That Tempting Smell Of Pizza


I’m walking out of the café with a fresh slice of pizza. The aroma is making my nose drool, which is oh-so-attractive, and my teeth move through the crust like the first karate kick on plywood. I’m happy to have a slice.

Maybe it is the first smell of the cheese that leads me on this trek. My nose is the first who knows. It can tell how the cheese is going to be just from the smell. My nose picks up the funk that comes from bleu cheese on a buffalo-chicken pizza. It also cannot mistake the smooth and creaminess of a slice with mozzarella.

I’m an American, which classes me as someone who loves a good piece of pizza. This is a food that was always on the dinner-table of the working class in Italy and made itself a name through the immigrants of America’s early years. Now that I’m in college and close to broke, I treasure the times I find a good, wholesome, cheese-stretching slice of pizza.

The asset’s that the pizza pie brings: delicious dough, a slowly simmered sauce, cheese with a good stink, and a crust that says, “Sure, you can handle this.”

The crust is the part we all jab at first and this is where our relationship with the pizza starts. How’s this scenario:

Lifting the crust up and half of the slice falls off.

The whole slice is standing at attention and looking fierce.

Folding the slice in half and the crust breaks.

While with the slice I am more than happy to hold it with two hands for the first few bites. After those first few bites, I’m going to start talking about it. Whether I’m actually talking about the pizza or about friend who just got a girlfriend, I’m going to eat with one hand and talk with the other one free. Thus, there needs to be trust with the crust.

The next flavor that hits the dough is the sauce. This is sometimes prized more than the crust because of its savory flavor. Trust begins with the crust but the sauce takes it somewhere new. A pizza with a good sauce I feel can bring a whole range of new emotions with it.

I tried pizza with ranch dressing and I was definitely feeling a new type of way when BBQ sauce hit BBQ chicken pizza. It could a creamy balsamic on a salad slice or a demi-glace on a short rib pizza. The fact is that sauce is daring. I can only be happy that people put it on pizza.

Cheese is a snack all on its own. Just from writing this I realize that cheese is a topping. I have eaten every slice with cheese thinking it was something to take for granted. Cheese brings pizza life! It’s a sleeve tattoo to remind pizza that it’s been through the fire and now everyone can see pizza wearing it. How were Italians okay with having pizza without cheese? Was the dough enough to go through life?

Cheese has a certain stink that makes itself known. A smell that raises everyone’s nostrils. Cheese would wake you up and you would say hello if you fell asleep on the couch at a party.

I love cheese. My nose loves cheese. Pizza loves cheese so much that not too many people see one without the other. Cheese makes every day of having pizza better than the last. I gratefully call cheese my pizza topping.

This only talks about the cheese slice. A plain slice. My friends, there is nothing plain about it. I am plainly saying that as an American college student pizza with cheese is a meal to enjoy. I am open to hearing about where the best cheese slice is or where I found this foreign topping. I hope it’s close to New York. I hope it’s on route with my commute to school. Thank you for letting me share this slice of my writing with you.