As in years past, this month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. 2016 marks my fifth anniversary, so to celebrate, I’m hosting Friday Blog-Ins here in San Diego; you can find out more info about where we’re meeting each week on my A to Z Challenge page.
My monthly theme is Chicago From A to Z, so stay tuned from Monday to Saturday for new posts on the Windy City. Or sign up for my mailing list (delivered weekly, on Fridays) so you don’t miss a thing!
Guess what? Today’s post is perfectly timed, because April 5 is National Deep Dish Pizza Day!
Deep dish pizza is considered a Chicago original. It’s so strongly identified with the city that most people simply refer to the high-rise pie as “Chicago style pizza.”
There is some dispute over the origins of the deep dish pizza, but it’s generally agreed* that Pizzeria Uno invented it, at some point, and that many others have perfected it throughout the years.
Love it or hate it, this peculiar pizza has come to represent the city. The Chicago Tribune has described the specialty as “pizza thick as a sewer lid and almost as heavy.” Anthony Bourdain has dismissed it as “an abomination,” and Jon Stewart famously ranted about the pizza, referring to it as “an above-ground marinara swimming pool for rats.”
* Note that I say “generally agreed,” because there is pretty much no agreement between Chicagoans when it comes to a topic as serious as their pizza. If you don’t believe me, go check out Noon & Wilder’s post about what happens when you ask three Chicago peeps to tell you which deep dish pizza is the city’s best!
New Yorkers despise deep dish
We might be able to chalk those last two comments up to New York’s pizza envy.
But then again, there is something to be said for a nice, cheap slice. After all, you can step into any NYC pizzeria and get a freshly made thin crust slice to go in a matter of minutes, while deep dish pizza involves planning ahead and a minimum of an hour’s wait before you can enjoy your pie.
Another drawback: deep dish requires utensils. This is definitely a sit-down pizza. Take it to go at your peril.
The joys of deep dish
That being said, I have received deep dish pizzas as Christmas presents from my Chicago aunt and uncle for the past two years, and I’ve really enjoyed literally getting a slice of the city delivered straight to my kitchen. There’s something nostalgic and comforting about firing up the oven on a cold California night, popping in a deep-dish pizza, salivating for an hour over the smell of it baking, and finally bringing the resulting pizza to your mouth for a bite of home. Yum!
Try a deep dish!
If you love pizza, you have to try deep dish at least once in your life. Here are some Chicago originals that deliver throughout the U.S. (apologies to my international readers, but these pizzas are heavy and require dry ice for shipment, which are the most likely reasons why you can’t get one delivered to your door):
And here’s a list of San Diego resources, for locals looking to give a fresh (not frozen & shipped from Chicago) deep dish pizza a whirl:
Giveaway: San Diego from A to Z
Want to read the book I wrote last April, based on my A to Z posts about San Diego? I’m giving away two paperback copies of San Diego From A to Z over at Goodreads, so click here and enter to win! AND I’m giving away one free ebook copy every day until the end of April to a random commenter here on the blog. Leave a comment every day for another chance to win!