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GQ's Alan Richman names Top 25 pizzas

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GQ food critic Alan Richman prefaces his detailed breakdown of the country's Top 25 pizzas in the June issue of the magazine with an incisive smackdown of Italy's (if not the world's) most prized pizza -- the Neapolitan -- and what he perceives as the typical Italian's reverence for the place of pizza in dining.

"The nearly liquefied glob of buffalo mozzarella ... Water drains from the tomatoes. Oil joins the flood. All that excess liquid has to go somewhere, which is why the bottom crust turns to mush, not that it was ever particularly crispy," he writes. "This is why Italians need a knife and fork. This is why our pizzas are better than theirs."

Serious Eats has a good breakdown (plus a pic of Richman -- doesn't he sort of look like Grover?) if you don't have time for the 13-page feature (though it's def. worthwhile.) And more about pizza after the jump.

Guess that means our beloved Punch didn't make the cut, huh Al? While we have seven distinct styles of pie here in the U.S., Richman says, he admittedly prefers American-style pizza, with its typically firmer, durable constitution. "It's primarily identified by two vital, distinct, and non-Italian elements: a golden glow and a chewy yet velvety interior," he writes.

Only five on the list hailed from the Midwest, and four of them from Michigan. (The state is apparently known for its pan pizza -- who knew?) Numero uno is from Chicago: "creative, original, and somewhat local ... everything irresistible about the new American style of pizza-making."

Richman nods to the uniform, high heat offered by coal ovens and the superior pie it produces. Perhaps Black Sheep will make the cut next time around?