Ode to Pizza

I woke up this morning with pizza on the brain (admittedly, it’s probably because I fell asleep watching Ugly Delicious last night), which got me to thinking of just how much I love a beautifully executed pie. We had talked about going to Italy this year but had chosen not to before the pandemic even happened, yet I still can’t stop dreaming of the day that I make it to the birth place of the ‘za

When you step back just a moment to look at food for more than just something to eat, it’s mind-blowing what you learn about history and culture. I’m not going there today (but may in the future, it’s something that been on my mind a lot) but the history of pizza is a fascinating one (Pizza in America even moreso!). Before I carry on, I have to give you a few fun stats just to get you into the pizza is love mind-set.

According to The Sauce by Slice, Americans eat an average of 46 slices a year-which is equivalent to 23 pounds of pizza! (I would say…accurate.) It gets better though! This equates to 350 slices of pizza eaten per second in America! That means in the time it takes you to read this sentence approximately 700 slices of delicious pizza will have been consumed by our fellow Americans! (I hear ‘Proud to be an American’ in a totally new light now.)

So since travelling for ‘za isn’t something I can safely do right now, I thought I’d reminisce on the pizzas of my past-and if you love pizza as much as I do, maybe this will inspire some of your own future pizza treks!

I wouldn’t say I’ve had every pizza from every region or that I am a PhD in PP (pizza pies, duh), but I do have some serious feels about those I’ve tried.

Look at that lacy caramelized crust. Thank you, Pequod’s. Just thank you.
  • Favorite Chicago deep dish: Pequod’s. I will fight you on this.
  • Favorite Chicago pizza I have yet to try: Piece. (I’ve actually been here but it was just for a beer!)
  • Favorite chain pizza: Jet’s, or Blaze (depending on what I’m craving).
  • Favorite Big Pizza Chain: I’d have to say Domino’s (I worked there in college).
  • Favorite local pizza: Pizzeria Antica
  • Favorite random slice memory: My first slice from a random spot in NYC. We just walked in somewhere, I don’t think it even had a sign, ordered a slice the size of our heads, and ate it. (Also seeing the LARGEST Sbarro EVER in Times Square. I was so confused. Yes, it’s Michael Scott’s Sbarro. However, it has since closed.)
  • Favorite mall pizza: Rocky Rococo (which sadly doesn’t seem to exist many places except Wisconsin now. We found one last time we were up there and it was just as delicious as I remember).
  • Favorite pizza topping: difficult but here’s my top three:
    • just cheese (typically this means mozzarella),
    • pepperoni,
    • sausage and mushroom
Lupo, how do you get that crust?? Swoon.
  • Favorite pizza owned by my favorite band: Lupo
  • Favorite style of pizza: Neapolitan, followed by cracker thin crust, and then a good hand-tossed. But to be fair, all pizza is good pizza.
  • Favorite frozen pizza brand: Red Baron. I don’t even know if it’s objectively that good but it’s been my go-to for a long time.
  • Favorite pizza memory as a child: Ordering a Tombstone pizza from the ‘Lounge’ (aka, the bar) with my grandpa. They had a specific pizza oven that just made that frozen pizza taste amazing.
  • Favorite pizza-adjacent food: Pizza Rolls. Sometimes you just need a plate of scalding hot pizza rolls to course correct your life.
  • Least favorite pizza topping: oddly doesn’t exist, I’m even okay with pineapple given very specific circumstances
  • Least favorite chain pizza: Papa John’s; but I’ll eat it when I have to. I guess.
  • Weirdest best slice: a tie, oddly with the same person.  In Chicago at Eataly and the walk up window at Pizza al Taglio in Walt Disney World.
  • Pizza-related travel that I’m most looking forward to: Heading to Italy for a pizza making class and doing a pizza bus tour in New York City.
  • Last but not least, thoughts on homemade pizza: I enjoy making dough and sauce from scratch and have even made some pretty tasty ‘zas in my own oven but… ultimately I leave pizza up to the pros.

I want to hear your thoughts! What pizza is worth traveling for? What is your #1 favorite topping? What are your fun pizza-related stories?  Do you have an amazing at-home pizza recipe? Are you just not a fan of pizza (why is that)? Comment below!

Pizza cheers!

Yes, those are typical sized paper plates.

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