Pizza bros on Instagram: Pepperoni cups or GTFO

Photo: EddieHernandezPhotography (Getty Images)

There exists, apparently, a subset of pizza-Instagrammin’ dudes for whom pepperoni is everything. These pepp boys, who have tens of thousands of followers on accounts like @little.peps and @ronicups, have one specific requirement should a pizza hope to own their pep-proval: The pepperoni must curl up at the edge, creating little grease cups. Flat pepperoni, in their view, can kindly show itself out.

This pepperoni preference came to our attention through The Wall Street Journal, which profiled the curled-versus-lay-flat rift. Especially on social media, curled-edge proponents maintain that these greasy little cups are the hallmark of a good pie. Really? Let’s evaluate these claims from the WSJ article:

  • “The flat kind is so ordinary, you barely notice it, like a fish doesn’t notice water.”
    You don’t notice flat pepperoni on your pizza? Maybe you need to take a pepperoni break for 24 hours. Your taste buds will thank you.
  • “When you see the cupped kind, you can tell there’s more flavor in it.”
    Just by looking at it? Okay, Pepperoni X-Ray Flavor Man.
  • “The cup-and-char definitely looks better, photographs better. That grease looks delicious.”
    They know there’s also grease on flat pepperoni, right? Okay.
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Nothing against curled-cup pepperoni at all, but to fetishize this single aesthetic detail as the marker of good pizza seems reductive. What about the pepperoni-to-cheese ratio? What about the meat’s seasoning? Just like brown eggs are no better than white eggs just for being brown, curled-edge pepperoni can’t always be objectively better than flat pepperoni just because of that little curl. There is good flat pepperoni, and probably there is inferior, bland curled-edge pepperoni.

More importantly, crumbled sausage is a better pizza topping, anyway—don’t @ me.

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About the author

Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.