Brutal, these two-a-day drills — the couch-to-fridge-to-couch triple jump, the remote control clean-and-jerk, the marathon beer runs. But we’ll do anything to prepare for Super Bowl XLIV.
We’ll even wade into the great pizza-style debate.
Super Bowl Sunday is the day we display our deep (but not necessarily deep-dish) devotion to pizza. For pie purveyors, the NFL’s annual championship game is like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Fourth of July crammed into four delicious, well-seasoned and generously topped quarters. While it’s true that you could watch the game without a slice of ‘za, that’d be like surfing in a tuxedo — it’s possible, but what’s the point?
If Americans are wild about pizza, we’re also passionate advocates of our favorite pizza style. New Yorkers brag about flat, crisp pies; Chicagoans tout gooey, thick slices; Californians incline toward toppings plucked off grills or out of organic farms.
For each style, there’s something to be said. Something like this:
WHY IT’S THE TOPS: Would you want to live in a world without barbecued chicken pizza? Didn’t think so. This cutting-edge state invented cutting-edge pies, thin crusts topped with new essentials — goat cheese, artichoke hearts, duck sausage, jerk chicken. Fun, fresh and daring, California revived a tired concept, adding pizazz to pizza.
HEY, N.Y. FANS: We’ve got your thin crust right here, baby, without your thin repertoire of toppings.
HEY, CHICAGO FANS: Your pies are like your Cubs: lovable losers. That deep-dish approach? It’s straight out of the Land Before Cholesterol.
By Peter Rowe
CHICAGO DEEP DISH
WHY IT’S THE TOPS: Three words. Buttery. Flaky. Crust. While other styles of pizza have the heft of a cocktail napkin, the Second City does it up right by filling their cavernous crusts with impressive quantities of oozing cheeses, chunky tomatoes and hearty meats. These pies are solid and substantial, just as you’d expect a product of the Midwest to be.
HEY, N.Y. FANS: Thin crust? Shallow is more like it. You could skip stones off the superficial surface of an East Coast slice.
HEY, CALIFORNIA FANS: As a native San Diegan, far be it from me to trash-talk your artisanal approach to pie toppings. But creme fraiche and duck sausage? That’s a bit effete even for Hollywood.
By Caroline Dipping
WHY IT’S THE TOPS: Its crust is ever so thin, in deference to its venerable, Neapolitan roots, but still sports the perfect amount of crispness. Do not fear, though; it’s no weakling. It’s still sturdy enough to showcase your more traditional topping favorites like pepperoni, spicy sausage and sweet tomatoes.
HEY, CHICAGO FANS: Who needs to choke on a mouthful of dough when you can capture the essence of real pizza with a crust that does not overwhelm everything else?
HEY, CALIFORNIA FANS: Consummate New Yorker Woody Allen would agree: There is no cultural or culinary advantage to eating pizza sullied by pineapple and bean sprouts.
By Lori Weisberg
Peter Rowe writes about food for The San Diego Union-Tribune.
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