In a landscape that’s currently so divisive and divided, there’s still one thing we can all agree on, well most of us, anyway – pizza.
But that’s where the agreement ends and the battle wages on, because everyone likes this traditional Italian cuisine differently, whether it’s Chicago-style, New York-style, Detroit-style, St. Louis-style, or another way. Don’t forget about toppings too, as that’s always a time-consuming effort to pile the perfect compliment on top. Even a bad slice of pizza is delicious. In fact, we could sit here and talk about pizza all day, which might be why, according to ABC 7, the United States Pizza Museum is set to open at the Roosevelt Collection near Chicago’s South Loop this week.
Created by pizza enthusiast and pizza-inspired art collector Kendall Burns – whose first job was at LaRosa’s Pizzeria in Cincinnati, which we’re guessing is an unknown staple for pizza in southern Ohio – was fueled by a curiosity to examine the cuisine on a deeper level while living in Chicago and spending another portion of her time in New York. It got so involved, Burns decided to create pizza-related spreadsheets. The museum, which won’t actually sell any pizza on site, will be partnering with local pizzerias and food trucks, so that attendees can manage their cravings before walking around the city. The 3,000 square foot museum – which was actually started in 2015, mainly online with pop-up exhibits – will run through October, with the potential to last longer, and it will tell the full story of pizza and its U.S. makers. It will feature pizza-themed clothing, menus, records and toys. So, what is Burns looking to accomplish here?
Per the “mission statement” located on the museum’s website:
“The U.S. Pizza Museum’s mission is to inspire curiosity and new ways of thinking about the rich history and recent developments in the world of pizza by collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting pizza-related items.”
Admission is free, though a ticket is needed, and onlookers will certainly be able to brush up on some of the country’s finest pizza establishments, you know, the one’s that get lost in the pissing match between New York and Chicago – like Frank Pepe’s in New Haven, Al Forno in Providence, Lorenzo & Sons in Philadelphia, Imo’s Pizza in St. Louis and Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. However, there are quite a few people that aren’t thrilled at a pizza museum being in Chicago, home of the “pizza casserole” as Jon Stewart referred to it on an epic Daily Show pizza rant several years ago. Let’s not forget about Chicago’s awesome thin crust, however.
Can’t we all just get along and enjoy a slice together?