20041008STLComp.jpgFirst let me thank the people of the great state of Missouri: In light of tonight's debate between President Bush (left) and Sen. John Kerry (right) in Saint Louis, Slice takes look at Saint Louis–style pizza (top left), which originated at Imo's Pizza (top right).

Ladies and gentlemen, you know Saint Louis for its arch, its eponymous Spirit, and its beer. Probably for Nelly, too.

But did you know Saint Louis also has its own style of pizza?

It's characterized by a a thin, crisp saltine-cracker-like crust whose flakiness brings to mind a pastry dough. And it's not STL-stilo if it's not topped with provel, a processed cheddar-swiss-provelone cheese known for its gooey meltiness and buttery flavor but virtually unknown outside the Gateway City. Furthermore, those zany folks out west don't slice their pies into triangular pieces. They cut them in a rectangular grid pattern, known in some circles as "party cut" or "party style."

Legend has it that Saint Louis–style was spawned more than 30 years ago by Ed Imo, a tile installer who went on to found Imo's Pizza.

It's been ages since I've had an Imo's pie, so I cannot confirm or deny its deliciousness. In all honesty, the provel is a turn off; I mean, processed cheese? Ugh. But then again, it might be akin to a Philly cheesesteak wit' Wiz—that is, seemingly nasty in theory but scrumptious in execution. Whatever the case, it is a matter Slice could debate with Saint Louis partisans after we have the chance to sample some again.

As for the presidential debate, the Slice editorial board will be watching intently, with pizza at hand. This town-hall style showdown will be among the crucial factors we consider in making our candidate endorsement later this month.

For more on pizza-n-politics, see these Slice entries:
Pizza Is the Fulcrum of History
Politically Topped Pies
Beantown Brouhaha
Pizza, Pickles, Presidents
Now That's Pizza to Go


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