Monday, February 28, 2011

Pizza Topics

Before I get started, I wanted to say hi to Nate and Heather, who are (if they didn't lose that business card I gave them) among my newest readers. Nate recently volunteered at my branch of Ten Thousand Villages over the weekend, and is the source of my new workplace nickname. After watching me repair a necklace and reverse-engineer a broken wind chime into a set of ornaments, he inquired, "So are you, like, the resident MacGyver of this outfit?" Apparently I am, and so it has stuck. Thanks, Nate!

Moving on, this blog post is for Jaclyn, she of the St. Margaret's Center bake sale back in December.

Jaclyn and I have been friends for about four years and change, but we only got to meet in person for the first time earlier this month. My friend Cat, while taking me to Genericon, very kindly detoured from the usual route long enough for us to swing by Jaclyn's place, where we were warmly welcomed by herself, her parents, and her dog. She took us to a local establishment for pizza to sustain us on our journey, and the pizza was both crispy and chewy -- a winning combination.

While deciding what to order, however, I had one of my charming mental hiccups. I'm picky about my pizza toppings, always have been; there are in fact very few toppings that I'm willing to eat. Extra cheese, bacon, and sometimes chicken and onions. That's really about it. So while apologizing to my companions for this fussiness, what I intended to say was that "I'm very picky about my pizza toppings."

Apparently, what I actually said was "I'm very picky about my pizza topics."

Jaclyn, never being one to shy away from a chance to poke affectionate fun at her pseudo-surrogate mother, immediately seized upon this and demanded that it eventually appear in the blog. (As a sidebar, I feel like this blog has become the weirdest addition to my social life in forever. Any time something humorous, memorable, or just plain odd happens in a social setting, whoever is with me will invariably comment that it needs to be added to the blog. See my entry about Satan's Grandma for a prime example. I love my friends!) It got a bit delayed, but here it is.

I only like specific pizza topics.

What's with the argument about Chicago style versus New York style? And which one is it that I'm eating? I know one (Chicago, I think) is more of a deep-dish kind of thing, so does that mean that typical pizzeria fare hews more closely to the New York style? And if not, is there something in between?

The bigger question -- why do people get so vitriolic over their preferences for one or the other? Could the plot of West Side Story be somehow revamped to work with this? The rival gangs now dance on rooftops while declaring their loyal preference for one type of pizza over the other.

Anchovies. Seriously? Little tiny fish on my pizza? Do people really eat this? I guess they do, because why else would it be offered, but...seriously?

I love mozzarella cheese, but I recently determined that I only really enjoy it on pizza. Why is it better there? I bought a small block of mozzarella at the grocery store to munch on, having been told by my friend and coworker Whitney that it's one of her favorite snacks, and I just can't eat most of it. Even string cheese sticks, which I like, are improved dramatically (in my opinion) by dipping them in tomato sauce. What is it about pizza that makes mozzarella more palatable?

Why does my cat like pizza? No, I'm not making that up. Maddy (the little black one) has stolen pizza from my husband. She just seizes the corner and noms to her little heart's content. I don't understand that. Cats aren't supposed to like bread, cheese, or tomatoes. I could understand her stealing a piece of chicken or bacon, but she eats the actual pizza.

Still pondering anchovies...

Jaclyn, I hope you're happy. You know what this post has accomplished? It's made me insanely hungry. As for the rest of you, feel free to share your opinions on pizza topics in the comments. I'll just be over here, calling my good friend Papa John.


  1. Chicago style pizza is a deep dish pizza with a very heavy crust and a large amount of sauce and toppings. New York Style pizza was made by immigrants from Naples in NYC and has a thin hand-tossed crust, made from a high-gluten bread flour - it should be thin, crispy, and foldable.

    Most pizzerias around the us make something resembling NY Style pizza but you really must get it in NY State if you want the real thing because the minerals in the NY water are a key ingredient.

    Having grown up in NY and living on good pizza I'm now extremely picky and am often disappointed with the pizza around here. I can definitely understand the food war between Chicago and NY Style pizza preferences!

    Hope that helps clear things up :)

  2. Thanks Rachel! Knowing your NY pizza fondness, I was sure I'd be hearing from you on this very important subject. ;) And yes, it does clear it up, so thank you!

  3. Don't forget Sicilian style...

  4. I like my Mom's pizza. I like the pizza-by-the-slice that was made in the bakery in my grandmother's town half an hour outside of Venice.

    But I like pizza. All kinds!

    Daniela xox

  5. I like anchovies. Just on or with a salad, though. Probably my favorite pizza is a margherita.

  6. I'm a huge fan of the veggi, but after working the pizza counter for about a year...I'll be happy if I never see another pizza again.


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