Wednesday, November 15, 2017

N.Y. vs. Chgo – Pizza Wars?

It was earlier this summer that we got a dose of good ol’ fashioned Chicago vs. New York brawling when Mayor Rahm Emanuel dared to suggest that Noo Yawkers could learn a lesson or two about mass transit from our very own elevated train system.

A real pizza cut

Now, we’re getting another dose of the alleged Big Apple getting all touchy about the Second City – for someone suggesting that Chicago-area variations on pizza are superior to any of those overly greasy slices you buy in New York and that the locals think it’s a big deal that you fold them in half before eating them.

THE LATEST HISSY fit came about when New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press secretary insisted on using his Twitter account to post missives proclaiming the superiority of Chicago takes on pizza – specifically the pepperoni pies served at Pequod’s Pizza.

“This is the best pizza in the United States and it’s not close,” the press secretary said this weekend.

Now personally, I’ve never had pizza from Pequod’s. I don’t have a clue whether it’s any good. This may be an instance of a press flack telling the truth (or exaggerating its merits).

The latter being something that political press people often have to do.

BUT THE NEW York Post – the newspaper that once famously felt the need to report that Donald Trump gave his mistress “the best sex (she) ever had – got itself all up-in-arms about this claim, saying of Pequod’s that it was “an amorphous pile of pepperoni and sauce that is purportedly a pie.”

1932 may have had a historic baseball moment ...
So now, Chicago and New York and quibble over where one finds the best pizza.

My own opinion is that the concepts of stuffed pizza or deep dish pizza (which aren’t technically the same thing, even though many people erroneously believe they are) are a completely different dish from various types of thin-crust pizza.

Trying to compare them and say which is best is like trying to compare a plate of lasagna with corned beef and cabbage. Differing concepts altogether.

A ‘PAN’ PIZZA is a meal. Yes, you eat it with a knife and fork (only uncivilized types would think otherwise). Thin-crust is junk food. It can be a snack. But thinking of it as a meal is like someone thinking they’re getting significant nutritional value from McDonald’s.

...but 1917 had better Chicago outcome
It just ain’t so.

Now if we want to compare differing types of thin pizza, that’s a whole ‘nuther issue. Although when it comes to comparing thin-crust pizza, the real question is whether it should be cut into triangular slices, or the so-called “party style” cut of squares that supposedly is a Chicago creation from its origins as bar food you eat while the tavern owner sells you as many over-priced beers or other alcoholic beverages as he can before your wallet is cleared out of cash.

On that ground, I argue for the squares.

IT’S JUST SO much easier to handle, and I’ll admit to always finding it somewhat amusing to get one of those dinky corner pieces that is all crust. I usually snatch one up before getting into the more substantive pieces.

And yes, it is a total violation of pizza-eating etiquette to be one of those piggish people who refuses to take any slices with crust and eat up all the middle pieces with toppings.
Is the fold really more appetizing?

Those people who insist on triangular slices and claim there’s a knack to folding your slice properly to avoid it turning into a dripping mess strike me as people more interested in playing with their food, than eating it! For that reason alone, we ought to claim Chicago superiority when it comes to pizza.

Although I have to admit one bit of hesitation to supporting de Blasio’s press secretary on this issue – he’s a Wisconsin native and a Green Bay Packers fan. Which means he took pleasure in their beating the Bears this weekend. Could this be an effort by an adopted New Yorker to sabotage the Chicago image from within?


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