What is it about pizza? Okay, so maybe it’s not the healthiest thing on the menu, though I’ve heard it’s not the least healthy, either (tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, after all). Whatever, I’ve had a love affair with pizza for many years, and I don’t intend to give it up.
It began when I was a child. Pizza was the only food item (other than ice cream) that my parents ever “brought home.” Back in the day, my parents didn’t order take-out food and never went to restaurants. The one concession they made was pizza, so every couple of weeks my dad would go to the local pizzeria and bring home a pie. What a delicious break from the meat-and-potatoes fare of every other day!
Now, of course, just about every teenager adores pizza, so it’s no surprise that pizza was my favorite adolescent snack. And when I first began seeing my husband, going out for pizza was our favorite date; I was the only girl he knew who could easily devour four slices without flinching. We made it our goal the summer that we fell in love to test every pizza parlor within a twenty mile radius of our hometown (in upstate New York, there were a lot of pizza places!).
After college my first job was at an Italian restaurant, where I took orders for pizza all day long. At night, I would often dream of pizza, yelling out in my sleep, “One large pie with peppers!” or “Small pie, extra cheese!” Even with this pizza saturation, I continued to love the stuff. Though my goal after college had been to become a newspaper reporter, I felt sorry to leave the waitressing gig (which came with all the pizza I could eat) when I landed a position at a local newspaper.
Pizza may not be for everyone, but for me, it’s like coming home. In fact, when my husband picked me up at 1 a.m. at the airport after I’d been on a week-long yoga retreat in New Mexico last spring, he had a pizza in the back seat of the car. Okay, so maybe I’m easy to please.
Now let me be clear: I don’t eat pizza often. I realize that to eat pizza often would be the cheesy kiss of death. But I do enjoy it on occasion, and especially on special occasions. When my family asks what I would like for my special birthday dinner, they know that quite often my response will be “just a pizza will be fine!”
They say that nothing stays the same, but I’ve been in love with pizza my whole life and I don’t see the relationship ending any time soon. One caveat: Hold the anchovies, please!