I decided to take Italian as my foreign language requirement based on the logical premise that I love Italian food, and thus the language would come as easily to me as spaghetti to my stomach.
Como estaban planeadas (things didn't work out as planned).
In subsequent years, I have found that my Italian talent lies not in the lingo, but rather the linguine.
My specialty is pizza - homemade pizza. For clarity's sake, my definition of "homemade" is that it's made in the home. While my wife is certainly the chef of our family, my children actually prefer my pizza to hers. They usually tell me of this preference right before they ask for money.
In eating my pizza at least twice a week, one problem that we have run into - and it's one that has plagued human beings since the invention of pizza in the late 1960s - is how to avoid burning the roof of your mouth when eating pizza.
Why we as a society haven't addressed this wretching issue is simply inexcusable. I really think this topic should be taught in our schools. I spent a year in Home Economics in eighth grade, and not one word was said about how to eat pizza without burning the roof of your mouth. All I did was make an apron that mysteriously disappeared after I presented it to my mother as a birthday gift.
Think of the pain we wouldn't have had to endure if just a little educational time was spent on how to eat a pizza safely. Pizza is something we must contend with daily, unlike subtraction or science or English, which I doesn't even use oftener.
Meanwhile, millions suffer daily from those small blisters just behind your top teeth. It's an international disgrace.
Not much has been written on the matter. The seminal work on the issue, "How to Eat Pizza Without Burning the Roof of your Mouth," was published in 1985 by Walter Gibson, and quickly forgotten.
As is my custom, I am here to help. I have come up with two ways you can eat a slice of pizza without burning the roof of your mouth.
You're welcome in advance.
1. The Sandwich Method.
What burns your mouth when you eat pizza is the hot cheese and sauce. One way to avoid your mouth touching those areas is to fold the pizza slice in half, basically creating a pizza sandwich.
Pro: Diminishes the probability of burning the roof of your mouth. Crust usually doesn't cause much blistering.
Con: In creating the "pizza sandwich," the cheese, sauce, and other toppings often fall out and on to your shirt, blouse, or, for residents of Alabama, your bare chest. Those blisters hurt too.
2. The Waiting Method.
With this method, you "wait" until the pizza has cooled considerably, then eat it.
Pro: Allowing the temperature of the steaming cheese and sauce to diminish significantly reduces the threat of burning the roof of your mouth.
Con: It is difficult for any living being to resist the alluring temptation of a hot pizza fresh out of the oven or box. Why this temptation is not even mentioned in the Bible, I do not know. You would think they would have it in there.
I hope that helps. People should be able to eat a pizza without enduring a boiling blister. By utilizing one of these two methods, perhaps I can ease the world's suffering - one slice at a time.
© Len Robbins 2003. Robbins is the editor of The Clinch County News and is a contributor to The Thomaston Times.