You know those country diner menus that declare their steak and eggs to be “world famous” for no reason and with no shred of data to support their claim? Or how approximately 76% of the colleges in Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa have the tagline “the Harvard of the Midwest”? We all know it’s a load of bull, just showboating, relatively harmless stuff; we let these places have their little slice of glory. But when it comes to talking big game, there seems to be one claim that no one is willing to let slide, and that is this outrageous tweet posted by the official Twitter account of New Jersey.
Declare itself the Pizza Capital of the World? Can a state even do that? Not according to the tweeting public, it can’t. Lots of passionate responses sit below @NJGov’s bold proclamation, ranging from “hell yeah” to “ha ha no” to “[gif of someone looking scandalized].” But not many people seem to be pointing out the ominous and unpunctuated “get ready” at the end of the tweet, which reads vaguely like a threat. National Pizza Day is this Sunday, so we have 48 more hours to “get ready,” whatever that might entail.
Whatever your thoughts about New Jersey pizza—and feel free to argue this out to your heart’s content—we here at The Takeout do not believe there ought to be any Pizza Capital of the World, self-described or otherwise. The declaration of a “capital” implies a hierarchy of pizza that does not and cannot empirically exist. If it did, life would be orderly... and that’s all it would be. What would we talk about as house party introverts or shy college freshmen or recent transplants to a new city or one half of a first date grasping for conversation topics? For all our sakes, the pizza conversation must rage on, with no end in sight. Pizza is a part of us all, and pizza gatekeeping is an exercise in not only elitism, but monotony.
Here and now is the time to declare your favorite pizzas, my friends. Let your thoughts flow like a river of tomato sauce. Sprinkle in your thoughts like so much Parmesan cheese from a fingerprint-smeared shaker. Respect one another in your mutual love of pizza. Thank you, and god bless America.