[DWJ] Re: Pizza toppings

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Thu Jul 27 07:23:57 EDT 2006

>Gili Bar-Hillel wrote:
>>I can't think of anyone who eats pizza in a DWJ book, but I'm sure I'm just
>>not thinking hard enough.

Juliette pointed out:

>Nick and Toby (and the goat) eat pretty bread in MC, and Nick says it is
>rather like pizza. Can't remember the details, unfortunately.

I think DWJ has no pizza-place within the "free delivery" radius of her
house (or doesn't live within the free-delivery radius of a pizza place) so
it simply isn't part of her mental landscape, perhaps.  And thinking about
it, when people I know talk about "take-away" food they generally turn out
to mean Chinese or Indian or fish-and-chips.  The only ones I know who
regularly have takeaway pizzas delivered are [a] men living alone and [b]
seriously overweight (I mean as in, fat enough for it to be a handicap to
them in their lives).  Maybe in England pizza has been more regarded as
"junk food" than the alternatives?

(pause whilst phone rings)
(advantage taken of communication)

The first pizza DWJ encountered was in the fifties, in Florence, Italy,
sold from a hole in a wall, and "it consisted of a disc of lumpy home-made
bread with tomato paste smeared into the centre of it and baked in".  She
didn't think much of it then and even before she became aware of her
lactose intolerance and couldn't eat pizza because it all had cheese
involved, she'd gone on not thinking much of it.  Her sons said it was
"very expensive bread-and-toasted-cheese" and preferred fish-and-chips, her
husband resented paying for all that crust round the edges that nobody ever
wants to eat, and the family on the whole didn't really regard it as food,
more an occasional snack for very hungry youth if nothing better was
available.  Oh, and the enormous cardboard boxes that come round it are a
nuisance because they don't fit into the bin easily, and when you fold them
up and force them in they unfold suddenly later on and throw two eggshells
and some coffee-grounds across the kitchen into the soup.

In other words it's just unreasoned prejudice that has led to pizza not
appearing much in her books.  :-)

She says pretty-bread is "a more palatable and interesting alternative to
pizza", but she doesn't have the recipe.

As for "bubble gum and pizza" being the two foods Twenty Century, I note
that bubble-gum isn't food, and suspect that the implication is that pizza
isn't food either.  It reminds me slightly of the "emerald case" (eggbox to
you and me) in the undersea museum in E. Nesbit's *Wet Magic*.  The urge to
make gentle fun of "experts" generally is perhaps irresisted sometimes, by
showing someone who actually does know what something was/is being faced
with an expert having got it wrong with great authority.  DWJ Punctures


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