For more photos of the backyard pizza-baking process, click here.
Tender chunks of lobster, crabmeat and shrimp drizzled with a champagne and blackberry brandy cream sauce, tomatoes and scallions, scattered above a layer of homemade fresh mozzarella cheese ... atop a cheese and coconut-infused 10-inch crust.
Only in Staten Island could a pizza like this be the next best thing to eating meat, a pie created in 2008 for the meatless Fridays of Lent. Only in Staten Island could that pizza be called "The Passion of the Crust," and come with a free T-shirt declaring, "IT'S ABOUT THE PASSION!!" Only in Staten Island could that very same pizza spark so much outrage, it was featured on the front page of the local paper.
If you haven't gotten the point, here it is straight from a native: in Staten Island, pizza is religion. (The passion pays off: The aforementioned pie was refined, renamed and entered into an international competition in Las Vegas in March. It earned the title of "world's best pizza.")
Despite all the first-rate joints on the Island, there is plenty of pizza being made at home as well. And I'm not talking about the child's play of Digiorno or Presto Pizzazz Pizza Ovens. For decades, Sylvia Prestia has been making pies in a makeshift coal-fired oven built in her backyard out of bricks and mortar.