(featured image via Animated Pizza Gifs)
On National Pizza Day, we celebrate a dish that’s all about bringing people together.
I should know. I wrote a book about it.
I’m dedicating this week’s blog to America’s favorite food—with a walk down memory lane and updates on pizza-related happenings. Let’s get to it.
Chicago vs. New York
Chicago style is a “kitchen sponge with some marinara smothered on it.” This anchor gets it. I can imagine them having all sorts of disagreements in the newsroom on that topic.
I was born and raised on New York-style pizza, so I’m partial to that. But Pizza for Good has an entire chapter dedicated to Chicago. Chapter 1: “Lulu Lives” tells the story of Lulu Frulla and Chicago’s storied Taylor Street in Little Italy.
Further Adventures of Pizza Rat
You all remember the footage shot of the New York City rat dragging a slice of pizza down the stairs. Well as Conan will show you, they dug up more footage on that little guy and it’s a clip you don’t want to miss.
“It’s all a metaphor for living in New York,” Matt Little told BuzzFeed. “You have too far to go and too much carry. But life gives you as much as you can handle.”
Endorse. Having been born and raised in Manhattan, I can say that the Concrete Jungle can sometimes be super overwhelming. Which is why I ended up in Atlanta—it’s a big city but with a much easier pace of life. (Although pizza rats are very rare here.)
Also, BREAKING NEWS: pizza rat has a friend! Not wanting to be left out, the Pizza Squirrel was caught dragging a slice up a tree to hoard for himself.
New York has a pizza vibe all its own—animals notwithstanding. My favorite memories of growing up in NYC is being able to walk half a block in any direction and pick up a slice of authentic NY pizza. And any pizza I make today is thin-thin-thin slice. And while we’re on the topic of New York food…
A Day for Bagels, Too
— Will's TraitorTot Poutine Topped w/ Treason Cheese (@bywillpollock) November 26, 2015
The illustrious National Pizza Day is co-celebrated with National Bagel Day, so to honor that day I give you my posts from Thanksgiving 2015 and the Super Bowl 2016.
I was knee-deep in my house renovation, so all I had to use was a toaster oven. I decided to make pizza bagels, and the results were pretty yummy. Jump over to The Frugal Girl for an easy recipe for pizza bagels—or just replicate some of mine from PFG.
Politics of Pizza
Pizza should be a non-partisan, hunger-satisfying bonanza for everybody. Full stop.
Sadly that axiom came crashing down back in the spring of 2015, during the whole Memories Pizza fiasco. A sleepy little pizza parlor in Walkerton, Ind., was approached by a local news affiliate and asked if they would cater a gay wedding.
Their answer of “no” caused pearl-clutching on the internet machine to go into overdrive—on both sides of the situation, as I outlined in my post “Pizza for All.”
A spiffy response effort popped up from Cyndi Lauper, who asked donors to give money for homeless youth. Pizza4Equality raised more than $165,000 and spawned related parties, much like the Pizza for Good model.
I’ve actually been trolled by book reviewers who didn’t appreciate the story in “Pizza for Good” about Chick-fil-A’s spotty record on standing up for everybody.
Here’s the thing: when pizza pops in the news and causes people to take sides, everybody loses.
Like with any business, the fewer customers you disqualify for personal reasons, the greater your business will be. That’s not an opinion, it’s math.
I even messaged Memories Pizza to do a joint fundraiser together, but I never heard back. The invite remains open.
Pizza in the News
You’ve heard the phrase “corporate media” before, but what about “corporate pizza“? A Destin, Fla., joint named Merlin’s wants you to know that they are definitely not that. A fan from N.C. posted the above, um, testimonial begging them to come to his town (Destin Log)… This clunky robot wants to be your beer-and-pizza fetching device, and he’s kinda retro (Engadget).
Comfort Food: For You & Your Community
Finally this week: a reminder. Pizza is the glue that holds us together as a nation. Without it we’d fall apart.
Is that hyperbole? Yes. Do I firmly believe it? Also yes.
Pizza for Good was my first book, and, like a first child, will always have that special place in my heart. This spring I’m ramping up a promotional push entitled “Comfort Food”—watch for me yammering on about how powerful the pie can be.
I’ve thrown multiple parties, held fundraisers and other gatherings, and have raised more than $65,000 in total. That ain’t no chump change.
That’s a wrap guys. We’ll see you right back here next Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m.
Make sure to comment often—cranky loves company.
Support independent authors, writers, artists, journalists and professionals. Buy a book, leave a review, start a discussion. Our success as a nation depends on your engagement and involvement.