Nick Jurczak refutes the claims that John Stewart and other New Yorkers have made about Deep Dish pizza, reiterating why Chicago is #1 in terms of pizza.
Going to school in New York when I’m from Chicago has never been the best of decisions on my part, at least in terms of cultural values. Sure, I meet a lot of people from varying parts of the country that I wouldn’t have if I had stayed at home, but sometimes Philadelphians, New Yorkers, and Bostonians just don’t understand where I come from. A lot of them have never experienced Chicago and all it has to offer because they’re used to New York City being the pinnacle of what a metropolitan city is supposed to be like.
Back in my freshman year at Ithaca College is where I first started to notice the trend. My roommate, Gary, was from Astoria, a neighborhood within Queens in New York City. He and I would oftentimes go back forth on which city was better. Which city had the better skyline? Which city had better parks? Which city was more famous for its theater or music scenes? Which was easiest to get around in? Every single debate always ended with which city ultimately had the best pizza. It was a classic battle that I waged alongside the few other Chicagoans in Ithaca to this very moment.
It only became a war after John Stewart made his comments about Chicago deep dish and why it is inferior to New York pizza. He made insulting comments such as he doesn’t want to drown in his pizza and that the pizza itself is some sort of unholy abomination which should have canned onion rings on top of it because it resembles some sort of casserole. Well here is my argument little by little as to why Chicago pizza is truly the best pizza around.
In his opening statement, Mr. Stewart states that Chicago style deep dish pizza is not even pizza. This sort of statement is just flat-out ignorant and is a statement that I have heard not only from my new worst enemy, Mr. Stewart, but also from the person I love most: my beautiful girlfriend. Saying that Chicago style deep dish is anything but pizza, for example that it is a cake or a casserole or some other kind of food, says you only have a narrow definition of what pizza can be. According to that logic, pizza can only be a thin crust with minimal sauce, cheese, and some kind of topping on top. So what if I had a really thin dough with a thin layer of butter, cream cheese frosting, and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top like oregano? Is that pizza? It fits the very thin definition. It has a thin crust. It has a sort of sauce base in the butter. It has a cheese on top of that. It can easily have toppings if I added chocolate chips or m&ms on top.
The fact that Chicago pizza doesn’t fit your definition isn’t fair; in fact Chicago style isn’t just limited to deep dish. We have Chicago style thin crusts too. The only difference in our thin crust is that plain and simple we make our pizzas a little thicker. We have doughier crusts and larger amounts of sauce underneath the cheese so that not one part of our pizza is overpowering any of the other parts. The whole point to making the pizza that thick is for one reason and one reason only, and it isn’t so I can use it like a taun taun from Star Wars.
The reason that my pizza is so thick is so that I have some structure to my pizza. I don’t want to have to fold my pizza like it’s a god damn taco, and even after I’ve folded the damn thing I still have the potential that the tip of my pizza is going to droop and get nasty grease on my hand. Come on when you sit down and have a pizza for dinner what is the point of the damn thing? As Marc Malnati, owner of Lou Malnati’s pizza, said when he appeared on the David Kaplan Show, your pizza is a snack. You go into some hole in the wall on the street and get a slice and start walking with it.
For us Chicagoans, pizza has been a gathering place for families for generations. We have treated pizza like it’s an actual meal and as such we’re full after eating a couple of slices. I visited New York City a couple of months ago with my girlfriend and she took me to a pizza place called John’s, which she claimed was one of the best establishments in New York City. We got a large half plain and half margherita pizza and what was sad was that I alone could have finished the entire thing. I had 3 or 4 slices of the stuff and yeah, it tasted delightful but what the hell? Why was I hungry after I had that much?
Plain and simple John Stewart, Gary, and New York fans everywhere, do not discount our pizza. This pizza puts New York pizzas to shame. You may have been the first place to have a pizza joint in the United States, but never think that you perfected the delicate art of making pizza.