You guys. Oh em gee. You'll never guess what today is. National Cheese Pizza Day! I never knew such a thing existed until last night and it's a cruel, cruel twist of fate I discover such an amazing day of celebration the same year I discover my body hates gluten. Womp womp...
Just because I can't actually ingest the gluten-y goodness, that doesn't mean I can't think about it, and I'm pretty sure I came out of the womb thinking about pizza. My mom claims it's one of the main things she craved when she was pregnant and those cravings passed right on through to me. I went through a brief childhood phase where I would only eat pepperoni pizza. Maybe cheese too, but that's it. Just pizza. I didn't even care if it was the gross school cafeteria pizza, if it was p-i-z-z-a I was gonna eat it. In fact, Pizza Hut's Book It program was just getting off the ground when I was in elementary school and I may have single-handedly assured its success in San Antonio with my voracious reading/pizza eating skills.
The best cheese pizza I've ever had, though, was not in a Pizza Hut or an elementary school cafeteria but in Rome. Go figure. At least, that was my personal best, with its perfectly thin, crispy crust and ooey-gooey mozzarella melted on top. It might not be everyone's top pick, though. Some prefer the thick deep dish crust and chunky tomato sauce of Chicago-style pizza. Others prefer a square slice of ultra-thin cracker crisp St. Louis-style pizza. A few crazy folks even like theirs Colorado-style, with a little honey poured over the crust at the end (yes, I've tried it but I can't say I loved it). Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
The second best pizza I've ever had was at a random little Neapolitan-style pizza place in my old neighborhood in Chicago.* The thin but chewy crust was lightly charred in the wood-burning oven and the whole disc of deliciousness was topped with buttery buffalo mozzarella. Good god, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. But that's the kind of pizza I prefer, a thin but flavorful crispy-chewy crust and a focus on delicious quality toppings, which is probably why I could never really get into deep dish (no offense, Chicago, I love you but it's just not my thing). I'm still on the hunt for the perfect gluten-free pizza, though, and while I've found a few decent options, there's just nothing like the real gluten-filled thing. If I'm ever in Naples, it might just be worth the cramps, numbness, achy joints, migraines, and insomnia to eat an honest-to-goodness slice of authentic Napoli pizza.
So however you prefer your pizza, whether thin and crispy or deep-dish with chunky sauce, why not indulge in a slice today? This holiday only happens once a year, you know. And please Instagram your cheese-covered gluten pie so I can live vicariously through you, okay?
What's the best slice of pizza you've ever had?
*NYC pizza -from just about anywhere in the city- is a very close third.
photo via smitten kitchen