Food by VICE

The Year in Pizza

This year, more than ever, it seemed like the world just stopped holding back and dove headfirst into its never-ending obsession with mozzarella, basil, fresh tomato, and that perfect (thin, doughy, or deep-dish) crust.

by Munchies Staff
Dec 20 2015, 4:00pm

Ask the people: what do they want?

Money? Fame? Fortune? Casual sex? A new Bugatti? Endless love? Piles of pure MDMA? White truffle shavings? Candy?

No. The people have spoken, and the people want pizza. Nothing compares 2 u, pizza.

Photo via Flickr user Garret Ziegler

This year, more than ever, it seemed like the world just stopped holding back and dove headfirst into its never-ending obsession with mozzarella, basil, fresh tomato, and that perfect (thin, doughy, or deep-dish) crust. We wanted to eat pizza. We wanted to think about pizza—DeepDream about pizza, too. We even wanted to fuck pizza.

Here's a look back at some of the best pizza-centric stories to have graced our homepage over the past year. Place your order now, cuz you're gonna be hungry.

Before you write off pizza as merely the most perfect, satisfying food for any and every occasion, consider that it could be so much more than that. Consider that this year, pizza saved lives.

Photo via Flickr user Robyn Lee

For instance, the life of one man in San Jose, California, who was literally talked off a ledge with the promise of a savory slice. In April, a man was perched on a freeway overpass, brandishing a knife and threatening to fling himself onto the concrete below. Tensions were running high.

But Highway Patrol had a plan. They sent a robot to approach the man with a pizza that would be released by the borg if he agreed to pick up the phone. He agreed. He was saved. Hell yeah, pizza. You're a hero.

READ: Police Used a Pizza-Delivering Bomb Disposal Robot to Talk a Man Out of Killing Himself

After all, our relationship with pizza is a reflection of who we are inside. At least, that's what body language expert Patti Wood claimed earlier this year, when she said that the four major personality types could be identified through whether you fold your pizza, dig in shamelessly, use a knife and fork, or eat the crust first. We're skeptics, but we propose a more general theory: in general, just don't trust anyone who doesn't eat pizza regularly.

Photograph by Ben Charles Trogdon

Slice Harvester: A Memoir in Pizza

But speaking of people who do eat pizza very, very regularly, consider one Colin Atrophy Hagendorf, a brave and dedicated soul who tried a slice of cheese pizza from every single pizzeria in Manhattan, ranking all 435. Hagendorf wrote about his spirit quest and released his memoir this year. Finding that perfect slice kind of brings a tear to your eye, huh?

READ: This Man Ate Every Slice of Pizza in Manhattan

Though New York is perhaps the most celebrated pizza city in the world (hell, you can even get a Big Apple-style slice off a delivery boat in the Virgin Islands), there are inventive incarnations of the dish to be found at every corner of the Earth. For those who think that the left side of America has nothing to offer in the way of dope dough and masterfully melted cheese, we invite you to join us on our Chef's Night Out with Pizzanista!. Let's just say we hope you're ready to be proven wrong.

WATCH: Chef's Night Out - Pizzanista!
indian-pizza-zante-Tony-pizza

And up north, consider the Indian pizza, a glorious amalgamation of flavors that deserves extreme popularity but has weirdly found its niche in none other than San Francisco, California. Writer Jackson Scarlett dug deep into its local history to uncover its peculiar roots, and discovered who truly deserves the title of the Godfather of Indian Pizza.

READ: Meet the Godfather of Indian Pizza

Pizza isn't all glamour and sentimentality. It has its dark side, too. Consider our Restaurant Confessional with a former pizza delivery guy, who experienced everything from blowjobs to cougar hot tub parties to stick-ups when he was trying to fight the good fight and bring the citizens of the world some piping hot pies. Delivering pizza is one of the most dangerous jobs in America, you know (and secretly one of the most exhilarating, from the sound of it).

READ: I Got High, Blown, and Robbed When I Was a Pizza Delivery Guy
Photo via Flickr user Garrett Ziegler

Our writer Terrence Doyle examined the phenomenon of "beach pizza" in Massachusetts' Salisbury Beach, where an endless feud between two long-running seaside pizzerias is the main force of life in a town of crappy airbrushed tank tops, dilapidated roller coasters, and "drugged-out zombies accusing other drugged-out zombies of stealing the communal Ziploc baggie full of half-smoked cigarette butts." The contextual significance of pizza—and its ability to keep communities afloat—has never ringed more true.

READ: The Pizza Rivalry That's Keeping a Dying Beach Community Afloat

After all, ask the guy who bought £350 worth of pizza for strangers on the internet while he was drunk. (We did.) That act definitely falls into the Chicken Soup for the Soul definition of "random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty."

Pizza brings light into yet other places that are not considered so beautiful. Consider the complications that come with baking pizza in prison. Still well worth it, apparently.

And if you still don't feel satisfied after reading all of this pizza fanfare, well, go get a damn degree in it, then.