No pie in the sky: Portland pizza is best in U.S., Nathan Myhrvold says in latest epic cookbook

(Nathan Myhrvold Photo / The Cooking Lab)

If you think New York is a slam dunk as the best pizza city in the U.S., well, fuggedaboutit!

According to Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya, co-authors of the upcoming “Modernist Pizza,” Portland, Ore., is putting out the best pizzas. Bloomberg reported this week that the authors came to that conclusion after eating almost 400 pies from coast to coast.

“We had an inkling it would be good,” Myhrvold told Bloomberg, “but we were shocked at how good it was.”

The former Microsoft chief technology officer, who went on to found Intellectual Ventures, is no stranger to making a literary splash around culinary topics, having previously released the epic “Modernist Cuisine” and “Modernist Bread” cookbooks from his Bellevue, Wash., home base.

Nathan Myhrvold, left, and Francisco Migoya. (The Cooking Lab Photo)

“Modernist Pizza” continues the tradition as a three-volume, 1,700-page “definitive guide to one of the world’s most popular foods” based on years of travel and research.

The authors visited 250 pizzerias around the world, and more than a dozen cities around the U.S. in search of great pizza. According to Bloomberg, besides Portland, they went to Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, St. Louis, Old Forge, Pa., New Haven, Conn., Jersey City, N.J., multiple boroughs of New York City, Chicago, Quad Cities in Iowa and Illinois, and Phoenix.

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The best pizza in Portland — and one of the two top pizza places in the U.S. — is Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, according to the authors. A wide assortment of “ultra-seasonal, ultra-local” toppings get a shout out, such as nectarines, melted leeks, housemade sausage and more.

Owner Sarah Minnick said in an Instagram post that she was incredibly proud of Portland pizza “today and everyday” and thankful for the recognition.

“Modernist Pizza” explores the food from every angle, according to a news release, from its origins in Italy, to the evolution of local pizza styles, to equipment, techniques, ingredients and more. There are 1,000 new recipes developed for the book, tested to ensure they could be made by pizza makers of all skill leves.

Myhrvold, a physicist, mathematician, inventor and photographer, also offers up scientific findings, of course, such as why pepperoni curls.

“Modernist Pizza” will be out Oct. 5, but is available for pre-order at a variety of retailers.

Geek life Books Food Modernist cuisine Modernist pizza Nathan myhrvold