In the spirit of full disclosure: I am a California girl, born and raised (apart from a brief stint as a Midwest girl in my grammar school days). I know a lot about beaches, tans (I get mine from a spray can one month out of the year), palm trees, and at which restaurants in West Hollywood Justin Timberlake is most likely to eat.
I also thought I knew a thing or two about food. I mean, I put it in my mouth multiple times a day, I chew it, I smell it … what else is there to know about food, other than it goes in your mouth and sometimes you have to remove plastic wrap before you put it in the microwave?
However, during a recent trip I took to the East Coast, I learned just how little I know about food—but more specifically, how little I know about pizza.
You see, my fellow Californians, we have a problem, and it’s called fast food pizza. This cunning imposter of a pizza establishment has been masquerading as legitimate pizza for years, and I’m sorry to say that I too fell for its cheap allure.
Now before you assemble the lynch mob, let me explain something: There is nothing more satisfying than eating a slice of fast food pizza after a night of heavy studying or drinking. My college friends and I have been known to salvage cold, leftover Domino’s pizza from couch cushions, recycling bins, and/or the dog’s mouth.
But during my time on the East Coast, it became painfully apparent that I have rarely, if ever, had legitimate pizza in my life. Pizza is a way of life for these kind and brilliant East Coasters who were benevolent enough not to laugh at me when I ordered cheese pizza (it’s just called plain there) or when I a gave a look of severe confusion at the sight of a square pizza (called “trays” there).
While I don’t have time to dig my heels into arguments about which state does pizza best, I can say that California is nowhere in the running for that prize.
It’s sad news, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have really, really good pizza right here on the Central Coast, and you have picked the perfect time to branch out, because we’re celebrating National Pizza Week.
A week of pizza exploration is yours for the taking, and while I won’t proclaim to be a pizza expert, I can attest to the aptitude of a few great, local pizza joints in the San Luis Obispo County area.
Giuseppe’s in downtown San Luis Obispo makes a killer, thin crust pizza (the margarita is my favorite) and you can enjoy this slice outside with a cold soda or brew, just like God intended.
Another of my personal favorites is the newly installed Firefly Pizzeria on Garden Street. The cheese is melty, the crust is crusty, and the sauce is perfectly proportioned.
Be sure to get your friends and your mouth in on the best week of the year and support local business when you can.
Calendar Editor Maeva Considine has seen the pizza light, and would love to convert you. Send your comments and food related news to firstname.lastname@example.org.