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The Biblical Rheology of Deep-Dish Pizza

Matthew Gavin Frank | Liveright | November 24, 2015 | 2,839 words

A visit to Illinois—home to snow, slaughterhouse romance, and a fraught geology masquerading as pizza—courtesy of Matthew Gavin Frank’s brilliant new book, The Mad Feast.

Posted inBooks, Featured, Nonfiction, Story

The Biblical Rheology of Deep-Dish Pizza

A visit to Illinois—home to snow, slaughterhouse romance, and a fraught geology masquerading as pizza—courtesy of Matthew Gavin Frank’s brilliant new book.
Photo by Sara B. // Flickr CC license

Matthew Gavin Frank | The Mad Feast: An Ecstatic Tour Through America’s Food | Liveright | Nov. 2015 | 11 minutes (2,839 words)

The following is the Illinois chapter from Matthew Gavin Frank’s exceptional new tour of signature foods from fifty states, excerpted here courtesy of Liveright Publishing.

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If frostbite is just another kind of scalding, then let’s imagine this earth as a dish, or—even better—a platter, something capable of containing the thickest of our dinners, the cold cut, as if geologically, with the orange grease of the mozzarella, the pepperoni’s fat char. Let’s pretend that all winters can be spatula’d into our mouths in easy triangles, that, if we take too big a bite, if we don’t blow the world cool, our mouths will fall lame, and we will make only weather sounds.

Uncle sprinkles crumbs of parmesan and crushed red pepper over his slice. Outside, on the window, a child leaves his hand in the frost, and the pizza whines as Uncle bites it. You think of crying, of fallow fields, of—just south of the city—some awful crow choking to death on some kernel of frozen corn. Here, in Illinois, our corn is better. Better even than the birds.

The crust uplifts the sauce. In this is some kind of offering, sacrifice. The pizza cries for its mother. The ovens gasp. This, Uncle says, tracing his pinky over the imprint of the child’s thumb, trying to measure up, is what your aunt and I used to call Baby-Making Weather.

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