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This evening, I had pizza for dinner. It wasn’t made from scratch, nor was it from a local takeout restaurant. It was a boxed frozen pizza from the supermarket.
The brand is not important, as I don’t want to get into the area of product endorsement, but it has a World War I flying ace on the box. As gourmet food goes, it’s lacking a great deal. It’s not organic or all-natural. It didn’t have any trendy toppings on it. It had four meats, though I can’t remember which four meats they were.
It’s not expensive. It’s not award-winning. It is, however, delicious.
We take our pizza pretty seriously in this house. I like to get adventurous with my pizza. I like all kinds. I like the cheap frozen kind, even the ones you can get for less than a dollar. I like pepperoni and sausage. I like bacon and beef. I like peppers and onions and black olives and a host of different cheeses.
I like buffalo chicken pizza. I like white pizza, except when they put tomatoes on it. I eat the white pizza to get away from tomatoes and I don’t like seeing them on white pizza.
I like thin crust and deep dish. I like pan pizza and flatbread pizza. I even like that kind that has the cheese on the bottom and the sauce on top. I eat the crust, too. All of it.
This is where it gets tricky. I am from Baltimore, where we are known for our seafood. Our pizza isn’t bad, but it doesn’t come close to the stature of seafood in my hometown. I can eat just about anything on pizza and I have.
My wife looks at me when I order pizza like I just ordered a hit on Mary Poppins. How could I do something so cruel as to eat some of the stuff I have on pizza? It’s pretty simple. I like the various things and I like pizza. Putting them together doesn’t sound so weird. Maybe mussels and garlic butter on pizza doesn’t seem good to you, but as they say, don’t knock it until you try it.
There was a place on Long Island that used to serve a pizza with ziti on it. Imagine that, an entire Italian pasta dinner on your pizza. I suppose if you order it, the ghost of Enrico Caruso appears and sings “O Solo Mio” while you eat it.
My wife is less than adventurous with her pizza. In fact, you could say she is very safe. She likes cheese pizza. No toppings. She’s from New York, so she’s somewhat of an expert on pizza. Bad New York pizza is still better than the best pizza from other places, she claims.
She eats her pizza in the New York style — a big floppy slice, folded, and shoved into the mouth. No knife and fork for her. Sometimes, she would eat her slices Brooklyn style, like John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever” — one slice stacked on top of another in a double-decker greasy, cheesy delicacy.
You could fold the two slices if they were thin enough, but most of the time, they were more like a huge, thick wedge of pizza.
Where we live is not the Pizza Capital of the World. My wife has critiqued most of the pizza places around here and has deemed two of them worthy of New Yorker status. When we go out for pizza it’s usually to one of these places. We’ve been to other places in the state and have experienced pizza that I have liked and she has not.
She says it’s because I don’t know any better. I disagree as I have had plenty of New York pizza that I did not like. I will give a shout-out to L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn, however, as having just about the most perfect pizza there is.
Once in a while, my wife will make a pizza from scratch. She is not Italian, but when it comes to pizza she’s pretty close. She makes two pies, one for me and one for her. I can have all the toppings I want and she has cheese.
We both agree on one thing, though. No pineapple. Fruit does not belong on pizza. Anything else, though, is fair game.
Undoubtedly, readers will have their own opinions on pizza. Some love it and some hate it. Let me know what you like and don’t like on your pizza and I might give it a whirl.
Don’t get too weird, though. The person who causes me to get ill will get name-dropped in the paper. I promise.
Joe Weaver, a native of Baltimore, is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.