Pizza Problems of Displaced East-Coast Americans

Graphic Morag Rahn-Campbell

I’ve eaten a full circle of pizza before. Yeah, I admit it. Sometimes when you play soccer for eight straight hours at Jeanne Mance park, you need a beautifully crafted carbo-load with cheese to prevent yourself from passing out.

But this isn’t about my poor diet. It’s about pizza terminology. If you read the first line and didn’t stumble over it then you’re nuts. A circle of pizza? Montreal peeps—and everyone else not from the east coast of America—it’s called a pizza PIE—PIE as in a full pizza that you can take individual SLICES from to eat.

So Pizza-Pizza guy, when I come up to the counter drenched in sweat and panting, asking for a pie of PLAIN pizza, I want a circle of pizza filled with cheese. I don’t want some weird Irish-pub-pie-equivalent with cheese and tomato sauce stuff inside. I want a freaking circle of pizza cooked to your pizza-chain standards of perfection.

Also, PLAIN means CHEESE, not a circle of dough with tomato sauce sadly splattered on it. I realized this hip east coast terminology was useful when an Italian friend from Montreal—who vehemently opposes the terms—accidentally said pie while debating whether to order individual slices or sharing a full geometric circular shape.

This friend says in Italy, a pizza is smaller so the term is not applicable. Well I say, in this globalized-fast-food world we live in, let’s modernize. Let’s innovate. Let’s all call it a pizza pie. Besides, New Jersey and New York do everything better.