This week Josh and I are going to deep dive into a topic we’ve covered on our podcast, Overrated/Underrated. Our podcast is lovingly called “the show where two exes bicker pointlessly about nothing for a half hour” because, well, that’s what it is. Josh and I have individually documented what it’s like to work on this pod together on my blog, and while we’ve had our ups and downs, it’s a great project for us to do together!
I thought it might be fun to go a bit deeper into things that we enjoy and feel strongly about since our pod is only a half hour. Once a month, we’re going to pick a topic from the pod and we’re each going to post about something we’d have loved to explore further related to that topic!
This week, we’re diving deep into our opinions on pizza toppings (episode 2, released on November 5, 2019).
On this episode, I touched briefly on (well, okay, we probably spent way too much time on) the fact that I have some pretty serious feels about people putting kalamata olives on my pizza. But honestly, I will never tire of complaining about this topic, and that’s what deep dives are for, right? This is a hill I am very much willing to die on.
Black olives are a snack that I love very much. I grew up in a household where my mom would just pop open a can of black olives and eat them if she wanted a snack. This became the norm for me, too. We’ve always kept copious amounts of cans of black olives in the house for snacking. I also like to add olives to pretty much any food where olives make sense. Salads, nachos, pizza, quesadillas, anything. They are, in fact, my favorite pizza topping to get. I am certainly not picky when it comes to pizza, but if we’re going with my preference, we’re going with extra cheese and black olives. Especially if we’re getting a panzerotti, where it’s just like a shell of pizza dough goodness stuffed to the brim with melted cheese, red sauce, and black olives…
Just give me one moment to clean the drool off my keyboard…
As a fairly regular pizza eater (with a certain affinity for stuffed-crust pizza) who has an olive obsession, I’ve had olive pizza from everywhere. Chains, local pizza shops, homemade…thin crust, deep dish, stuffed crust…personal pan, full-sized…pizza, turnover, stromboli, panzerotti…if the place has a pizza, I’m getting it. And I’m getting it topped with olives.
That being said, there is a recurring pizza problem that I have faced several times in my life. Something that has angered me down to my core and tortured my tastebuds. Something that has made me angrier at humanity (almost) more than anything else…
I have been to several pizza parlors, where I order an olive pizza and receive a pizza covered not in inoffensive, black olives, but bitter, purple kalamata olives…which begs the question…
Why on EARTH would a pizzeria put KALAMATA olives on my pizza?!
Seriously, when I talk about all of these delicious, olive-clad pizza treats, what do you picture? Those green olives with the pimento? Nah. What about those brown Spanish olives? Of course not! No, you imagine run-of-the mill black olives, don’t you? BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY RIGHT ANSWER.
Now, if you haven’t tasted the atrocity that is kalamata olives on a pizza, I just want you to imagine it with me for one moment. You know how bitter a kalamata olive is, right? Salty and bitter and not at all like a black olive? So now imagine someone plopping that right on your pizza. I think the most offensive thing is when pizzerias put them on my pizza and think I won’t notice.
You said you wanted olives, so any olive will do, right? Um…no? I did not want to LITERALLY CHANGE THE FLAVOR PROFILE OF MY ENTIRE PIZZA.
That’s like saying “could you put bell peppers on my pizza?” and have the pizzeria put on jalapeño peppers…they are not the same! Two completely different flavors!
So Josh says “well, why not specify that you want black olives?”
First of all, I’d argue that I shouldn’t have to. Black olives are definitely the pizza industry standard, considering that they YET AGAIN don’t change the flavor of the damn pizza. Also, since this is the norm, I’d argue that, if the pizzeria doesn’t have black olives, they should just mention that to me. “Sorry, we don’t have black olives…would you like nasty chunks of bitter olive instead?” Hard pass, but thank you for the option.
Beyond that, I have had plenty of times that I’ve specifically ordered a pizza with black olives, only to find it covered in kalamata olives. This leaves the only logical conclusion to be that clarification is not needed on the end of the patron of the pizza establishment, but the onus is on the pizzeria to educate their employees on pizza toppings and their various tastes.
Hi, my name is Renata Leo and I am running for president on the platform of olive education for all pizzeria employees. Let’s take back our pizzas and our right to not have kalamata olives unjustly placed on our salads by unknowing makers of pizza, who are undoubtedly the backbone of our country.
I mean seriously, if I wanted a damn Greek salad, I would’ve ordered one…
You can check out previous deep dives below: