For the past 200 years, you have been enjoying the delicious bread and cheese combination that trademarks my being. You have managed to eat me in several different forms, giving me relatives — a family, a distinct species that has evolved since my father, Raffaele Esposito, first created me all the way back in the 1800s. Today, it is my turn to address all of you, and boy do I have a lot to say.
Firstly, to the crust battlers. Yes, you, Chicago and New York. I understand that some people like me thin and some people prefer a little bit more thickness, a “curvier” pizza as you humans might put it. I am here to say that we, as a pizza species, do not discriminate based on crust size, because we understand that no matter what, someone prefers and adores us. Someone drools over crust so crispy and thin that it snaps when bitten into, while others dream longingly of a pizza so thick and deep that they need a fork and knife to eat it.
That brings me to my next point: why are you eating me with utensils? Although I may have originally been named for a monarch, I was born by the working man, who grabbed me with his calloused hands and flopped me into his mouth. No forks. No knives. No spoons (I apologize).
Please, just eat me with the utensils you were born with: your hands and starving fingers. If I have a lot of toppings, fold me. Do not disgrace my history with your human eating tools. Save that for the salad, thank you.
While we are on the topic of the methods you all use to ingest me, I must say, you are a creative species. When you fold me up so that my cheese doesn’t drip and all my lovely toppings stay nice and tucked in, it makes me feel loved and happy — you absolutely refuse to miss out on the entirety that is the pizza experience.
However, I do not understand those of you who dab at me with paper and remove my natural oils. That is what makes me beautiful, delicious, and exactly who I am.
For those of you who pick off my cheese, just remember that it is the equivalent of someone picking off that skin that you all love so much and care for with weird masks and rubs and lotions. Cheese is what makes me pizza. In essence, it is what makes me, me. I understand that some of you cannot have my cheese, and because we aim to please, our species has a breed for that. Meet my good friend the tomato pie.
And for those of you who give us rather extreme toppings, we applaud your effort. You expand our bounds of existence and promote the marriage of all different types of foods, no matter their texture, color, or complete oddness. And we accept these unions with open arms. I mean, mac and cheese and pizza? Salad and pizza? Chicken and pizza? All of these are combinations of love that we willingly welcome into our pizza society.
All of us pizzas are exceptionally pleased with the variations with which you have given us. We feel that we are the most diverse among all species of foods. We can be enjoyed in a breakfast form or scrumptiously savored for a light lunch. You can even indulge in my chocolate brothers and sisters for a delicious dessert.
We are also proud to be one of the most popular and widely adored food species — a feat which would have been absolutely impossible without you, world. Every year, approximately five billion pizzas are eaten worldwide. I shed a proud drip of grease at that number.
So I guess what I am trying to say to you, world, is thank you. From the bottom of my dough to the tip top of my crust, thank you for making me a dietary staple in your lives.