Friday, July 10, 2009

July 10 - The Best (Worst) Food in the World

Anyone who knows me, knows me as 'Mr. Healthy' when it comes to food. I don't drink soda (too sweet and the carbonation makes me burp). I don't do much candy (although dark chocolate is a decadent weakness). I don't do white bread (or much bread at all for that matter), I go for brown rice, love grains (quinoa, bulgur), beans in a salad, edamame, salads and chicken. I've reduced carbs (pasta, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese - yes, the blue box). I've never liked croutons. I eat desserts rarely.

But one food makes my mouth water just thinking about it. One magical concoction of dough, ooey gooey melty cheese, tangy marinara sauce and little rounds of re-heated dried sausage gets my juices flowing.

I LOVE PIZZA. I'll sing it's praises... but I normally avoid it like the plague.

In my younger days - those days when nutrition was a word from Health Class and had no meaning in the outside world - I would order a full-sized pizza, eat half, fridge the rest and dine on the cold conjealed slices for breakfast.

As a boy growing up in Warminster, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Philadelphia), pizza came from Longhitano's on Countryline Road (they've since moved to the next town over, but they are still around). This is real pizza: thin crust, oil that pools up in the little curled bowls of pepperoni... you fold that little triangle and let the oil drip onto your white paper plate (you know, the one with the scalloped edge) and you indulge.

Now I'm on the Left Coast, and that kind of experience is barely around. Tonight, as a matter of fact, Mark brought me a Pepperoni Pizza from The Hut (oh yeah, they are so cool now). Delicousness in a square cardboard box... and while the crust was a little thick (sorry Chicago, that deep dish thing you make is sooo not pizza) and the box was not lined with oily residue, it still had the smell. That aroma. My mouth was watering from the moment he arrived with those pies.

Within 10 minutes, I had downed four pieces. I was eating them faster than he could count. I tried to stop after 1/2 a pie, but the smell of that other one gnawed at my senses for a full five minutes before I flipped open the top and ate my fifth slice. Within a blink of an eye, number six was gone and I forced myself to stop.

But the joy that my mouth experienced for those 15 minutes, was worth the calories and carbs that I had just downed. I can now go to sleep happy and sated and pizza'd for the first time in about a decade.

Oh... and there are few pieces chilling for breakfast. Life is good.

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