Friday, September 25, 2015

Straddling the Line In the Pizza Debate Between Chicago and New York

In the long-running debate between New York and Chicago, no clear winner has been identified as the owner of the best pizza in the United States. Obviously, Chicagoans favor the thick, deep-dish pizza that comes with tomato sauce atop the cheese, and New Yorkers ridicule anyone who thinks that a pizza that can’t be properly folded is better than the thin-crusted slice that can be found on just about any city street corner.

Outside of New York and Chicago, the debate tends to be a bit more civil since the emotions that typically arise when defending one’s home do not often play a role in a discussion held elsewhere. Whatever side someone falls on is generally accepted as a matter of personal preference rather than geographic allegiance, but pizza lovers nationwide tend to be quite surprised when someone not only has no opinion on which is better, but claims to enjoy both equally.

In the experience of David Kravitz, this is the position that most frequently leads to arguments outside of Chicago and New York, though not necessarily in an unpleasant kind of way. Instead, there is frequently a demand for the uncommitted party to decide one way or another, as if it is unfair to all of those who have staked a position alongside the residents of a city they may have never even visited. For some reason, the idea that a person could happily enjoy both kinds of pizza and have no preference is, at best, difficult to understand, and, at worst, completely unacceptable.

After learning this, I wondered why this was the case and set out to uncover the reason. As a former resident of Chicago, I had always sided with notion that the deep-dish pizza with the flaky crust is best. In order to fully understand the other side of the argument, I avoided Chicago-style pizza for a full year and instead opted for a New York-style thin crust each time I had a craving for pizza. This was difficult, but given the importance of the subject, I was willing to struggle.

At first, I had no problem in continuing to claim Chicago as best, but over time I began to develop an affinity for the folded slice with the thin crust that seemed so increasingly perfect. Eventually I realized that both styles were appealing in wildly different ways, and the only reason anyone has a preference is simple familiarity. Now, I count myself among the rare few that believe both are equally delightful.

No comments:

Post a Comment