We've all been there: the craving strikes for pizza, and nothing else will truly satisfy. And not just any pizza, either. This isn't the need to go sit down at a fancy-schmancy white-tablecloth Italian place and delicately eat a Margherita with fork and knife. On the contrary, this is unbridled desire for the cheap, the greasy, and the overly salty. It must be fattening, it must be loaded with unhealthy toppings, and—most importantly—it must be delivered.
All stoned, hung-over, or desperately lazy people of the Western world understand this feeling. (Did we mention that it's National Pizza Week?)
The Swiss are no exception. And they have been fighting for their right to cheap pizza.
Pizza is expensive in Switzerland, but far less so in its friendly neighbor Germany. As opposed to Germany—which has exclusively used the Euro since 2002—Switzerland continues to trade the Swiss franc as its primary form of currency, so the Swiss sometimes seek their snacks in neighboring countries to get more bang for their buck. As a result, many Swiss pizza-lovers have been urging Swiss authorities to permit the free passage of pizza delivery across the border without having to endure the tedious customs process.
Things were looking hopeful over the past year, while the regional chamber of commerce in the German state of Baden-Württemberg remained in talks about whether or not pizza could be the exception that we all agreed should be passed along freely, even across secure national borders. Plus, if your 'za has to go through customs, it's going to be like, totally cold by the time it gets to your salivating maw. The Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Hochrhein-Bodensee, a region of Germany that sits on the Swiss border, even appealed specifically for pizza liberation from the bureaucratic process, but has just recently been denied.
German businesspeople are pissed about the decision as well, as German pizza spots had previously offered deals and coupons specifically to Swiss consumers in order to keep their cross-border eaters coming back for more.
But those uptight Swiss officials just couldn't seem to play nice. Their hearts could not be warmed even by the promise of diplomatic pizza exchange. In a statement, Uwe Böhm—chief executive of the Baden-Wuerttemberg chamber of commerce—remarks, "We are disappointed with this information and will, in the interests of our member companies, continue to work to find a solution." He also smartly notes that the demand for pizza is at its peak later in the evening, when the customs office is closed. So essentially, the refusal to negotiate from Swiss authorities practically amounts to an exports ban.
Swiss customs official Rudolf Dietrich retorted by commenting that if Switzerland made an exception for pizza, other food and agribusiness groups—such as bakers, pharmacists, and caterers—would request the same treatment.
This whole thing should probably end with a heartwarming story about Swiss customs and German business officials shaking hands and feeding each other toasty, cheesy slices of pizza while adoring crowds from both countries look on in approval. Let's have a pizza party for world peace.