Having come this far in life without landing on death row, I am convinced that a lethal injection will not be my fate. That said, I chose my last meal: a large pepperoni pizza from any restaurant not called Domino’s or Papa John’s.
What I’m saying is I’m a certified pizza lover, a man who can hardly go a week without a slice or three. Although I did not participate on February 9 to mark National Pizza Day, I had certainly planned to do so on Super Bowl Sunday, the busiest day of the year for pizzerias, before New Year’s Eve. New Year and Halloween.
Unless, of course, I’m served an abomination like pizza topped with anchovies. Which according to the food blog “How to Cook Recipes” is the most popular pizza topping in Arizona, at least according to Google search rankings throughout 2021.
Yes, anchovies. Ahead of pepperoni, extra cheese, sausage and pineapple in the state’s top five.
People, does everything in this state have to be weird all the time? I lived here 25 years and love the place. But every time I talk to someone from out of state, it’s always, “What’s wrong with Arizona? Has the desert heat fried your brains out? »
I’m sure you understand too. “Joe Arpaio this, fraudulent electoral audit that. What’s going on between you guys and _______. Insert Governor Jan Brewer waving his finger in Barack Obama’s face or Arizona leading America in COVID-19 infection rate.
I would say there is something in the water here, but given the drought, we are almost out of water.
Now we’ve desecrated the pizza. However, to be fair, anchovies were also the most sought after pizza topping in New Mexico. Exactly what we’ve always dreamed of: to be associated with the House of Roswell in a national list.
Slice, the nation’s leading app for independent pizzerias, has done its own study of the nation’s most popular pizza styles. Arizona apparently prefers Sicilian pizza, which I can get behind. When it comes to popular toppings, Slice broke it down nationally: Pepperoni (of course) ranked first, appearing on 37% of pizzas. The rest of the Top 10 in order: mushrooms, extra cheese, sausage, onions, bacon, black olives, green peppers, Italian sausage and meatballs.
The anchovies didn’t even get a participation ribbon. In an effort to refute this half-assed accusation — and potentially win a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Journalism — I spent a solid two hours googling pizzas that topped the charts in various ways. A rival ranking list, assembled by the health and wellbeing experts at YorkTest, came up with a different answer, again using Google searches.
Drum roll please.
They say Arizona’s favorite pizza topping is… pesto. Which is only slightly better than the anchovies. And again, it’s weird. Although arguably not as weird as putting fruit on a pizza, you pineapple people.
The pizza wasn’t supposed to be topped with fish or things that grow on trees or mushrooms or anything green, if you really want to get into it.
As a pizza purist, I just crave your standard cheese pie topped with something sold in the meat aisle. I’m not even a big fan of the fancy frilly pizza sold at places like Pizzeria Bianco or Pomo, although I’ll try a pinch. Just give me a few slices of Nello’s or Spinato’s, NYPD Pizza or Lou Malnati’s.
Frankly, I’ve always subscribed to the idea that there really is no such thing as bad pizza – until I gazed upon my fellow Arizonans all fighting for the last slice of something topped with pizza. ‘anchovy.
They say “pizza is life”. You serve me a slice of anchovies and maybe death row isn’t entirely out of the question.