Oh boy. The latest "controversy" burning up the Twitter-sphere is an image of former Park Sloper and current mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio enjoying a slice of pizza in Staten Island. Which normally wouldn't be a problem! But de Blasio committed the most grievous of sins: He ate a New York-style pizza with a knife and a fork.
The fallout was so fierce that de Blasio's camp soon switched into damage-control mode:
The political right wasn't too happy about it either.
However, I'd argue that using utensils to carve a pizza into sensible bites is unquestionably the preferred method for enlightened pizza consumption, NYC's sneering and laughably folkloric infatuation with "folding it" be damned. Here are four reasons you should reach for the silverware:
1. Your hands are filthy
We are very bad at washing our hands. A recent study showed that 95 percent of people emerging out of public restrooms fail to do so properly. This is a legitimate health hazard, especially in New York, which requires you to touch things like subway poles. One health expert contends that subway poles contain "the entire flora of humanity...including feces, fecal flora, skin flora, and respiratory secretions." And you want to put that on your pizza? No thanks.
2. Pizza is a pie
Everything from banberry pie to chicken pot pie is consumed with a fork. Pizza, while clearly in the upper rungs of the pie ladder, is still exactly that — a pie.
3. Pizza is not that efficient
Pizza's triangular, open-faced design is a horrible vessel for shuttling meat, vegetables, and cheese into your mouth. Why? You can only touch one side of it. Its convenience is grossly overstated. Pizza is not a sandwich, burrito, or even a calzone; it's a wobbly, greasy disaster waiting to happen.
The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana has upheld the same ultra-strict standards for what qualifies as true Neapolitan pizza for centuries. In Naples — a municipality that gifted the world what we contemporarily refer to as "pizza" — it is usually eaten with a knife and fork.