Sometimes in life, we need to indulge. Pizza is one of my many indulgences. In some ways, this might seem counterintuitive to my philosophy of happiness, because I’ve said before that being happy isn’t about a single moment of joy, but it’s a permanent state of being. As such, you’d think that a junk food like pizza would fall into the category of things that gives you a temporary feeling of happiness, but that ultimately has a negative impact on your happiness because it undermines physical happiness, which is one of the five pillars of happiness. Physical happiness comes from having a healthy and working body.
So, how does my philosophy of happiness square with my love for pizza?
I’m a big believer in Stoic philosophy, as well as of Eastern philosophies. However, what I am not a believer in is asceticism and self-denial.
My mother used to say to me that everything is good as long as it’s in moderation. While there’s probably a few subjects you could argue with that statement on, in general, it is probably one of the most wise statements ever uttered. I didn’t realize it when I was a toddler, but my mother is apparently a Taoist master.
In short, as long as I’m not eating pizza on a daily basis, I can appreciate it is as one of my greatest indulgences. It’s one of those things that I can appreciate in life, just like a beautiful sunset or a gorgeous landscape.
So, of all the foods in the world, why is pizza my guilty pleasure?
Probably because it’s one of the most genius foods ever created. Anything can go on a pizza, and the different styles of pizza are as numerous as there are pizzerias.
Earlier in 2014, I was visiting Italy with my better half. And on our trip, we met an older Italian couple who lived in New York City for about twenty years. After about fifteen minutes of learning about their fascinating story, I asked a question that was near and dear to my heart: “So, where is the best pizza in the world?”
I fully expected the answer to be either Rome or Naples, the two most common answers you get when asking Italians this question. The answer, to my surprise was: “New York City, fuggedaboutit.”
(and no, I’m not making up the Sopranos-style fuggedaboutit)
This is what I love about this food. There are so many different ways of making it, and each is so unique that everyone can have their favourite and they’re fully entitled to it.
Combine that with my love of cooking, and you have a food that was tailor-made for a wannabe foodie who likes experimenting with different dishes.
That being said, I think I’m going to go roll some dough.