When I grew up in Joliet forty years ago, my dad would sometimes bring home a pizza, always in a billowing bag of white paper with a map of Italy and a gondola printed on it. The pizza sat atop a circle of cardboard, was cut into small squares, and had a few crumbs of corn meal underneath its crackly thin crust. The sausage tasted of fennel and the cheese of fresh pepper.
Then I cared little about pizza for a decade or two. When I awoke, those good thin-crust pizzas were gone, replaced by somewhat thicker pizza of the Aurelio's type. Later my wife and I were led to Giordano's on 63rd and Uno's on Ontario, and we embraced Chicago deep dish.
Last month I spent a week on both sides of the Tappan Zee Bridge about 25 north of New York City. Provoked by the periodic tilts on this board about NY pizza verus Chicago pizza, I ate slices whenever I could in Tarrytown, NY; New Canann, CT; and in Northvale and Norwood, NJ.
I love the Land of Lincoln, and I'm devoted to Chicago, but the ability to get a slice rather than a whole pie, and to get white pizza, and to find broccoli and eggplant always available as toppings, and to have the slice warmed in the pizza oven, and for the pizza to have real flavor on a worthwhile crust...now I understand what folks have been arguing about.