“Pizza is a lot like sex. When it’s good, it’s really good. When it’s bad? It’s still pretty good. And when it’s God awful, you find you can’t stop screaming, and it takes years for the nightmares to finally stop.”
Yesterday, we showed you the five best regional pizza styles in America, with a hidden agenda of angering New Yorkers. Today, we’re looking at the dark underbelly of pizza. Because, as great as America is at making pizza, not everyone can get it right. Hell, Brazil makes and eats 1.4 million pizzas every day, but even with all that practice they still do shit like put chocolate on it. So as great as pizza is, it’s not always a winner. The best pizzas? Are glorious.
These pizzas? Are terrifying.
The Five Worst Regional Pizzas In America
“Goddamn it AFFotD, now I REALLY want pizza for dinner.”
We here at AFFotD have a hard time shutting up about pizza, probably because it’s delicious and incredible and if you don’t like pizza you’re a bad person and you should feel bad. However, in our rush to point out things like “Pizza with toppings put in the crust” or “Goddamn it Japan you’re doing it wrong” we’ve overlooked one of the most important aspects of pizza’s culinary life—its European beginnings, and America’s impressive ability to adapt it for its own heart-clogging purposes. Pizza as a dish originated in Naples, Italy, much more recently than you would assume—while variations of bread baked with cheese have been around since the ancient Greeks, and Italians were eating some combination of baked bread, cheese, and tomato called “pizza” since the 17th century, the “modern” pizza likely wasn’t invented until 1889, using red tomato, green basil, and white mozzarella so as to cover the pie in the three colors of the Italian flag. It’s basically the same logic that America applied when inventing red, white, and blue jello shots.
Despite being such a famously “Italian” food staple, America wasn’t particularly far behind the curve in the pizza department. The first American pizza establishment opened up in the Little Italy neighborhood of New York by 1905. Once pizza reached our shores, we went to work on perfecting it, and we’ve since gone on to develop countless regional forms of the dish, some of them barely resembling the original Italian creation. Usually that’s for the best. Sometimes, not so much.
But we are a land of experimentation, and we’re here to embrace that quality, so join us for the first part of a two part pizza spectacular where we show you the best and worst of America’s regional pizzas, starting with the best because we know you’re hungry right now and we do so love to torture you.
The Five Best Regional Pizzas In America
“I feel more connected to my team and engaged in this sporting event for reasons totally unrelated to arousal!”
~American Males Watching Cheerleaders at a Sporting Event
Nothing celebrates the flower of American womanhood quite like cheerleading. We take athletic, energetic, scantily clad women, and have them hypnotize predominantly male audiences at sporting events into learning how to spell team names. We also decided to create a bitter, occasionally violent, rivalry between them and girl volleyball players, because hey, cat fight. It’s a beautiful tradition that our nation embraces wholeheartedly, and it’s what separates us from the goddamn Europeans. However, the names of most of these teams are so embarrassing that those of us with a weak stomach for poorly misplaced puns sometimes question if it’s even worth it. That’s why we’re here, with the help of some outside research from an intrepid AFFotD supporter who felt that “the people HAVE to know” to run down the best and worst of the Cheer Squad names in America. Well, it’s more like the so-so and the worst. Okay most of them are just plain awful. Let’s move on and post some pictures of women not wearing a lot of clothing to skyrocket the page views for this sucker then, shall we?
America’s Best (And Worst) Cheer Squad Team Names
“Worth it. Totally worth it.”
~No, guy…it isn’t
Most Americans buy their goods in the typical fashion—on sale from a Wal-Mart while fending off ghosts summoned from the Indian Burial Ground the store was built on top of. One-stop shopping. Of course some people have copious amounts of money and the strange obsessive ticks that you only see in inbred European nobility and coke-addled money men who struck it big in the 80’s, and they prefer to buy their items from auctions. Not useful items, like food, clothes, or cheap DVDs that trick you into thinking they’re blockbuster films, of course. No, these intrepid individuals like to throw money at things like Bonnie and Clyde’s guns, or a Brazilian girl’s virginity (oh how we wish we were making that one up).
When you think about the fact that millionaires literally competed with each other to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on these following items, you can rest comfortably in your futon knowing that you can never be happy without money. Wait, that doesn’t sound right…
Five Strange Auction Items
“That’s not a pizza, it’s a damn casserole! I feel strangely threatened when I see different versions of a food my city’s supposed to be known for!”
At its heart, pizza is just cheese, dough, and tomato sauce, topped with whatever additional ingredient you want. Inherently, pizza exists to breed creativity and adaptivity. In the hands of madmen and foreigners, this culinary freedom can be disastrous, but in the hands of true Americans, this can create an unhealthy, delicious American meal glorious enough to single-handedly keep additional-belt-hole-punchers in business. One of the most glorious examples of this, of course, is the Chicago-style pizza. Less of a pizza pie, and more of a pizza cake, Chicago’s deep dish pizza gives you as much fat, grease, and cheese as you’d expect to find from a city that’s primary gift to the realm of fine cooking involves hot dogs and roast beef dipped in its own juices.
So with a casual, “Get over it, yes, we get it, you guys are proud of your pizza, and you have good pizza places, but stop acting like you’ve done anything original to the style just because you use special tap water to make the crust” to our now-livid readers in New York, AFFotD is proud to present you with…
The History of Chicago-Style Pizza
“This is the tale of Captain Jack Sparrow.”
Ever since first reading Treasure Island as a child or, more likely, seeing Hook, Americans spend their childhood surrounded by pirates. While today piracy seems like an ignoble, cowardly profession, we still are drawn to the classic pirates of yore; the Blackbeards and Black Barts we heard wildly exaggerated stories about. Hand-in-hand with this romanticized image of people who actually were often very brutal murderers is the Jolly Roger, or the skull-and-crossbones flag that they would fly to identify themselves as pirates.
Since that point, the skull-and-crossbones have become an iconic part of our history, and putting a skull on a product has become a widespread way to tell Americans that something is either badass, poisoned, or was purchased at a Hot Topic.
Today, we’re going to go into the products that Americans consume that have incorporated the skull into their packaging. Because nothing tells you to put something inside your body better than a bleached human skull and the words “DEATH,” right?
This Isn’t Poison: Food and Drinks With Skull Designs
“Wow. I mean, I’d drink it, because alcohol, but…wow.”
~American beer drinkers
America is a nation of innovation, nurturing the minds that eventually came to bring us DVDs, the Internet, and probably some other things that we don’t even use to watch pornography. Nowhere is this enterprising spirit more apparent than our constant efforts to improve upon perfection (read as: beer). Each year brewers go out of their way to give us new and interesting ways to get drunk on liquid bliss, ranging from the strange to the “are you sure that’s not whiskey?”
As purveyors of all things American, we constantly find ourselves inundated with a plethora insane sounding beers that we absolutely have to try at this moment. So for tax write-off purposes, we’re going to list the five newest, most exciting, and strangest beers that have hit the market this past year so we can try them without having to buy them. Because this is America goddamn it, and if we can find a way to get the government to pay us to get drunk, we’re going to move heaven and Earth to make that happen.
Or just write 1,500 words on weird beers. Tomato to-mah-to.
The Five Newest, Strangest Beers in America