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Pizza size

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  • makko Jan 24, 2010 10:39 AM

I'm wondering if anyone out there has noticed a reduction in Pizza size vs. the advertised size?
I've found that 16" pizzas are now close to actually 14" at a place on the Norwalk/Wilton border. This is about a 25% reduction in the pizza footprint. Could be a case of avoiding an outright price increase on the menu or poor quality control.

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  1. I don't think pizza makers actually measure a pizza. Since it actually hand made, the size could vary depending on how much they stretch it out. The balls of dough are actually weighted (approximately) when they are pulled out of the batch of dough. If you want it 16", tell your pizza man to make it thinner and you'll get the larger pizza and it will better if it's thin.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JohnAM

      I always order it thin, that's why I believe the dough was underweight.

    2. I used to be a pizza maker in a place that served NY style pizza. When we made the dough balls, we actually weighed each one. The strecthing does make a difference but not two inches - otherwsie the 14" pie would be very doughy. Pizza boxes don't lie - if your box used to be full and now the pie is two inches from the edge, I'd complain. A 16 inch box is very common and the size is usually written on the bottom of the box.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Joanzing

        And I believe 18" used to be standard, or maybe even bigger because the edges were usually crunched up the sides, so 18 to 16, the "2 inch less" theory may be true.

        1. re: coll

          mmm....conspizzary theory

          1. re: discounteggroll

            cereal makers, shaving cream makers every maker on planet looks to do the same charge most give least

            1. re: intrepid

              hell, as long as my 1.5 gallon containers of ice cream stay the same, I'm a happy...

              1.5 Quarts?

              yes my friends. It's called the grocery shrink ray, and it's hitting everything =(

            2. re: discounteggroll

              I remember not long ago, when the price of flour and cheese went crazy, pizzeria owners all claimed they couldn't charge more than $3.99 a pie or they'd lose all their customers. I told them if they didn't, they'd lose their business. So they adapted. And of course, now that prices are down again, they're doing very well.

            3. re: coll

              Well, an 18" pie would be called a "slice" pie in my world. The same dough and whatever cheese and sauce needed....if you wanted that to go we would call it a family pie. This is the pie that would be in the "case". Look at the box your local place uses. I will say since I have been making pies - 1980 - take out lagre are 16 inches.

              1. re: Joanzing

                Lots of pizzerias around here still use 18 inch boxes, but that could be a regional difference.Used to be the standard size until a few years ago, during the cheese/flour troubles: lately I've been noticing many offering two sized pies on their take out menu. I've never heard the terms "family" pie or "slice" pie used though, only "regular" and "large". And if you want the tip to dip downwards when you pick it up, you have to have large (18")

                1. re: coll

                  Yes - the dough will be thinner in the middle so it will dip. Even though it is 18" they're using the same dough weight so it is stretched thinner.

          2. its done all over the world, its called profits $$$$$

            1. Make the slices bigger?

              1. Most pizza makers use their pizza peels as a guide to help them gauge the size of their pizza. If the uncooked pizza sits well within the edges of the peel, then perhaps your pizza has indeed shrunk. Most of the smaller peels are 14" wide.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Cheese Boy

                  We drew the size ob the peel. Family (or slice), large, small and personal.

                2. Old joke, but telling (about more than food).

                  Guy orders a medium pizza and asks, "How many slices in a medium?"
                  "Eight."
                  "Could you cut in 6 instead? I can't eat 8 slices."

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: WNYamateur

                    "You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six." - Yogi Berra

                  2. I noticed that a lot of places now call a 14in a "large" and the 16in an X large and they charge $3 more for 2 inches of PLAIN pizza, and the deluxe pizzas are $9 more! crazy!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: gryphonskeeper

                      without whipping out the calculator my educated guess is that an increase from 14" to 16" constitutes a 30-33% increase in size(area). So my guess would be that a $3 charge is a pretty good deal!

                      1. re: nkeane

                        grab the HP buddy. the delta is less than half of your %s.

                        1. re: jfood

                          14"= 3.14x49= 153.9sq. in.
                          16"= 3.14x64= 201 sq. in.

                          from what I get the smaller pie is only 76% the size of the bigger, or inversely the larger pie is 130% larger......what am I missing?

                          1. re: nkeane

                            jfood was missing a cup of coffee first thing. totally agree.

                            1. re: nkeane

                              I was missing $9, and got mostly 2 inches of crust. I say I was ripped off.

                      2. It is the fault of the big pizza chains for downsizing pizzas to make you think you are getting more (when actually it is less), and it has been happening for a few years now. The chain that comes to mind first for doing this in Canada is Pizza Pizza.

                        Standard commercial pizza sizes have always been:

                        9" personal

                        12" small

                        14" medium

                        16" large

                        18" extra-large

                        20" party

                        square party equivalent

                        If you buy pizza and a 12" is called a medium. a 14" is called a large and a 16" is called extra-large - then you are getting ripped-off.

                        Support local family-operated pizzerias who stick to proper standard pizza sizes. If you buy from a chain pizza outlet - complain about their dishonesty. I do - and then I walk out and go to a local family-run operation whenever possible. Sure, the price is usually a bit more - but the pizza is larger and the quality is normally a lot higher.

                        The only national chain that I will sometimes buy from is Little Caesars, as usually their pizza is quite good (according to my tastes) for the price (Hot 'n' Ready large) despite whatever.actual diameter that is. And you can get served pretty quickly when you are in a hurry.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: arcticalert

                          We call 9" personal, 14" small, 16" large, 18" family and that's what goes in the slice case. We don;t make a 20" though sure that some places do. I'm lucky - on Long Island - so chains don't survive. Family owned survive.