Drum roll please …

After four rounds of blind taste-tests of cheese slices from 27 pizzerias across the Valley — from Greenfield to Springfield — the Advocate staff is ready to announce the winner of our summer slice smackdown. Without knowledge of where the slice came from, we graded pizza on a scale of 1 (yuck) to 5 (yum). Why cheese? We didn’t want to be distracted by toppings. We wanted to judge the essence of the pie.

According to our research, the best pizza slice in the Pioneer Valley is at Primo’s Pizza, 84 Worthington St., in Springfield. Judges were impressed by the smoky flavor imparted to the pizza on behalf of the restaurant’s stone oven and the freshness of the ingredients was mouth watering. The Iennaco family owns Primo’s and has been serving pie in Springfield since 1960 when they opened Lido’s Pizza. Today Josie Iennaco runs the business on Worthington Street preparing dishes and homemade sauce just as her family did more than five decades ago.

Final Tally: Pizza slices ranked by average score

Primo’s Pizza in Springfield (3.9)

Frontier Pizza in Sunderland (3.6)

Siano’s Italian Pizzeria Restaurant in Springfield (3.6)

Peppa’s in Springfield (3.5)

Pinocchio’s Pizza in Northampton (3.4)

Antonio’s Pizza in Amherst, Belchertown, and Easthampton ..(3.3)

Mimmo’s Pizza in Northampton (3.3)

Pizza Amore in Northampton (3.2)

Amherst House of Pizza in Amherst (3.1)

Filos Greek Taverna in Northampton (3.1)

Florence Pizza in Northampton (3.1)

Sam’s Pizzeria and Cafe in Northampton (3.1)

Family Pizza & Grinders in South Hadley (3)

Hillside Pizza in Deerfield, Hadley, and Bernardston (3)

Papa George Pizza in Easthampton (3)

Paisano’s Restaurant & Pizzeria in Southampton (2.9)

Sibie’s Subs & Pizza in Amherst (2.6)

Pizza Towne in Westfield (2.5)

Primo Pizzeria in Deerfield (2.4)

Tony’s Pizza and Restaurant in Springfield (2.3)

Brothers Pizza in Chicopee (2.2)

Paramount Pizza in Springfield (2.1)

Sub and Pizza in Amherst (2)

MJ’s Pizza in Springfield (1.9)

Capri Pizza in Holyoke (1.7)

Roberto’s Pizzeria in Greenfield (1.7)

Liquori’s in West Springfield (1.5)

Cheese Lover’s Choice: Frontier Pizza in Sunderland
Piles of delicious cheese gooeyness drown out any objections to this slice, which deliciously doubles down on dairy. As judge James Heflin put it: “You get a blast of cheese flavor, and everything else is in just a supporting role.”

Most Divisive Slice: Pizza Amore in Northampton

This entry polarized the panel like no other. Micky wanted to “marry” it, and James described it as “awesome” and “over the top” tasty. But Kristin thought it tasted like French bread pizza from elementary school, and Hunter decried its lack of sauce, calling it “borderline not pizza.”

Best Saucy Greasy Mouth Orgy: Florence Pizza in Northampton

Don’t judge a small slice by its looks, because this one brought the flavor game. “If this was any saucier,” said James, “it would be Dita von Teese.” Kristin delighted in the crispy, bubbly cheese, which glistened with grease, adding that “this is the kind of pizza that makes helping your friend move worthwhile.”

Best Late-Night Jumbo Slice: Mimmo’s Pizza in Northampton

Trying to decide between buying a kite or a slice of pizza? At Mimmo’s, you don’t have to choose. Amanda said her super-sized sample was “everything I want.” And Hunter appreciated that each successive bite was a little different: “It’s like my mouth is on a trek through the pizza wilderness.”

Best Hangover Pizza: Siano’s Italian Pizzeria Restaurant in Springfield

Guest judge DJ Trumpy, formerly of Hits 94.3, submitted this idea, explaining that it “didn’t suck,” which was some seriously high praise coming from him. Everyone liked the sauce and cheese for their richness and aroma, and Amanda pointed out that the crispy crust is “buttery, like a Pillsbury roll.”

Pizza-Flavored Goldfishiest: Paramount Pizza in Springfield

All judges agreed on this strange fact: Paramount slices taste like pizza-flavored Goldfish crackers. Hunter and James awarded points for the seasoning levels, especially the generous dose of garlic powder. But Kristin wasn’t a fan of the “gritty” texture.