Pizza crust in general is the baked dough part of a pizza, which includes the part under the toppings, but when most people talk about pizza crust (as in eating the crust, or stuffed-crust pizza) they mean the edge parts specifically.

It used to be a lot of pizza crust went to waste. Ironically, many people would order breadsticks at extra cost and yet throw away the pizza crusts that came with the pizza for free. Then around the mid-90s pizza places (in Virginia at least; possibly earlier elsewhere, I wouldn't know) started including various kinds of dipping sauce; Papa John's is most known for this now but others do it as well.

With the advent of dipping sauce, pizza crust started to become a delicacy in its own right; in fact Papa John's breadsticks are nothing more than pizza dough baked in strips, till they're almost like self-contained crusts.

The hallmark of good pizza is a crust that you can't help but eat. You devour the slice like a rabid wolverine, only to savor the delicate, tender crust. Some pizza places feature toppings on the edge, like sesame seeds or garlic. They do this, though, just to cover up their less-than-adequate crust.

Fine pizza crust is an art form in itself. Even the best pizza can be ruined by a mediocre crust. Conversely, the most mediocre pizza can shine if it's got a delicious crust.

A particular pizzeria I frequent has acceptable pizza with an outrageous crust. It's tender, well-cooked (yet doughy), and has an intriguing flavor not often found in pizza crust -- almost sourdough, as if they use white wine in their dough.

I'm about to sound biased: if you don't live near New York, you don't have a prayer of getting pizza crust like this. It's true.

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