Chicago’s deep-dish pizza is that friend who can’t hit a bar without bruising some townie’s knuckles with his/her face. It’s a scrappy trouble maker. With its reordering of topping layers and the necessity of knife and fork to eat, it’s a troubling challenge to the contemporary pizza status quo. Deep Dish is just fine with that. While you are straight arming the people it riles up and assuring them all pizza is good pizza, Chicago-style is marching back and forth without a shirt screaming, “I’m number one!” and beating its chest in time to the Pat Benetar song some neighborhood boozer slapped on the jukebox.
And, if there is a pizza nemesis to dear Chicago deep dish it is the flexible pie of NYC. The pizza war between these two cities ebbs and flows in pointless, outraged waves. But the latest force to shift the tide came straight out of New York and not Chicago. Interesting. Eric Phillips, the press secretary for Bill de Blasio, the NYC mayor who shamed the city by not only admitting to eating pizza with a knife and fork but also defending it, opted to get a little extra during a recent visit to Chicago.
Phillips tweeted an image of a deep-dish pizza with the statement: “This is the best pizza in the United States and it’s not close.” What the what?
And, when he received some expected pushback, he didn’t back down an inch.
In 2013, Jon Stewart went on a now-famous deep dish pizza rant when it was suggested Chicago could best New York City in this arena. After calling it a casserole, he launched into an analogy. “You know the expression ‘there’s no such thing as bad sex or bad pizza’? Your pizza is like sex with a corpse made of sandpaper.” And, then he went on for another minute and a half. People on Twitter remember this fondly, and it is now a go-to when New Yorkers feel their pie has been wronged in favor of Chicago-style pie.
We are still of the opinion that all pizza is good. Looks like we like scratchy corpse sex. What can we say? We will keep romancing both NYC and Chicago-style pizzas (especially when drunk), while accepting completely that things are going to get really, really messy when they find out. It’s a price we’ll have to pay. Because if one pizza isn’t willing to curb stomp another pizza for your love, what’s the point?