Deep dish or New York style?
Sub, hero or hoagie?
Grape jelly or strawberry jam on your PB&J?
Car-mel or car-a-mel, or for those less sophisticated, potaTOE or poTAHtoe?
Let’s face it, when it comes to food, arguments about what we like and how we like it can be deep, divisive and downright dirty. It can also be a lot of fun, because let’s face it – we all have our opinions and if we can’t argue good-naturedly about it, where’s the fun in life?
Personally, I love discussing pizza. I grew up on the East Coast, and was exposed mostly to a specific kind of pizza – New York style, made properly at a mom and pop type restaurant in my hometown of Milford, Connecticut.
Side note: The restaurant is still there, albeit in a different location. The next time I get out to Connecticut, Mama Theresa’s here I come!
Anyhow, fast forward to my teenage years and a move to the Midwest. Pizza Hut and Dominos became my go-tos. While good, they didn’t fix my craving for the pizza I grew up with.
In 2005, I happened to be in St. Paul covering the Minnesota State High School League State Wrestling Tournament.
When asking around for places to eat within walking distance, I got directed. As in, “Oh, you need to go to Cossetta’s.” As in Cossetta’s Italian Market and Pizzeria.
I figured with a name like that, there might be a chance of getting that New York style pizza I grew up with. When I walked in the door and saw the pizza they had available, I knew I was in heaven.
When I took my first bite, I felt like I was instantly transported back to my childhood. The crust was perfect, the cheese and herbs mixed to perfection – and the sauce just enough to complete the taste sensation. It was just like Mama Theresa’s pizza.
The memory of that pizza sticks with me to this day, though I’ve had great pizza since (looking at you, Rosallini’s!). I relived a bit of my childhood through a slice of pizza – and realized not all who wander lose what they remember so innocently.