Pizza is popular; there is hardly a corner of the globe where you cannot buy. Almost everybody, young and old, go drooling at the mere utterance of the word. There are many authentic, traditional recipes and more pizza chains than there are perhaps for any other type of food.
The competition urge in humans, which we touched upon in our articles on racing (horses and/or cars) is present here, too. There have been numerous competitions seeking to establish which is best in presentation or taste or which chef is faster or neater in the making of his/her pizza, in other words tests of the skills of “dough-obsessed divas with superstar status”.
There is for instance the annual World Pizza Championship in Naples where judges have to sample innumerable pizzas in many categories. There have also been competitions for the largest pizza and in 2012 that was won by Rome with a pizza that measured 1261.65 square meters.
However, the June 10, 2017 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California was different. It was an attempt by PizzaOvens.com and sponsors to set a new World record for the longest pizza ever. The work as planned occupied the area from outside of turn 3 of the legendary NASCAR oval track along the tram route to the fan zone (see below the link for the track map).
According to the earlier media release by PizzaOvens.com:
-The dough weighed about 17600 lbs
-The sauce weighed about 5.600 lbs
-The cheese weighed about 3.600 lbs
-Total weight of pizza is 26000 lbs (around 7,000 Pizza)
-The scaffolding was provided by At-PAC Scaffolding Solutions and erected by Scaffold Works and Capstone Scaffolding. Using GPS equipment, Joseph E Bonadiman & Associates Inc. (JBA) confirmed that the 700 section scaffolding covered 7,000 lineal feet.
-At its peak, the oven was moving at around 1 ft/Sec. The assemblers needed to work fast or the oven would catch up with them. The oven was cooking at 900*F and once it started it cannot pause or stop.
-The assemblers made up of top pizzaiolos from across the US rotated every four hours to stay fresh. It was estimated that the pizza would be ready to cut and serve at around 4PM. But people did not have to wait till then to eat; there was numerous food stalls offering a wide variety of foods and drinks. This is also a historic charity event as all proceeds and product will go to the local Homeless Shelters and Food Banks.
The event in Fontana successfully surpassed the last Guinness record of the longest pizza of 2016 which itself exceeded the length of the pizza of the previous year. In 2015, the longest pizza was 5,234 ft. 4.8 in /1,595.45 meters long. It was the creation of La Pizza+1 of Sante Ludovico, NIPfood of Dovilio Nardi and Tomato World Week 2015 at Milan’s Expo 2015. That record was beaten in 2016 when Napoli Village created a pizza 6,082 ft 3.40 in /1,853.88 meters long. The pizza was running all along the picturesque Caracciolo’s seafront. 250 proud chefs of traditional Neapolitan pizza gathered for the big event which was organized by Oramate, the company behind Napoli Village together with the Association of Neapolitan pizza-masters, the city if Naples and Univerde Foundation.
On June 10, 2017, the record was beaten and the championship moved west to Fontana, California, that currently hold the new record of 6,333 ft 3.6 in/1,930.390 meters long pizza. There was also live music and lots of entertainments for all ages ensuring a most enjoyable day for all the family.
The Longest Pizza event, as already mentioned, took place at the Auto Club Speedway which is about 45 minutes north east of Downtown Los Angeles. It used to be called California Speedway. The track is owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation. Its construction, on the site of Kaiser Steel Mill, started in 1995 and was finished in 1996. Paul Tracy was the first driver to test the track. The official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony took place on June 20, 1997 with the first race, a NASCAR West Series, being held the following day. Like other race tracks, the Auto Club Speedway is often used in commercials, television shows and films. Most famous among those is the film The Bucket List (2007) which featured Jack Nicholson and Morgen Freedman driving a vintage Shelley Mustang and a Dodge Challenger around the two-mile track.
For more information please refer to the following links:
(The map for Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California)