São Paulo is obsessed with pizza. Local foodies, food critics and plain old pizzaholics duke it out in newspapers and magazines, on the internet, and sometimes on the street corner as they champion their own particular favorite pizza. The city has its own particular style of pizza, as unique as the style of Neapolitan pizza or a New York slice, but within that style their are legions of twists and variations on the theme. A São Paulo pizza brings the cheese front and center, at the expense of the tomato sauce. Tomato sauce is present, but it's a grace note compared to the major melody of cheese.
The pizzas of São Paulo vary in price and presentation as well as in recipe. The city has innumerable hole-in-the-wall pizza joints, it's got fast food pizza emporiums and it has upmarket, dimly-lit pizza palaces. It's in one of these palaces where the most expensive pizza in São Paulo (according to the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper) can be found. The pizza menu at a restaurant called Veridiana tops out at the sum of R$120.00 which at today's exchange rate is USD$76.50. That's nothing to sneeze at, even in a city that has some very expensive restaurants.
Veridiana's menu-topper pizza is named Napoli in Toscana. It's a take on the classic Neapolitan Pizza Margherita, jazzed up with Tuscan truffle oil and plentiful slices of black truffles. (For nearly eighty bucks, one would hope the slices of black truffles are plentiful). This pizza, admittedly, is pricy, but if the same pizza were served in a similar restaurant in New York, London or Rome, with the same quantity of truffles, we have a feeling that it would be even more expensive. The newspaper published a photo of the Napoli in Toscana pizza in their article about upmarket pizzas, and the truffle-laden beauty is a stunner. Here's the photo:
In addition to the R$120 pizza from Veridiana, the article highlighted other expensive pizzas in São Paulo. Most of them were in the R$60-65 range, which is not cheap but which works out to a reasonable USD$35-38. If you don't feel like charging up your credit card even by that amount, however, the city offers decent, dependable and authentic pizzas for an average of R$20-30. That's only USD$12-18, and that's a bargain.