A “Wag of the Finger” to Jon Stewart from Comedy Central
I've been a fan of Jon Stewart ever since he starred in the classic stoner film "Half Baked". His political satire on "The Daily Show" is a brilliant parody of what passes for broadcast journalism in this day and age. However, his remarks about Chicago style Deep Dish Pizza on last night's episode were outrageous, inaccurate, unwarranted and uncalled for.
During a segment about the recent decision to officially declare New York's new World Trade Center building taller than Chicago's Willis Tower (another incredibly stupid decision), Stewart addressed the ongoing pizza rivalry between the two cities. Suggesting that Chicago style deep dish is "not pizza" was one thing. To then declare that it is "tomato soup in a bread bowl" is akin to culinary blasphemy. Shame on you, Jon Stewart. You're better than that.
The truth is, unsophisticated pallets prefer thin, greasy New York pizza for the same reason some folks think Pabst Blue Ribbon is better than an award winning microbrew. Because they don't know what good pizza is and their taste buds aren't refined enough to realize it. Chicago style deep dish pizza is a masterpiece of unparalleled cuisine proportions. Each pie is painstakingly hand crafted by skilled artisans and meticulously prepared with a smorgasbord of quality ingredients. New York style pizza is sauce and cheese on a flimsy crust.
Many people will disagree with me, most of whom are unqualified to comment on the subject. In order for a court of law to recognize a witness as an expert, their credentials must be clearly established. If your understanding of "deep dish" is limited to the menu at the local Pizza Hut, you are not fit to render an educated opinion on the topic. Unless you have dined at Gino's East, Pizzeria Uno or Lou Malnati's, you have yet to experience authentic deep dish pizza.
Conversely, I contend that cheaply made New York style pizza is widely available at any run of the mill pizza parlor in the country. Simply put, there is little difference between Lombardi's, Sparo's or any one of the hundreds of "Famous Ray's" and the thin crust pies available in your local grocer's freezer. You could argue with me, but you would be wrong.