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November 14, 2011

Any Way You Slice It: A Different Look at Chicago Pizza.

Ok. Everyone has heard about Chicago-Style Pizza. Deep dish-pan-stuff VS thin crust. The purpose of this is NOT to debate which city has the best pizza. That's opening another can of worms I would assume not touch (not now anyway). Actually, I will address it briefly. I am partial to the Chicago style but in reality, you're comparing apples and oranges in my opinion. Back to the topic at hand. I want to discuss "the cut" of a pizza. What do I mean? There's something unique to Chicago that I've always taken for granted and never thought much of.

While on another social networking site, the discussion came up about the country's best pizza. Of course you had Chicagoans like me saying Chicago. Folks from NYC saying theirs is the best and on and on they went. Now it's time to address "the cuts" of pizza. The picture above gives the visual (on the right is the traditional slice and the left is the "party cut"). Now you see the obvious difference. One other thing is that the party cut is unique to Chicago thin crust only. I saw this thread on Yelp. It made for entertaining reading. In fact, I'll post the link for review:

My comment was:
"I like pizza no matter how it's sliced so the cut isn't a big deal for me. There were people who were from other parts of the country but the "squares" were actually more common. OK, I'll say it. I generally don't eat pizza outside of Chicago (especially deep dish) because there have been too many letdowns. I'll give my take on the comments pasted below and I'll start with mine.
"I could care less if the pizza is in squares or slices. As long as it tastes good, that all that matters. I go to places that cut in squares (think Home Run Inn, Rosati's, etc and those who cut in slices (think Lou Malnati's, etc) and they both taste good to me. And if I use a fork to eat it, so what if it tastes good? I do admit though that the end pieces are a bit of a pain in the rear."

Here are some other thread comments:
- "It's also easier to discern which side is which when ordering a 1/2 cheese, 1/2 sausage pizza. There is a dividing line." I think this says it all. While I don't order 1/2 and 1/2 pizza, the party cut makes it a little easier to distinguish.

- "...sometimes the line is blurred in the pie cut, and you get a slice that's like 2/3 one side and 1/3 the other. And that is serious biz when there's a vegetarian/non-vegetarian, or on a similar note, a spinach/non-spinacherian sharing a pizza." Another point I didn't think of. It makes sense, but a vegetarian sharing a pizza with a carnivore seems a bit strange to me.

- "I believe Chicago pizza joints do this to p+++ off us coastal folk. Pie cut is the light and the way. Square cut is just ridiculous." Slightly different crust in each city (even the thin crust). More a thing of preference. Deal breaker for some, not so for others.

- "It also bodes better for portion control. I can say I had one piece of pizza and mean it." BINGO!!! There may be some who want to eat a lot of pizza and some very little. If you want it as a meal, take more slices. If you're making a big dinner, get a party cut pizza and use that as an appetizer. Bottom line- no wasted slices!! Worse case- host has a good lunch the following day.

- "Cuz the middle pieces are the bomb." <------THIS is the person you might (no, you will) have to watch. The "middle pieces" are those without a crust. I don't care about crust or no crust but I have to admit, the center cut of a pizza is similar to a center cut steak. I'll eat either or but I won't lie, I hit the center cut. Watch out for the center cut hogs.

So there you have it!! I'm not even sure how this might interest someone but I thought it might be slightly entertaining. Maybe you've been in the same conversation. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel. All I tried to do was write about a discussion thread I saw, wrote about it and wondered if anyone else have run across this topic as well. OK. I really wanted to just get this out of my head. I hope you enjoyed this or at least got a good laugh).

Works Cited:
1. Image of pizza taken from thread on :

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