You know how sometimes people are kind of snobby about things and you think, "Oh brother, it's all in your heaaaaaaaad." Mostly, I feel this way about food things - the person who swears freshly squeezed lemon juice or minced garlic is a thousand times better than the bottled/jarred version, or the person who insists that a mandolin is the only way to be a real cook.
Except, most of the time, when I try the other alternative, I find out that the snob was right and, whoops, now I'm a snob too.
When Mel from Mel's Kitchen Cafe (only my favorite recipe blog in the whole wide world) mentioned that pre-shredded cheese was an abomination (my word, not hers) and that you should shred your own cheese for a FAR superior product, I may have rolled my eyes a little. Until I made pizza with a block of mozzarella cheese instead of a bag (because it's what I had and also my block was seconds away from molding before my eyes and I couldn't bear to throw it away after paying good money for it) and my life was changed forever. Now I'm a shredded cheese snob. Pardon me.
Similarly, my sister-in-law gave me a pizza stone for Christmas. I was excited about it because I'd heard how great they were, but I figured, really, how different can it be? I mean, will it REALLY improve my pizza and other bread products that much?
Also, you're supposed to WASH your stone with water and soap before you use it and, for some reason, I was too lazy to do that. Yes, I could not be bothered for THREE MONTHS to take 30 seconds to wash my pizza stone. I am ashamed.
And then, one night when I was making pizza, I thought, "hmm, if I put my pizza on parchment paper, it won't matter if my pizza stone is not washed and I'll just use it unwashed." Which is what I did.
I'm guessing you already know what the punch line is. . . I'm totally a pizza stone snob now. I cannot tell you how VASTLY improved my pizza is.
I have never been the world's biggest fan of homemade pizza, mainly because of the crust, which was always too bready for me (I am ridiculously picky about bread products), and now I'm suddenly eating ALL the crust. It's the right texture, the taste is phenomenal, and it's crispy enough on the bottom that you can eat it one-handed (the true test of a pizza slice in my mind).
So here I am, on the dark side, looking down my nose at my formerly oft-used pizza pans, now relegated to making nothing but biscuits. And it may look like snobbery, but really, my pizza is so much tastier than it ever has been before.