It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the time of thin crust pizza, it was the time of deep dish pizza, it was the time of eating pizza with a knife and fork, it was the time of eating pizza with your hands, it was the time of folding your pizza, it was the time of crunching into your pizza, we had all the pizza in front of us, we had none of the pizza in front of us, we were all going direct to the Midwest, we were all going direct the other way.
Even Charles Dickens knows that the solution to a potential and probable civil war involves renaming pizza. He, like everyone else, knows that New Yorkers and Chicagoans can’t get along. One city is too smelly, one city is too small, and both cities have too many pigeons. But the Chicago-New York debate boils (bakes?) down to one issue: the combination of dough, tomato sauce, and cheese.
New Yorkers love their foldable slices dripping with grease. Chicagoans love their knife-and-fork slices. And if Yankee fans and Cubs fans keep arguing about which pizza is the best, I worry that a civil war will break out.
My solution: Rename Chicago pizza to some other name.
I like doughnuts, and I also like broccoli. There is a time and a place for both in my life. There is also a time for thin crust pizza and a time for deep dish. As a true Chicagoan, of course I like my pizza doughy and cheesy; but — maybe it’s the New York blood in me, as my dad spent the first two months of his life in Greenwich Village — I also like thin pizza. And you know what? It’s okay.
The only problem comes when you compare the two. How can you even begin to compare them? They are two different animals. Instead, I propose renaming Chicago pizza to something completely different. Then there will no longer be discussions that sound like “You like chicken?? I hate you because of that. I like beef and that is the only food I will ever eat.” Instead, it’s “Oh, yes, chocolate cake sounds good tonight, and maybe tomorrow night we can have frozen custard.”
There is room in my stomach for all kinds of pizza; and maybe when Chicago pizza is renamed to Chicago Cheesy Doughy Pot Pie, we will all learn to get along.
“Hey, tourists! Come over here for a slice of Deep Dish Pie!”
“You know you want to try the Chicago Yum Yum Bake.”
“Can I get the Chicago Cheese Loop with spinach and onions?”
Then we will no longer have the arguing, the yelling, the screaming, about which major city is famous for the best form of a certain food, both forms of which are actually quite different and both equally fatteningly delicious.
Here, in this country of two pizzas, I know that we have a future where we can live together, in peace and harmony, eating all kinds of breads together — through thick and thin.