Is pizza the Canadian staple food?

After some major advances this week, I am just zonked and it’s only Wednesday. The kitchen is the most lively place in the FlavourFull home but standing over a stove was not high on the list at all. Feeling as if I deserved a break, all I could think about was ordering a pizza.

We love eating out and casing new restaurants but we truly prefer a home cooked meal over any other – usually opting to try our hand at a recipe from a foreign cuisine. Today, all I wanted was a cheesy, salty pizza. I was soon sussed out as being in a celebratory mood with the better half quipping, “aah, I forgot. You’re Canadian. You feel you’ve had some victory [this week] so you want to celebrate”. Outwardly finding it laughable and dismissing it as the usual “snobbisme” from my Parisian hubby, I kinda had to give his usual quip a bit of credence.

Growing up

I say Canadian, but it is a North American thing, I don’t remember ever hearing “aww, not pizza”. If my mom complained of having a hard day at work, that glimmer of hope that maybe she’ll order pizza would start flickering away in my mind. I even recall being babysat by my “aunt” Deborah and pointedly looking through the menu section of the Yellow Pages with a sad and longing face and the odd sigh to plant a seed.

In my afterschool program, Thursday was pizza day and I would look forward to it all week. Never were we sad that we were having pizza again. In and of itself, it was a joyous occasion.

full of happiness and joy

As and Adult

I have worked in various corporate and professional environments, and a good pow-wow or some staff gathering that was not a potluck usually involved pizza. The anxiety and stress that teemed off of the one ordering to get the requests right. The undercurrent of disdain from the meat lovers that cheese should be good enough for the vegetarians and the vegetarians equally unwavering steadfastness for their right to green peppers and mushrooms on the staff pie.

Looking back, I remember the child-like joy on the face of the employee coming back to bear the glad tidings of unexpected pizza in the lunchroom for some genre of staff appreciation and the ensuing look of disbelief and elation as the recipient rose to get their share before it was all gone.

Pizza is so ingrained in the Canadian mentality that it can at times be a struggle to think of something else when we’ve decided on take-out. Canadians are becoming more and more adventurous culinarily and what we put on our pizza is an indication of that. There may be some boundaries that pizza purists may cringe at but it could be said that the pizza is like the yard stick to measure the flavour experiences that Canadians are willing to embark upon. No matter how novel my culinary desires become I know that I can always depend on a fresh hot pizza to quell that all-engrossing hunger.

No idea pizza

Some Pizza Facts

Pizza comes from the latin root word Picea which means the blackening of crust by fire.

In Italy there is a bill before Parliament to safeguard the traditional Italian pizza, specifying permissible ingredients and methods of processing (e.g., excluding frozen pizzas). Only pizzas which followed these guidelines could be called “traditional Italian pizzas”, at least in Italy.

Pizzerias are expected to purchase more than $4 billion worth of cheese annually by the year 2010

– Source:

Mama Flavourfull


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