Pizza is a lot like religion and baseball. I believe it has everything to do with where and how you were brought up. If your dad is a Red Sox fan, chances are you're a Red Sox fan. If your mom is Irish Catholic, you probably are, too. If your family ate Riccardi's pizza growing up, chances are you like a paper-thin crust.

The funny thing about pizza preference, however, is that people can get very defensive about what they like. Have you ever encountered a pizza snob? Someone who won't even entertain the idea that a thicker crust might be a great thing, or a linguica and peppers could just be the perfect pizza?

There seem to be a million and one different lists of the "best" pizza in the world. I usually dismiss most of these lists because whoever is ranking these places is, through no fault of their own, totally biased to where they grew up. No New Yorker would ever admit a Chicago pie could possibly be in the conversation for best pizza in the world.

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However, 24/7 Tempo had a very 2021 approach to how to rank pizza, and it seems to remove the built-in pizza bias we all carry.

"We compared and extrapolated from both nationwide and regional rankings on a host of websites, including The Daily MealFood & WineEaterThrillistPatchBloombergFood NetworkGayotTime OutAmerican Eats, and Yelp, as well as city-specific ratings from such acknowledged pizza capitals as New York City, New Haven, and Chicago," they wrote.

To me, this innovative approach bought the site lots of street cred when it comes to ranking pizza, so I decided to check it out.

I was stunned to find out that we live within a short drive of two of the top 25 pizza places in all of America.

Number 25 on the list is a place in Providence. It is called Al Forno. This is in Maddie's neck of the woods, and she will be picking up a pizza to bring into the show tomorrow morning.Granted, it won't be fresh and hot, but cold pizza has its place, especially when it is ranked among the best in the world.

Number 11 on the list is a place that I have been to many times. It is the legendary Santarpio's in East Boston. This is the type of pizza I grew up on. While it wasn't specifically my everyday "go-to" spot for pizza, the local pizza shops in and around my town had a similar style: thin crust, but not cardboard thin. By the way, if you're ever up in the North Shore area for a tournament, they have a satellite location up in Peabody.

If you look at the Top 25 list, a vast population of the country lives nowhere near any of the spots. The fact that we live near two out of the Top 25 is the perfect excuse for a pizza road trip.

The Best of South Shore Bar Pizza

There's pizza, and then there's South Shore Bar Pizza. Birthed in Brockton (and to this writer, perfected in Randolph – Lynwood Café is the true G.O.A.T.), it must meet certain qualifications to be considered "SSBP," which include: it's a 10-inch pie; it has a thin, cracker-like crust with minimal "flop;" the cheese is a blend that features more cheddar than mozzarella; and bonus points if you take it home between two carboard-type plates wrapped in flat brown paper bag. They also usually come with "laced" or "burnt" edges (terminology depends on where you are ordering), which is when the sauce and cheese are extended all the way to the edge of the pan, creating a crispy, flavorful coating to the crust. We reached out to the hugely popular South Shore Bar Pizza Social Club Facebook group to ask the experts to share the best of the best (in no particular order).

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