When the Moon Hits Your Eye like a Big Meat-za Pie


Pizza didn’t really get any attention outside the Italian-American communities until our soldiers came home from WW2. Oh sure, in the late 19th-century you could find a street vendor in Chicago on Taylor street who’d sell you a slice. The original version was a “tomato pie” which is the opposite of what we know as pizza — first cheese, then toppings, then sauce.

Naples is really the birthplace of pizza. In the 16th century, those poor commoners were the rapscallions who risked life and limb by topping their yeast-bread with those assumed-to-be-poisonous fruit of the nightshades (a.k.a. tomatoes). The Neapolitans now are purists about their pies. There are only two they accept within the family: the “Marinara” and the “Margherita.” The former is what the fisherman liked to eat — toppings of tomato, oregano, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and usually basil. The latter adds mozzarella cheese. That’s Amore!

But nobody — not one soul in Italy, Chicago, New Jersey, or New York — ever imagined this.


Not even Robert Atkins could fathom something so hideous as Meat-za.

But now that I look closer at the picture, I do think I remember seeing something like this in Chicago. But not on Taylor Street. This was at the Museum of Science and Industry. You know. . . . the Body Slices.

[tags]Pizza, Meatza, Robert Atkins, Museum of Science and Industry, Campbell’s Soup[/tags]

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