Smile Politely

Pizzeria Antica reveals elaborate process to obtain wood for their ovens

I know, I know, the idea of “wood-fired pizza” is somewhat of a trope, but I’ve been to Pizzeria Antica located in Downtown Champaign, and I can assure you that it is the real deal. Two brick ovens, a wall of wood, and all of the fire you can imagine go into crafting their pies.

For those who want to know the process Antica goes through to acquire the wood for the ovens, it is surprisingly sustainable and constant, as I learned from chatting with the owner, Ramin. For a full explanation of the process, check out the snippet below, and then go in and get yourself some pizza, because you deserve it.

Does Antica hate trees? No Antica love trees. We pick up our wood from Southern Indiana, 7000 pounds each month. The wood is a mix of bits and pieces of hardwoods from dead and diseased/infested trees harvested on private property.

The wood is then placed in drying kilns for 3 days at 250 degrees until all the pathogens/infestation is killed and there is no moisture left in the wood.

This process takes what would be discarded or mulched wood and turns it into high quality firewood, perfect for our ovens. The ovens themselves are super efficient at keeping heat. During the course of a day we might only burn 7-10 pieces.

The Lorax is OK with Antica.

Check out Antica’s “Wall of Wood” here:

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