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[Photograph in calendar: Nick Solares]

Welcome to October, Slice'rs. It's National Pizza Month.

Yeah, I know. National Whatever Day, Week, Month — I'm not a huge fan of this nonsense. (And, anyway, every month at Slice is pizza month.) But ... I will happily play along when it comes to pizza. And, hey, pizza gets a whole month. That's the least it deserves.

Who Started National Pizza Month?

Good question, not that you asked.

Like all these "National XYZ DayWeekMonth" stunts, the origins of NPM are murky. According to this press release from Canada's Pizza Pizza chain, the official designation dates to 1987, when the U.S. Congress reportedly handed October over to the crusty, saucy, cheesy stuff. Is a Canadian pizza chain a reliable source? Who knows. Sometimes other countries know us Americans better than we know ourselves. Still, here are the Google results for "'National Pizza Month' Congress 1987." Not exactly inspiring back-up. And, unfortunately, the Congressional Record search on Thomas only goes back to the 101st Congress (1989 to 1990)*, so unless we have Congressional librarians or historians out there among the Slice'rs, we may never know for sure.

What's to Come this Month?

Well, first of all, I want to introduce you to Maggie Hoffman. You may have seen her byline around these parts lately. She's recently been hired on as an editor at Serious Eats HQ. She's going to be helping out around Slice, making sure this crazy beast runs more efficiently and has lots more great stuff for you to read. She's spearheading a project called Daily Slice, which will highlight great pizza around NYC and the country every day this month. And we hope to keep up that pace once October's through.

Second, Slice will celebrate its 7th anniversary in October. (See why I like to play along with this NPM nonsense? It dovetails nicely with the site's birthday!) On October 13, 2003, Slice launched with this admittedly lame post about a Travel Channel show called Pizza Wars. Our first official review was this piece on Nunzio's on Staten Island on November 7, 2003. I don't know if we've really planned anything, but maybe we could do a pizza meet-up somewhere on the 13th or later in the month. (Seven is an eternity in blog years and something to celebrate, but I think year eight [the magic number in Sliceland] will really be something to put together a bash for.)

Third, as he has every year since 2002, comedian and pizza freak Sean Taylor will be doing his 31 Days of Pizza project, where he eats at a new-to-him pizzeria each day in October, with someone he's never eaten pizza with before. Ping him — maybe you can tag along. I know I'll be along on one of his runs this month.

* Though the 100th Congress is included in the Bill & Bill Summary search (different from the Congressional Record search), which reveals that 1987 was the year that the Truth in Frozen Pizza Labeling Act was put forth — I can't tell whether it ever passed. It was supposed to require frozen pizza manufacturers to note whether their products contained imitation cheese. No surprise that two of the sponsors of the bill were two representatives from Wisconsin.

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