The Supreme Court ruling on deep-dish pizza is in: Chicago style doesn’t count as pizza, at least not for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
“It’s very tasty, but it’s not pizza," Scalia told an audience on Friday at the Union League Club -- in Chicago itself. Scalia added that as tasty as Chicago deep-dish can be, it “shouldn’t be called pizza,” the Sun Times reported.
Scalia was in town to speak at the Union League’s 126th annual celebration of George Washington’s birthday, and while most of his speech focused on the Founding Father and first president, he did not miss a chance to touch on the New York vs. Chicago pizza controversy.
Though Scalia’s ruling isn’t legally binding, there’s some precedent for his remarks. For starters, Scalia was born in New Jersey and raised in Elmhurst, Queens, so he grew up with thin-crust New York pizza. And as the son of a Sicilian immigrant, he’s likely to have been raised with some pretty strong opinions on Italian food.
This isn’t the first time Scalia has expressed his preference for New York-style pizza, either. Back in 2011, Scalia went to bat for thin-crust pizza twice, first calling it “infinitely better” than Chicago and Washington pizza in January. Nine months later, he ruled (not from the bench that time. either) that deep dish pizza should really be called “tomato pie.”
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“I do indeed like so-called ‘deep dish pizza.’ It’s very tasty,” Scalia conceded to students at the Chicago-Kent School of Law. “But it should not be called 'pizza.' It should be called 'a tomato pie.' Real pizza is Neapolitan. It is thin. It is chewy and crispy, OK?"