Welcome to the Wordloaf Pie January Friday Pizza Box, a weekly roundup of links and items relating to pizza.
But first: If you are using the Substack app on iOS or Android, please join the chat thread I started yesterday to share some of your favorite recent pizza bakes!
There once was a time that I brought cases of Mike’s Hot Honey with me to pizza classes to sell to unsuspecting students, who usually had never heard of it or the idea of putting honey (spicy or otherwise) on their pies. But nowadays you can find Mike’s for sale at just about every supermarket and at many pizzerias. In case you are one of the few people who are not yet hip to the joys of Mike’s on pizza (or peanut butter & toast, my go-to quick lunch), then there is this profile of the elixir and its eponymous creator Mike Kurtz, at The Takeout:
People have sometimes reported on hot honey as a Brazilian tradition, but Kurtz says it’s not. It was just something the owner of that pizza place decided to do (the owner, as it turned out, was Swiss.) And the product in that fateful jar wasn’t exactly the same as the hot honey Kurtz would come to create.
“It was more pure honey with chili peppers seeping in it,” he said. “It wasn’t quite as hot, not the same intensity.”
Nevertheless, it inspired him. Kurtz was living in Amherst, Massachusetts at the time, where he grew up and went to college. It was there that he got to work making his own version of the hot honey, specifically so he could drizzle it on pizza.
Crust fund babies
Let this Chicago Magazine’s roundup of some of the city’s best tavern-style pies serve as a sneak preview for Pie January’s guest contributor, whose handiwork is included among them:
None pizza left behind
Just making sure everyone is aware of this important pizza meme:
In the late 2000s, pizza delivery was in the midst of a "transitional technological moment", during which online ordering had been newly introduced, and pizzerias' websites were "rudimentary but nonetheless comprehensive". On October 19, 2007, Steve Molaro performed an experiment to "test the limits of topping customization";he used the website's radio buttons to place a deliberately absurd order from Domino's, ordering a 6-inch pizza while deselecting all cheese, sauce, and toppings, with the sole exception of beef (on the left side only). He later posted the results of this experiment (including a screenshot of the order form and a photograph of the resulting delivery) to his blog, The Sneeze. Molaro described the pizza itself as "tasteless bread with salty meat pellets".
The post subsequently "went viral", and remained popular for years afterwards. Necklaces of the pizza were available for purchase, and the troll became a part of tumblr "lore".
That’s it for this week’s pizza box. May you all have a peaceful/pizzaful weekend.
"None pizza with left beef" is among my favorite pictures on the internet.