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Midwestern pizza — abysmal at best

| Tuesday, February 18, 2020

This past Friday I had a math midterm, after which our math TA provided us with pizza. Now, since I got here in August, I have not had a slice of pizza. Not because I don’t like pizza as a whole, but I like real pizza. 

Yes, I said it. Real pizza. Allow me to explain. 

I am from Rockland County, New York. It is a suburb of New York City, 25 miles from Manhattan. Some days those 25 miles take 20 minutes and some days they take an hour and a half, but the point is, I live in very close proximity to what I would call real pizza, high quality pizza. From Patsy’s on 74th Street to John’s on 42nd and Brooklyn’s Finest, all the way down on Staten Island, even the cheapest slice of pizza in the five boroughs is high quality pizza. With not a single piece of deep dish in sight. 

Because of this, I have not wanted to consume the extra carbs and calories from pizza that could not even hold a candle to what I find at home. Thus was born the decision that, while at school, I would not eat pizza. 

For a while, this worked out great. All I had heard from friends was that the dining hall pizza was a slice of grease which was only good with ranch on it (a heinous decision in its own right but that’s another story), Blaze pizza’s sauce was too watery and the crust was too thin and Pizza Pi — well, everyone agrees Pizza Pi is bad. This led me to box out the consideration of trying or eating other chains here too. Domino’s, Papa John’s and any other pizza that was ordered to campus for an event I also avoided. I was taking no risks in my pizza-eating, and I was getting no advice to do otherwise. It was simply a waste of calories if it wasn’t going to be good. 

That is, until math tutorial this past Friday. It was 12:50 in the afternoon on Valentine’s Day, February 14. I had just finished a math midterm that, all in all, could have gone better but definitely could have gone worse. Having been in class all morning, I hadn’t eaten, so I went upstairs to my tutorial class and, at the front of the room, lined up on 5 different desks, framed by empty plates and full sodas, were five different pizza pies. 

I don’t know what came over me, but I quickly put down my things, grabbed two slices of plain cheese and a sprite as I sat at a desk. I looked at the melty cheese laying over the hot sauce on the soft crust with a crunchy bottom and I picked up the slice. I took one bite and as my teeth sunk into the cheese and broke through the crust, my eyes grew wide and I ultimately realized:

That I was right all along. If you’re going to eat a slice of pizza and you want it to be any good, it has to be from New York. 

Contact Mannion McGinley at [email protected]

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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