Taking a break from committing suicide with food, Mike Pfeiffer will absolutely answer your questions on anything you put in the digital mailbag of firstname.lastname@example.org. Regardless of whether or not you think Mike is a mature adult, this column is probably best for Mature Adults. As a Mature Adult, you accept responsibility for any actions you take after reading this column. Just Dandy is intended for entertainment purposes only, and we’re sort of required to warn you not to try any of this at home.
Dear Just Dandy,
Would you rather eat microwaved pizza or reject Katy Perry’s sexual advances?
Ah, a regular Sophie’s Choice. Do I want to compromise my genetic pizza-snobbery or do I deny myself contact with the writer of the second-best song called Teenage Dream of all time?
This is more complicated than it looks, as any real Sophie would make the choice to call me an asshole and pour Kool-Aid down my pants. There’s also the fact that I semi-professionally consume actual garbage and review it, which is semi-professional in the sense that I don’t get paid for it and I’m perpetually half-assing it. Surely this man who swiped fellow Deadshirt writer Sam Paxton’s half-eaten pizza off his plate while it was on its way into the garbage would have no foibles about how hot cheese and tomato are delivered to his mouth as long as it’s bad for him, right? The implication of the question being that Katy Perry would catch sight of me folding up a Mama Celeste microwave personal pizza into a little taco and see exactly what she saw in Russell Brand, making this maybe the most incredible two-for-one of all time? I’m afraid my actual answer is “Cram It, third best person to sing a song called California Girls.” (Number one is David Lee Roth, I’ll take you all on in the cage.)
Born in Queens and spending most of my life in New Jersey, I’m a resident of what Top Gastronomists call “The Pizza Belt,’ defined in this article as roughly the region from southern New Jersey to Providence, Rhode Island. More than being a region where it’s easy to find quality pizza, it’s a region where we are predisposed to being gigantic assholes about a good slice. I’ve had spats with lovers and shouting matches with my other Trash-Half Max Robinson over the quality of pizza and acceptable slices because people who are from outside this area Don’t Fucking Get It. That’s fine! I mean that authentically. I’m well aware that my vitriolic diatribes against college-cafeteria-quality pizza are the product of a diseased mind and you are all lucky enough to be able to enjoy a Cici’s Pizza Buffet or a Pizza Hut without feeling like you should call your parents crying and confessing that you’ve shamed them. I’m not so lucky.
Marc, Janet, I apologize for every time I got Domino’s while attending college in western Maryland. It was a different time, they said they had changed the crust and using the Pizza Tracker™ made me feel like a futuristic bounty hunter in a world where synthetic artificial cheese and sauce disks had to be immediately destroyed once their 30-minute life span was up. “They can’t cry,” I’d say, lighting my e-cig and zipping my leather duster, “but that don’t mean I won’t.” And then Max would place his hand on my shoulder as we put the boxes in the garbage.
Tragically, my pathological devotion to eating a pizza as The Lord intended even extends to the proper way to reheat it. Don’t use the microwave. I’ll explain why using science.
Your microwave is basically a box with a special flashlight in it that makes water molecules go totally apeshit. It’s called Dielectric Heating and what that means is that once the microwaves start hitting the food, all the water molecules (which have a “positive” and “negative” side like a little magnet) start acting like they just heard their favorite song and they move around, raising the temperature of the food. This is cool and I like the idea of a box that makes water have parties using invisible waves. However, really only the things getting hit by the waves get heated which is why your food has to sit on a sexy spinning bed to see all sides and you have to put your Hot Pockets and Bagel Bites in those tanning trays that reflect the microwaves up into parts that aren’t hit. This fucking sucks for your pizza though, because as it gets hot where there’s water, the molecules start to look for a party with less people, like your plate (which doesn’t have any water in it so it’s not heating up as fast) and it condenses there. So your pizza gets soggy and rubbery and it’s your inner memory of what the pizza once was that keeps your devotion to it going. “We can make it babe,” you say, choking down the weirdly humid slice, “I said forever and I meant it.”
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY
But I’m here to tell you: there’s something else. I’ll concede that it’s annoying to have to wait for an oven to preheat and to properly wrap a slice in aluminum foil, and you run into some similar problems with condensation if you open it up too fast and you’re too busy trying to Have it All. You’ve probably seen one of those “lifehack” listicles that shows a piece of pizza shoved in a sideways toaster, which seems ingenious, but I’ll tell you it doesn’t work. As a matter of fact putting anything greasy in a toaster where it can touch an exposed heating coil is a fucked up dumb idea which really only works if you’ve been employed to fake a fire for insurance reasons in the house of the editor-in-chief of a pop culture website named, uh, Krillin Hoth.
The answer, as with most cartoon domestic disputes, lies in a good skillet. While your pizza was cooling down and in the fridge, all that delicious grease in the cheese and pepperoni has soaked down through the bottom layer of crust, as you can see in the little wax paper square at the bottom of the box that you hope nobody sees you lick once the pizza is finished. This is good news for you, friend, because grease is at the heart of a fantastic conductive manner of heating called Frying. Really, reheating pizza in a skillet couldn’t be easier; all you have to do is pay attention. Because the bottom of your pizza is nice and slicked with lipids, you don’t even have to put down any cooking spray or butter – just slide the pleasure triangle into the pan and heat it on medium with a loose cover of foil, or even one of those big lids from your pasta pot. The crust gets hot and crisps up first, your house starts to smell like pizza again, and you’ll know it’s done when you start to see the cheese on top get those blushes of grease. If you’d like more erotic cooking stories, I can be e-mailed at the address above.
NOTE: You can’t do this with a frozen pizza! Those are designed by graduates of the DiGiornio School of Cryocasein Gastronomic Studies to be heated the way it says on the box.
So that’s my answer, Judy. Life’s too short to have bad pizza and it takes about the same amount of time to skillet-heat it as it does to microwave so if Katy Perry can’t understand that then she is welcome to Cram It. Tell Superfudge I say “what up,” and, if he has issue on how I talk science, pizza and pop music, tell him I’m waiting for my haters to make me famous because apparently I’m very bad at it.
That’s all for Just Dandy this week! Pfeiff will return next Wednesday to answer your questions about sex, pizza and rock n’ roll, or literally any topic you can think of. Shoot him an email at email@example.com or tweet @ModDelusion using the hashtag #JustDandyDS.