At the risk of getting some flak, I'm really curious as to why pizza and finding the perfect slice or whole pie is such a chowhound obsession. This question came up for me after reading so many posts about Mario Batali's new place Otto plus the recent thread on Pizza Fresca and of course DiFara's. I like pizza as much as the next person and a good slice is satisfying but I'd rather search out a 'real' meal. My mom told me when she was younger that she found wonderful whole pizzas in many Italian restaurants. She'd look for the little chubby chef doll in the window who was holding a pizza. Then numerous pizzerias opened and many restaurants stopped serving the whole pie.
I believe pizza as a meal craze originated with Wolfgang Puck. When I first visited California my European friends were surprised that so many places in southern California served a whole pizza as dinner. Well, the craze caught on and here we are shelling out double digit dollars on pizza and discussing it like it's worthy of Michelin stars. Of course, this is only my opinion but I'd rather sit down most of the time and have wonderful American, French, Italian or Spanish food that's pretty to look at and has many different tastes and flavors. I mean pizza is dough, cheese and whatever designer ingredients the chef slaps on it.
Am interested in other 'hounds opinions and theories about why pizza has been so glorified. Be gentle folks! :-)