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Barack Obama
Photograph: Shutterstock/Evan El

Barack Obama compares deep dish pizza to lasagna—and we don’t totally disagree

"No offense, Chicago."

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen
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Chicago has long claimed former President Barack Obama as a top-tier hometown hero, which is why this next bit stings. During an appearance last week on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Obama was asked to weigh in on one of the most contentious debates of our time: Deep dish pizza vs. New York-style slices.

"I'm going to go contrary to type on this," Obama starts. Uh oh. "I love Chicago deep-dish pizza. I love my hometown. But New York style, being able to fold it, walk while you're eating, there's an efficiency element to it that I think puts it over the top."

Listen, we appreciate Obama's practical feedback on the matter—we really do. When it comes to portability, New York has Chicago beat by a long shot. There's no way in hell that anyone could walk the streets of Chicago eating a slice of deep dish without self-inflicting second-degree burns.

"No offense, Chicago," Obama continues. "I love our pizza. New York's a little more practical. Chicago deep-dish is basically... you have to sit down and eat it like lasagna."

We're going to take that last bit as a compliment—after all, deep dish is one of the only pizzas on the planet that requires both a fork and a knife to eat. Chicago's iconic pie is built like a casserole, with distinct layers of buttery dough, gooey mozzarella, a disc of sausage and bright red sauce. It's a leisurely dining experience that begs diners to slow down and savor. And really, is there anything wrong with lasagna?

Perhaps it's not fair to compare New York-style slices to deep dish. In the vast pizza universe, isn't there room for both? And maybe that's what Obama is getting at: There's a time and a place for a foldable slice that can be devoured in a New York minute, but when you find the time to luxuriate over something truly indulgent, Chicago deep dish is waiting.

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