20080806-dfdictionary.jpgEarlier today on the burger site, I excerpted a definition the "hamburger" from The Devil's Food Dictionary, a wickedly witty little book coming out in early September. Naturally, I turned to the entries concerning pizza, as well. There are three: pizza, "pizza," and pizza cutter. I like what author Barry Foy writes about "pizza." (The quotation marks are his and are intentional.)

"Pizza": A baked pastry resembling Pizza, ubiquitous on college campuses. "Pizza" consists of 1) a flat, breadlike disk, dressed with 2) a "Sauce," usually the color of tomatoes, and 3) any number of "toppings" made of "Ingredients." The toppings are available either 1) in standard combinations or 2) A La Carte. Fans insist that many of these toppings have 1) "Texture," and even 2) "Flavor." The point may be moot, since it is common knowledge that the most effective flavor enhancer for "pizza" is some sort of recreational drug, which of course the eater must supply for himself.*

But the flavor issue shouldn't be allowed to divert attention from teh real sources of "pizza's" magic, namely 1) its excellent crush-resistant packaging, and 2) the fact that you can pay for it with coupons scattered all over the floor of your dorm lobby.**

*Except for one place at the corner of 43rd and Dexter in Seattle—ask for "triple cheese and extra Pineapple."
**Readers will be relieved to know that the number of people killed annually by eating "pizza" is fewer than those killed by the drivers delivering it.

The Devil's Food Dictionary, which sprang from an eponymous website, comes out September 2, 2008; suggested retail, $17.95; 268 pages.

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