In the tri-state area of New York/New Jersey/Eastern Pennsylvania, there’s a lot of food code. One of the best and most beloved is pizza-code.
Pizza is a fine art in that part of the world, perhaps one of the best foods produced. There’s a particular style and taste that belongs to the pizzas there that are lost in much of the mass-produced pies available in the rest of the country.
A lot can go on a pizza, and the pizza-code reflects that. Many simple-sounding words are actually imbued with tons of meaning. Onions doesn’t mean raw or chopped onions. It means long strands of al dente onions, cooked into the cheese. Mushrooms also need to be cooked down a bit. Ham isn’t chunks, it’s usually slices. Extra cheese is never requested – quality pizzas never need extra cheese. And because White Pizza includes a TO DIE for garlic sauce, no one poo-poos you as a bleeding-heart vegetarian when you order it.
By far the most common and best understood phrase in pizza-code, though, is the slice. When you order a slice in that area you don’t have to say anything else (at all) and there’s a very specific set of expectations. What comes to you should look like this:
And it should make your eyes roll back in their head from pure bliss.
(They don’t do this in Tejas, by the way.)