So far, the most attention-grabbing moment in New York’s mayoral race has been an investigation into one candidate’s (possible) refrigerator. But this morning, to get people to care about and understand how ranked-choice voting will work, outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio turned to a subject that will always capture the notice of, and probably irritate, New Yorkers: pizza. Specifically, pizza toppings.
During his presser this morning, de Blasio said that the city is doing a contest to determine “the best NYC pizza topping,” and offered his own rankings as an example of how this system of voting works. It immediately got controversial: “I can tell you from the beginning, green peppers, ladies and gentlemen, right here, my number one choice,” he confessed, before conceding, “A lot of people don’t appreciate green peppers enough. I have Southern Italian roots. Roasted peppers are a very big, important part of our life.”
What topping might other people rank first? One obvious choice might be pepperoni, but Grub Street can confirm that the rumors you’ve likely heard are, in fact, true: De Blasio ranks it a distant fifth, behind olives, sausage, and mushrooms. This move feels like classic de Blasio, who once expertly annoyed New Yorkers by using a fork and knife on pizza. (However, he is right that olives and sausage are good on pizza.)
And perhaps the most controversial stance that the mayor took is on the subject of toppings that don’t belong on pizza at all: pineapple (a risk-free attitude that actually seems somewhat antiquated, in Grub’s opinion, since anything can be good on pizza if it’s treated with care) and clams, which are, of course, a popular topping choice through the region and one that Grub Street can give its fullest possible endorsement.