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What Makes You Smile?

April 6, 2017

Man, I really need to update the blog roll. Right now in my head, I’m hearing those clear, ringing bugle notes of Taps. So many blogs continue to fall by the wayside. Maintaining a blog over the years requires a special kind of crazy.

Taps is really the appropriate song for the moment. If you’re not in a dark spot these days, you probably have been avoiding pictures of the situation in Syria. And while neither you nor I can control what’s happening on the ground a world away, at least one might hope that a compassionate people might open up their borders to those trying desperately to escape this horror.

Food blog. I’ve got a food blog. This is a food blog.

So, let’s try and put the darkness aside for a moment, and think about what makes you smile? For the sake of full disclosure, it’s not a question I’ve ever asked. It’s a question that comes from a relatively new local food blog called, ONECHEESETOGO.

One of the things that makes me smile is the birth of new regional food blogs, like OCTG. Sometimes I’ve seen it written as OCtG. I try to be respectful of proper capitalization. After all, I named this site the FUSSYlittleBLOG way back when, and almost nobody gets it right.

Surely, it doesn’t help matters that I shorten the name of my blog into FLB, when one might expect something along the lines of FlB. Using the lowercase “L” in the middle just makes no sense in the truncated version. That’s madness.

But I digress.

One Cheese To Go is all about pizza, and the question, “What makes you happy?” is a pizza question. One that gets asked in the exploration of rectangular pies. Are you more of a corner, edge, or center square person?

I love that question. Because while it may seem that there is no right answer, being that it’s based on individual preference, I’d argue otherwise. The way I see it, there are two acceptable answers, but the third is a sign of some kind of madness.

When push comes to shove, I’m a corners guy. For me, pizza is all about the crust, and the corners rock the crust game like nobody’s business. If you’re lucky, your pie will have caramelized cheese bits commingled with well formed bubbles on the end crust. All the magic happens in the corners.

Occasionally, the ooey, gooey cheesy appeal of a tender center square is too much to bear. Is it still pizza at this point? I suppose that’s debatable. But this soft piece of cheesy bread, seasoned with tomatoes can be hard to resist. I get that.

Edges? Edges can’t be a favorite. They are a compromise by definition. They neither excel at the crispiness found at the corner, nor do they offer the decadence of the center squares. These pieces offer up a glimmer of each, but fail to deliver the full experience of either.

Edges are a choice of necessity. All of the corners are gone, and you’re a crust lover? Then you can begrudgingly take an edge piece, and get whatever joy you can out of the experience. But i question the character of anyone who claims an edge piece is their favorite cut from a rectangular pizza

Whew.

Who would have thought that One Cheese To Go would ask all the hard questions? But I love the level of obsession within its pages, and I hope the desire to keep posting semi-regular stories about pizza continues for years to come.

I love that he’s been to Papa’s for Trenton tomato pies.
I love that this entire pizza journey started at Star Tavern in Orange, New Jersey.
I love that we are treated to a thoughtful treatment on the ups and downs of Bacchus.
I’m disheartened that OCtG didn’t love Pizza Town as much as I did.
I’m excited to try the simple build for a rectangular pie at home.
I’m glad to see the blog go outside of its comfort zone and tackle local bars as well.

There’s a lot to love. Maybe we’ll get a chance to eat pizza together someday. But in the meantime, I’ve added OCtG to the blogroll. But you should go and check it out. I should go and remove all the clutter from the Regional Food Blogs section, and move a few abandoned blogs to the X-Files.

Hopefully, some of those blogs may return, because we need more voices discussing the food of the Capital Region. If you happen to know of any local food blog I’m missing, please don’t be shy. I want to shine a light on anyone who is helping to raise the standards for food in the area.

That said, if you’re tempted to start your own thing, but need a little encouragement, please don’t be shy to reach out. Helping out aspiring writers is one of the great joys of doing what I do. And despite it all, that’s one thing which can still make me smile.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2017 11:31 am

    Now THAT makes me smile.
    Thank you so much for the endorsement, and encouragement. I’ve spent many years quietly enjoying the many, wonderful, local blogs.
    After so many false starts and years of contemplation, I decided to jump in.
    I’ve found only wonderfully helpful people, Jon in Albany, and you Daniel have been especially kind.
    I look forward to sharing the “corner cuts” with you.
    Now go eat some pizza.
    OCtG.

  2. April 6, 2017 2:39 pm

    The only square pizza I eat is Perecca’s Tomato Pie, and I’m an edge guy all the way… so there. I don’t want to give up a single square centimeter of that tomato-soaked umami goodness, and the crust is mainly to use as a handle.

    • April 6, 2017 5:13 pm

      You say you don’t want to give up a single square centimeter, yet opt for an edge. Madness. Next time you get a piece from Perecca’s, I’ll expect a report of precisely how many square centimeters of “umami goodness” you gave up to keep your fingers clean.

      You know, you can lick off your dirty fingers. Or if that’s not your thing, there are almost always napkins.

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