Actually, I love pizza. “Like” just sounded catchier for the title. Pizza—or ‘za, as the kids say—is excellent in so many versatile ways. It is universally loved in its classic, plain-cheese form, but is just as craved in dozens of exotic and delicious topping combinations. It is satisfying whether traditionally Italian, perfected New York-style, or even processed from chains like Domino’s and Pizza Hut, if you’re not a complete snob. Heck, some people even find their solace in DiGiorno (or Ellio’s, again, if you’re not a complete snob). Or on a bagel, English muffin, or French bread. Thin crust or thick, circular or square (but come on, circular), meat-lover’s or white, pizza is the greatest. It is the default choice for so many different occasions. Game night? Pizza. Movie night? Pizza. Sleepover? Pizza. Meeting? Pizza. Breakfast? Last night’s cold pizza. I would even go as far as arguing that pizza is above the barbecue as the best cuisine for the American get-together. And I would win, too. Just pick up that flawlessly triangular slice of crispy but chewy crust, heavenly aromatic warm sauce, and melted, bubbling, golden, savory, mouthwatering cheese and you’re good to go.
I’d like to share some of my documented experiences with pizza in hopes to trigger similar memories in you, and to thus aid in your understanding of why I like pizza and expose why you do too.
Most pizza enthusiasts criticize the big chains as having the most rudimentary of pies. I, for one, find them perfectly comforting during the right circumstances. My college years were filled with Domino’s; it’s cheap, easy, consistent, and a nutritionless remedy to the pressures of college life (homework, hangovers). It may not be as exquisite as the authentic stuff, but it is the best form of pizza to voraciously indulge in.
To counter that, one time I went all the way to Italy for the realest of the real in the ‘za trade. New York has done a good job of replicating the masters, but the pies here packed a little more flavor: richer cheese, sweeter sauce, and the like.One complaint: why don’t I have slices?!?
Everyone (I think?) has their favorite local pizza joint. Whether grabbing a slice (or sixteen) there or ordering in, your go-to spot holds a reliable place in your hungry heart. In my case, University of Connecticut’s Husky Pizza was both convenient and satisfying during my tenure in Storrs, CT. There’s something special about being able to walk to the location, receive a friendly greeting from the familiar staff, and eat good pizza.
Somewhere down the line of adolescence I stopped crying to my mom for dinner and learned how to make meals for myself. Though homemade ‘za can never achieve the same quality that the secret ovens in pizza places produce, it can still be enjoyable. You can manipulate exactly the proportions you want and there’s an added bonus of gratification for the eating chef.
Here’s a slice from the United Kingdom. Pizza in London sucks. Sorry mates!
That is why I like pizza. It’s also why you like pizza (unless you’re British). So here’s to you, ‘za! Thanks for all the years of deliciousness. Now go eat!
 New York has done a good job of replicating the masters in concept. But actually: New York pizza, as stated in the introduction, is the perfected form. While the Italian pizza has more pronounced flavors, New York’s execution is ultimately the most balanced.