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The Story about Anchovies!

Most people enjoy pizza! It’s typically a crowd pleaser. Though pizza is usually an easy win for any event, choosing a topping everyone likes is a lot harder. Many toppings exist, but only a few have mass appeal. Cheese pizza is the best bet, though many people like pepperoni (I don’t.) One thing most can agree with is that anchovies are one of the most disliked toppings for pizza. Below is a funny story about anchovies.

Let’s face it, when you hear the word anchovy most people think, “blech.” Yes, there are some exceptions, but the vast majority of people don’t like anchovies. It can be hard to select anchovies as a topping at many pizza venues, as they don’t carry it due to its lack of popularity. They are considered disliked culturally in general. There was a restaurant in Taneytown, MD, named “No Anchovies.” In the late nineteen eighties and early nineteen nineties, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cartoon show made references to not liking anchovies. The Turtles enjoyed most toppings, including some very bizarre toppings such as marshmallow, but one topping they didn’t like was anchovies.

In my house, only my brother Dave and I like fish. My mom in particular, can’t stand the smell of fish (if it smells fishy.) Naturally, anchovies being a type of fish, were thought to have a bad reputation in our house. Between the perceived reaction to anchovies, and their role in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon show, Dave and I thought anchovies were funny. At that time neither of us had ever eaten any.

Nineteen ninety-eight was a pivotal year for anchovies in our house. My high school’s Latin Class (I was enrolled in Latin IV) had a chance to go to Italy on a trip to visit various places including Padua, Venice, Florence, The Vatican and of course, Rome. My whole family went on this trip. Towards the end of the trip, the tour group made an unexpected stop at Pisa. We were able to see the leaning tower. Amazing! It looked as if it would fall at any minute, though it didn’t. We didn’t have much time, but we did have a chance to eat supper there. For people who don’t know, Italian pizza is very different from the kind you get in the United States. The Pizza Margherita, which is the closest equivalent to an American cheese pizza, uses actual tomatoes instead of tomato sauce. It was a popular choice to choose among us when getting pizza in Italy. This restaurant also offered other toppings. Two other pizza offerings stood out. Pizza Napoli was thought to be a ham pizza. Another pizza I remembered being offered was a pizza with anchovies and capers, which at the time I didn’t know the name of (it turns out they were the same pizza!) Such as before, Dad, Dave and I ordered Pizza Margherita. Mom ordered Pizza Napoli thinking she was ordering the ham pizza. There was a catch. Mom must have had the name of the pizzas mixed up. She thought she was ordering the ham pizza, but in fact, she ordered the anchovy pizza. When the pizzas arrived, she realized the mistake that was made. The little fish looked like they had hairs on them. She couldn’t stand the smell of the anchovies and discovered that pulling them off wasn’t enough to erase their strong taste from the pizza. The part of the pizza where they lay, still had the flavor of the anchovy. She cut the areas of the anchovies off of the pizza. Dave and I decided to try the anchovies. Naturally liking fish, we discovered that we liked anchovies. Plus, it was fun to tease Mom by eating them in front of her.

With this discovery came a rule. If we ordered anchovy pizza, we had to sit at a different table because our parents couldn’t stand the smell. Another hurdle as mentioned earlier is that a lot of places don’t even offer the small fish.

Dave and I discovered a pizza place that sold anchovy pizza in 1999. Mom and Dad decided to take ballroom dancing lessons in York. Located by the dance studio in a small shopping center was a video game store named Funco Land and a pizza restaurant. We would go along, and visit the game store looking for used video games that we wanted. Originally, they were games we wanted as a child, but couldn’t afford, and later they were games that we discovered that looked interesting in video game hot tip books or magazines. Dave also collected Nintendo games for a small stint as well. When we were done at the game store, we would go to the pizza restaurant, and order anchovy pizza. They had good pizza. They had a unique crust which is what distinguished them from other pizza places.

There’s another fact about ordering anchovy pizza out. It seems that at times you may be getting old anchovies, as they aren’t a popular topping. Dave and I believe this happened to us. On one trip after ordering the pizza, we didn’t feel well. Though Dave continued to like anchovies (and still does to this day), they fell out of favor with me. After getting sick on them, they simply didn’t appeal to me. Thinking that this wouldn’t be popular with Dave, I didn’t say anything about it. I simply did not order anymore anchovy pizza. One day Dave caught on, and tried to get me to admit the fact that I stopped liking anchovies. Eventually I confessed the truth to him.

This tale is a great example of what can happen after a person gets sick from food. Sometimes as in my case it’s from something wrong with the food. Food or drink can stop appealing to a person by them being sick from a virus or bacterial infection they happen to have at the same time when they are eating (or drinking) them. Though it’s not really fair, a person can lose enjoyment from a certain food or drink because of already being sick. The food and/or drink in this case is innocent, but them not appealing to the person is real. This is what also happened to me with coffee.

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