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Famed New York City pizzerias, home to the traditional coal-and-wood-fired pizzas, are currently under the magnifying glass. A proposed city mandate now insists that these cherished pizza joints should dial down their carbon emissions by up to 75%. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is enforcing this change to foster healthier air quality in the city, considering coal and wood-fired ovens have been significant contributors to air pollution.
Pizzerias with coal and wood-fired ovens established before May 2016 might need to shell out a considerable sum to install emission-control devices. These measures have sparked conversations about the feasibility of these controls and their potential impact on the iconic taste of NYC pizzas.
Paul Giannone, owner of the renowned Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint, shares that while the transition to eco-friendliness is costly, it has its perks. Besides better air quality, the emission controls have seemingly had no effect on the flavorsome pizzas.
However, not everyone is on board with the changes. Some pizza restaurateurs argue that the emission controls could tamper with the delicate balance of heat in their ovens, potentially ruining the art of pizza making. They stress that this ‘art’ relies heavily on the unique charred taste achieved through traditional cooking methods.
As New York City turns a greener leaf, some customers echo the restaurateurs’ concerns. Their love for the authentic, coal-fired NYC pizza doesn’t wane, but the appetite for a cleaner environment could inspire a fresh chapter in the city’s pizza-making history.
Paulie Gee’s Giannone dispels the fears, stating that the emission controls haven’t altered the taste or quality of their pizzas. Under this mandate, other pizzerias would need to hire a professional to assess the feasibility of installing emission-control devices.
The proposed DEP rule aligns with environmental consciousness, urging the culinary world to make changes for the better. While it may pinch the pockets of some pizzeria owners, the move undoubtedly contributes to the city’s broader environmental goals. For now, the pizza-loving world watches with bated breath to see how this slice of New York’s pizza history unfolds.
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