D.C. pizza makers are in hot water over a new rule that requires them to add a touch of cheese to their dough before it’s baked.
The new rule will also raise costs for customers.
WSJ’s Michelle Cottle reports.
Photo: Getty Images.
Read moreThe rules were enacted by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to address a growing concern among pizza enthusiasts that the dough is too salty and it causes a lot of gas during baking.
It’s not the only problem.
There are many other problems.
Dry dough in the oven is an excellent way to preserve the taste of a pie and can prevent the dough from drying out.
But the new rule requires the use of a touch-and-go method for the dough.
If you’re using a dryer, you’re not required to use it.
A touch- and-go approach to the dough in a dry oven will allow the dough to sit longer and keep it from drying.
That’s good news for pizza fans who like to bake pizza and use it at home.
But pizza makers say they are concerned about how this rule will affect their businesses and consumers.
“The fact that the government is going to make it mandatory for us to use a touch and go method that they’re not going to do is a problem for me,” said Steve Hester, owner of Hester Pizza in Washington, D.V. “I don’t think it’s fair to say I’m going to have to add some cheese to the bottom of the dough.”
The USDA says it wants to make sure the rule is implemented quickly.
But there’s some resistance among pizza makers who are concerned the rule will cost them millions of dollars in revenue.
“They’re basically trying to get rid of our customers and take their business away,” said Robert L. McElwee, president of the Washington State Pizza Association.
McElweee says it’s up to the owners of the pizza businesses in Washington state to determine if they want to follow the USDA’s lead.
“I’m pretty confident that it won’t,” he said.
“If the owners are in agreement with that, that’s what we’re going to follow.”
For now, the Washington pizza industry says it has nothing to fear.
“It’s just a step in the right direction,” said McElwees.