Supreme Court Weighs In On Pizza, Just Makes Things Worse

For those of you who don’t collect Justices Of The Supreme Court bubblegum cards, that pissed off dude up there is conservative Senior Associate Justice Antonin Scalia–a man who, ostensibly, makes his living by a careful and considered choice of words and dispensing of opinions. But apparently, you take a guy like Scalia off the bench and ask him a simple question about pizza (a topic on which he has some very strong opinions), and suddenly he goes all flaky, chooses his words poorly and ignites an interstate battle over what is and is not a “pizza.”

According to the Chicago Sun Times, Scalia–while speaking at the Kent School of Law in Chicago–declared that “so-called deep-dish pizza,” while tasty, “should not be called ‘pizza.’ It should be called ‘a tomato pie.’ Real pizza is Neapolitan. It is thin. It is chewy and crispy, OK?”

Two things about this: One, it’s pretty ballsy to be bad-mouthing deep-dish on its own home turf. Props to the court’s most outspoken constructionist for sticking to his guns in a place where debates over pizza are sometimes settled in ways far less civil than a reasoned debate by nine people in wizard robes.

Two, Scalia is wrong, and really ought to have known better. He was born and raised in Trenton, after all. He should know what a tomato pie is. And a Chicago deep-dish is not a tomato pie–not by the Trenton definition, or by the Philadelphian one. While I agree that the buckets of cheese and sauce that Chicagoans call ‘pizza’ are, in fact, not, neither should they be called tomato pies. Because they aren’t that either. And Scalia should’ve known that.

So what should Chicago’s most famous culinary one-off be called? I vote for “Tomato Pot Pie” or “Windy City Casserole.” Calling it a “tart” doesn’t really do justice to the size and epic weight of your average deep-dish pie, but a historic, culinary argument could be made for calling it a “cheese and tomato pastie” or even a “tomato coffyn.” Granted, none of these really have the requisite poetic ring, but one thing that’s sure? These monsters are not tomato pies. And Scalia–who, I’m guessing, has put down his fare share of pizzas–should’ve known better.

Scalia Offers Ruling: Deep dish v. thin crust? [Chicago Sun Times]

Supreme Court Justice calls Chicago-style a tomato pie [Huffington Post]