered up a ton of fascinating information about arguably the most beloved food in existence.
Scott’s love of pizza goes back to his childhood and his thirst for knowledge on the tasty goodness of a pie has grown into a fulltime passion and job that attracts visitors from around the globe. His tours, which launched in 2008, visit an array of pizzerias around New York for a slice of history, food, and fun. Participants get to hear first-hand the stories that built the business, the unique elements that bring the magic of their personal brand of pie and of course some tasting. One of the coolest things about the tour is it’s never the same tour twice. The list of pizzerias they visit is extensive and it’s not uncommon for visitors to hop on a tour every time they visit New York.
In addition to the tours, Scott continues to study the history of the food. He teaches courses on the craft, travels the world trying pizzas, consults with owners in the industry, writes for pizza trade magazines and holds the Guinness World Record for owning the most pizza boxes (check out our bonus content on our YouTube Channel to learn more on that. And, yes, the boxes are clean.)
On top of all that, Scott and his team created Slice Out Hunger in 2009. The non-profit utilizes pizza-related events and fundraisers to support American hunger relief and prevention efforts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Slice Out Hunger launched a hugely successful meal service for essential workers in the New York area. To support these and Slice Out Hunger’s other initiatives click here.
Fans of the show will also appreciate the fact that Scott was the first guest to ever render both Luke and Heidi speechless when he turned the tables on our hosts to ask them the seemingly simple, yet extremely complex question of, what exactly makes something a pizza. Think about it for a minute, you’ll be stumped too.
Scott also gave us an incredible lesson on the history of one of the most delicious pizzas of all, the Margherita. We won’t spoil it here, but it’s a story that, believe it or not, is filled with intrigue and mystery that dates back centuries. It, of course, also involves some royalty of yore.
Scott shared with us some of the trends in pizza and the ways that so many regions have created their own ‘styles’ of pizza. We also dove into how those styles become trends on a grander national and international scale. For example, Heidi’s own Detroit style pizza is totally having a moment yet, she and her fellow Detroiters have been stuffing their faces with it since the mid-twentieth century.
Luke and Heidi loved their chat with Scott and could have spent hours talking to him about all things pizza history. Look for them to be planning a follow-up live episode on site of one of his pizza tours in the future. To check out the tours for yourself click here.