The World’s Longest Pizza Record Was Smashed This Past Weekend And I Will Never Look At Pizza The Same
As a red-blooded American, I have no problem with gluttony and asinine food world records. I enjoy the kitschy charm of a 14-pound burger that comes with a hacksaw to cut it or watching a competitive eater demolish a monstrous 55oz cheeseburger — almost 3.5 pounds — in under two minutes. I watched Matt Stonie eat 255 Peep marshmellows in five minutes back in April and cheered just as loudly as any patriotic American.
Like any ’90s kid who grew up on a steady diet of Pizza Hut BOOK IT! rewards and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I love pizza. My love for pizza has only grown fonder after living in New York City, the pizza capital of the world, indulging in some of the most delicious slices and pies known to human history. For the last eight years, Prince Street, Joe’s, Roberta’s, Di Fara, Williamsburg Pizza, Best Pizza, Baker’s, L&B Spumoni Gardens, Pizza Suprema, Rubirosa, etc et al have been mainstays of my weekly diet.
Thinking with my stomach on Saturday morning, I jumped in my Chevy Colorado to 90 minutes out of Los Angeles to Fontana, California where an army of volunteers gathered to successfully break the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest pizza. The record-breaking ‘za circled almost the entire perimeter of theAuto Club Speedway — Over 1.2 miles long, weighing an estimated 17,000 lbs.. That effort beats last year’s record in Naples, Italy — the birthplace of pizza itself and a similar effort that went down in 2015.
The event was free, with ample boxes of ‘za given out to attendees after the pizza was baked in a monstrous conveyor belt oven-on-wheels. The majority of the mile-long pie was boxed and delivered to homeless shelters and food pantries around Southern California.
Three days later, still trying to process what I saw. On one hand, it’s beautiful to see people of all walks of life come together to assemble such a gluttonous monument to pizza, the greatest food ever created. On the other, the quality of the ‘za itself was far from what I expect from pizza as a New Yorker — like warmed up cardboard with cheese and gross sauce, barely passing for a drunk slice you’d buy at a $1 slice joint in the Five Boroughs.
I know I sound like a smug New York elitist right now, but, when it comes to pizza, I’m a quality > quantity guy any day. Even bad pizza is still pizza, but ‘za looses some of its appeal when it’s put together using an assembly line and an oven that rapidly blowtorches the pie instead of having the cheese, sauce, and dough fuse beautifully together in a proper high-temperature pizza oven.
The best ‘za is the gooey ‘za made with love. It’s hard to replicate what love tastes like in ‘za that’s over a mile long and hell-bent on making history, but kudos to all that tried.