Thursday, October 20, 2011

Deep Dish v. Traditional

Longtime Supreme Court Justice Antonin "Nino" Scalia recently weighed in on one of the more pressing controversies facing our times--whether Chicago-style "deep dish" pizza can be properly called "pizza". As a man who hails from the New York area (famed for its traditional, thin crust pizza) but taught at University of Chicago, Scalia should have adequate experience with both pizza cultures and should be a good authority on the subject. Let's examine:

1) A literalist interpretation would argue that having the three key ingredients--baked dough, topped with tomato and cheese--should qualify Chicago-style as actual pizza. However, you can see how this would open the door for calzones, bagels and even some sandwiches to fall into this overbroad category. From there, it's a slippery slope and anything can become a pizza.

2) Precedent would dictate that Chicago pizza can still be called pizza, because that's what everyone--including its detractors like myself--have been calling it forever. However, as the Court determined in "Brown v. Board of Education", precedent can and should be overturned when it is not constitutionally sound. And don't get me started on whether we should call potato chips "crisps".

3) Original intent of the founders. The Neapolitans who invented pizza clearly intended a thin crust, in fact the earliest pizzas did not even use tomato.

I for one would have to agree with Scalia, in that Chicago "deep dish" is really just a tomato pie of some sort. My reasoning? A slice of pizza is something you should be able to grab n' go, fold up and eat while on the run, which is one reason for its popularity. Those deep dish pies will simply spill out all over your pants.

Let's hope this ruling doesn't get overturned.

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