Food & Drink

$%#! you Jon Stewart, Chicago pizza is fantastic

chicago pizza

Jon Stewart, I thought you were better than this

After what started out innocently enough as a piece about One World Trade Center surpassing the Sears (yes, Sears) Tower as America’s tallest building (which Chicagoans can’t even really complain about because, patriotism and stuff), he launched into an angry screed about Chicago-style pizza

Granted, an offhand joke ripped from a Chi news broadcast kinda started it, but that’s neither here nor there. New Yorkers have been trotting out this tiring “it’s not pizza” crap for as long as they’ve been living among festering garbage. Stewart just had better punchlines because he’s a little sharper than Sal from Queens, even if they apparently share equally dull taste buds

Deep dish, look at me. LOOK AT ME. There is nothing wrong with you. But there is plenty wrong with New Yorkers and their rigid, weirdly insecure stance on pizza. Allow me to explain

1) “It’s not pizza”-- always the uncreative fallback position of New Yorkers weighing in on this debate. There’s crust. There’s cheese. There’s sauce. One consumes it in slices and adorns it with assorted toppings. It’s clearly a damn pizza.

2) That said, they’re obviously wildly different species of pizza. It’s just that Chicagoans are able to recognize this distinction. In fact, the average Chicagoan consumes much more of what you might call “traditional pizza” than deep dish. But sometimes there’s no substitute for the glorious cheese bombs to be had at Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, Pequod’s (mmm, with the cheese-crisped crust), and the like. We accept, and even appreciate, that there’s room in the pizza universe for both. We’re pizza progressives.

3)But New York just doesn’t see it that way. It’s never, “oh I prefer New York pizza”. It’s always “that’s disgusting how can you call that pizza Derek Jeter bagels subway Spike Lee movies etc.”. Could it be the reason they’re lashing out is because they’re threatened by their relative lack of girth when it comes to pizza? Girth is important, I hear, from definitely not reading Redbook.

4) Or maybe it’s just an exclusive “there can only be one kind of pizza" thing. You know who believed in that kind of exclusivity? Nazis. And they made TERRIBLE pizza.

5)What kind of person is so angry at any combination of melted cheese, warm tomato sauce, and carbs, anyway? You literally cannot mess up that trinity. Unless you’re talking about the St. Louis pizza with that weird cheese that they only eat in St. Louis. That stuff is actually awful

6) You were replaced by some skinny British guy for three months and no one really even noticed. There, I said it!!

7)Fact: 87% of New Yorkers who claim to hate deep dish have only tried it at an airport Uno’s. That’s like saying you hate steak because Outback really screwed up your order this one time and the Bloomin’ Onion was 15 MINUTES LATE! (But admittedly still very delicious.)

8)Saying deep dish is “a casserole” and presenting that as some kind of insult is a pretty cruel thing to say to any Grandma, ever. Casseroles can be lovely! That said, what kind of weird Grandma did you have that the casseroles she made were enveloped in a rich, buttery crust? Actually, never mind, if she did that, your Grandma was way cool. And likely very rich. But that’s not the point! Stop knocking casseroles

9)Don’t act like your precious pizza in NYC is beyond reproach. There are plenty of slice joints warming up over-glorified pieces of cardboard that’ve just been grossly sitting there in the case as hordes of rats scurry about underfoot wearing billboards advertising discounts at Big and Tall stores in the Garment District.

10)It’s a natural part of the American condition to want more of stuff. We wanted more land, so we bought a bunch of it from Napoleon and stole the rest. We wanted more room in our pants so we invented elastic. Actually I don’t even KNOW if we invented elastic. It doesn’t matter. Deep dish has more of the stuff that makes a pizza, ergo it is more American. Now someone cue up "Sweet Home Chicago" while I take down 60,000 calories of gooey, glorious, one-of-a-kind pizza bliss.

Also, your building's only taller because of a spire!