Why This Chicken Parm Pizza Will Always Be the Best in the World!

I have been pondering a lot lately about the emotional ties with food and how many of my favorite dishes of all time are something I cannot have right at the moment. They are either made from family members living far, far away, or are from restaurants that are 1,500 miles away. Could this possibly be why I love them so much--because I can’t have them? I might be onto something here. Let’s look into it further.

Can’t Have it Anymore 

Recently, we went to our friend’s house and watched a comedy special from the comedian Mike Berbiglia over Zoom. The whole hour and a half special was about pizza, which was A LOT of pizza jokes :) The one requirement was that he said you had to get pizza from a local spot and eat it while watching. Our friends ordered from a local New York Style pizza place and let me tell you what--this is the BEST pizza ever!! I’m going to have to do the hour and a half drive to visit my friend more often so I can have this chicken bacon ranch pizza in my life more.

I immediately declared out loud that this was the best pizza ever and I knew what my husband’s response would likely be and I was right. He couldn’t name this one as the best one ever because nothing will ever top the chicken parmesan pizza he loves so much from this little greasy spot on the corner we used to go to when we lived in New Jersey for the summer. I don’t remember this pizza being anything extra spectacular, but it has lived in this 1st place bubble in my husband’s mind for the last 13 years, and there I think it shall stay forever!

How much of food is really better because distance makes the heart fonder and you can’t have it anymore? Or is it really as good as we remember?

Love For The Person.

There are about 100 dishes I could mention that I love of my mom’s because she is such a great cook, but I thought I’d look to my grandmother’s for a couple examples of this. My grandmother that lived near us used to make this corn, potato and hot dog chowder often. She would make a ginormous pot of this to feed our family of 10 and still have plenty of leftovers. If I were to try this soup for lunch from a restaurant, I’m not sure I’d be posting raving 5 star reviews on Yelp. However, I love my grandma so much and the love she puts into this chowder and I just crave it and wish I could have a big bowl everyday for lunch the next week. Especially if I could sit and chat and eat it with her.

My mom’s mother is from the South and is also a fantastic cook. They live in Houston, which was about a 35 hour drive for us to make almost every summer and we were greeted after our long drive with delicious meal after meal. In my mind, I just don’t think there is anybody out there that can make brisket like my grandma! And I love going to BBQ restaurants and ordering brisket. I have tried it from so many places and yet my grandma’s will always be at the top of the pedestal, likely because of my love for her and her showing love to our family by cooking such lovely meals.

I just think this is so cool that this is how us humans are. I really believe that when us moms tell our young kids when baking and cooking together that there is a special ingredient in there called “love”--I don’t think this is just a cutesy myth at all. I think love really does make food taste even better. 

What is a dish your grandmother or mother would make that you think of fondly now and would give anything to try it right now? Or perhaps you could share a dish you love from a restaurant that is now far away, whether you used to live there or vacationed there. Do you think this dish has some warm fuzzies associated with it because you can’t have it right now? Or is it really the best {fill in the blank} you’ve ever had? Please feel free to share your thoughts or stories in the comments below.

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    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! mary@dvo.com

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