Pizza and Our Love/Hate Relationship

It’s been a long week. I’ve been tutoring more and have been struggling away with finishing my grad school apps before I run off to Maryland next week. I’ve been so stressed lately my neck decided it no longer wanted to turn without a significant pain. I decided what I really wasn’t doing enough of was writing and so, I decided any topic would really do.

I happened to be reading some food blog recently about foods the writer hated as a child and I had to think for awhile about what I hated most. I guess it depending on the year, but for some reason the age of seven sticks out in my mind as being the perfect age of childhood. It is the point where you are worldly enough to understand the nuances of things and yet still far away from the dreaded adolescence.

So, at the wonderful age of seven, what was most my most hated and loathed food?

Well, of all things, it was pizza.

I hated, hated, hated pizza. It was one of those things from bad birthdays and end of the season soccer parties. I hated the greasiness of the cheese and the half-rancid tomato sauce. I hated the crust that was always slightly over-baked and had the strangely uniform dots running across the bottom. I hated how some were soggy and others tasted like cardboard.

Of course, this was mostly delivery pizza in the era of Domino’s and Pizza Hut. I always felt slightly weird after eating pizza and I now don’t know if it was something psycho-somatic my snobby childhood self came up with, or in fact, I had subconsciously realized that preservatives and processed foods were not good for me. And there is that off chance that there was processed soy in it, which has never agreed quite right with me.

Nonetheless, I think I was the only kid, in possibly the history of the world, who hated pizza.

And now? Well, I don’t crave pizza for every meal, but I definitely enjoy a good one. I don’t care if it’s thick crust or thin crust, deep dish or Neapolitan. I’ve had pizza with haggis on it, eaten pizzas the size of a cookie sheet sprinkled with mozzarella and basil in Naples, and ordered those 10pm concoctions while drinking beer and finishing college papers. I’ve eaten the greasy New York style and tried pizzas that were more salad than bread. I’ve gone to pizza making parties and tried making my own.

And all in all, I’m glad I came to the conclusion that I liked it. But in some ways, it is also nice to know I can always live without it. I did for so many years and I’m glad that even in this, I can stand as an individual. To be fair to the rest of you, I did hate asparagus until about age 12 and hated Brussels sprouts until about a year ago. Now, at least I can be normal in that.

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