# A Mathematician Finds The Formula For The Perfect Pizza Pie

## Finally, someone does the math on one of the world’s most popular, varied–and hotly contested–foods.

There’s a formula for pi, so why not for pie (pizza pie)? Pizza–of which the round kind has an area of pi times radius squared–is among the world’s most beloved foods. Yet what constitutes pizza differs greatly and passionately from region to region, city to city, corner to corner.

In Naples, the historic birthplace of the flatbread foodstuff, locals prefer a minimal version cooked quickly in hellish temperatures that yields a soft, springy crust (or cornicione) and a wet center. New York, pizza’s first outpost in the New World, developed a taste for the coal oven, thin-crust kind. (You’d have to stack at least five of these up to equal a deep-dish Chicago rendition.) In Scotland, they still deep-fry it in plenty of chip shops. As pizza picked up in Asia, toppings got adventurous, from calamari and sweet potato to shrimp and, yes, mayo.

Everything about the food, down to its most basic components, seems up for grabs. Even so, one mathematician, Dr. Eugenia Cheng, has developed a formula for the perfect pie, an outstanding claim that could have far-reaching consequences for big pizza business and everyday enthusiasts alike. It all comes down to the crust, she tells Co.Design.

Before we show you the dough, the basics: Based out of the University of Sheffield, the pure mathematician determined a direct correlation between the size of a pie and the experience of eating it. The larger the pizza disk, the rule goes, the more sparingly distributed the toppings are, with fewer bits of pepperoni, sausage, or anchovies (yum) in each bite. A smaller pizza will pack more toppings, and thus, flavor, per mouthful.