Pizza Slices (aka Pie-Cut Pizza) vs Pizza Squares (aka Chicago-Cut Pizza)
Despite its Italian origins, pizza is the most American of foods. It's cheap, its ingredients are readily available, and its subject alone inspires countless arguments. While Chicago deep dish vs. New York thin crust dominates the heated online discourse, there's another question that spans the entirety of the pizza spectrum, thus heightening its importance beyond geographic squabbles and into existential pizza debate: are pizza slices or squares better?
To find out, we invited two of our food editors to debate the issues on this most crucial of pizza decisions. Making the argument for pizza slices—or what we'll call the pie-cut pizza—will be our staff writer Charles Austin. Staff writer Shannon Grilli will be arguing on behalf of square, party-cut pieces, AKA the Chicago cut pizza. Let the debate begin.
The Issue: Popular Appeal
Shannon G.: Chicago-cut pizza unites crust lovers and haters.
If you're a pizza-crust lover (like me), nothing is more infuriating than watching a friend devour slice after slice of pie-cut pizza, leaving a gigantic pile of delicious crusts behind. You know what would solve that kind of horror-show situation? A pizza that was cut in a formation that allowed for both crusted and crust-free slices. Boom! With a party-cut pie, everybody gets exactly the type of pizza slice they want, and no crust gets left behind.
Charles A.: Pie-cut pizza provides truly fair and equal slices.
First of all, let's be clear: crust is disgusting. It is the bones of the pizza, and the fact that anybody could find pleasure in eating a dry, bloated dough stub is one of the things that's wrong with America today.
Here's where the party-cut argument is really argument is problematic, though. Not only is party cut not egalitarian—the corner slices are puny compared to the delicious inner slices—but people are punished for diligently grabbing the first slices. The person who reaches the pizza first gets stuck with those disgusting corner slices, if you can truly call those lilliputian triangles "slices." Pie-cut pizza provides ample, fair sustenance for all—even the losers who reach the table last.
The winner: Chicago cut.
Crust is delicious, and not eating it is just plain wasteful.
The Issue: Health Considerations
SG: Party-cut pizza better enables portion control.
Let's face it: most of the time, if you start eating a big, triangle-shaped slice of pizza, you're going to finish a big, triangle-shaped slice of pizza. That's where the genius of the party-cut pie really shines: those little squares correspond more precisely to your hunger level.
Because you keep having to make return trips to the pizza box, you're also going to be more mindful about how much pizza you're consuming. It's easy to say, "Oh, I've only had two slices," in order to justify shoving more cheesy deliciousness into your mouth, but much harder to justify that decision if you're saying, "Oh, I've only had nine squares."
CA: There is no room for portion control with pie-cut pizza, as it should be.
In Chicago, Bacci Pizzeria only serves slices that are bigger than a human head and weigh at least as much. It does this because it is a real pizza establishment aimed at real pizza eaters. Also, it serves the pie-cut style. I wonder why.
The winner: pie cut.
"Pizza" and "diet" don't even belong in the same sentence.
The Issue: Social Relevance
SG: Square pizza is easier to share and thus makes us better, more benevolent people.
Party-cut pies are perfect for feeding groups, especially if you're on a budget. A pie-cut pizza with eight slices might feed twice as many people if it's cut into squares, since people will likely serve themselves less. You might even say a party-cut pie makes us kinder, gentler, and a little more conscious of the needs of others. It's a beautiful thing.
This isn't just about saving money or being polite, though. If you're at a party and you chow down on a monster jumbo slice, you're going to have much less room for beer and snacks and cake. And nothing is sadder that being too full for cake.
CA: Love, excitement, and spontaneity thrive over pie-cut pizza slices.
There are lots of wonderful, spontaneous things that happen at a party with pie-cut pizza. Remember that scene in Lady and the Tramp where the two dogs kiss while eating spaghetti? You could definitely split a big slice of pie-cut pizza from both ends and then kiss somebody. Imagine trying to do that with a tiny party-cut slice. There would be no time for your eyes to lock and for the romance to develop.
The winner: party cut.
Party cut is great for parties. It's right there in the name.
The Final Verdict: Tie
Call it a cop-out, but come on—pizza is pizza. No matter how you're eating it, you're doing things right. It was a fine debate, and we congratulate both of our editors on three spirited rounds of rhetorical deliberation.