“You’d better get your anchovies now, they’re going off the menu at Christmas,” our waitress chirped last night.
“Yeah, we’ve been told to get rid of them.”
She stared at us intently then, thoughtfully, her water jug hovering at pert-breast height, her styled ponytail twirling threatening close to my glass of ice. “I’ve worked here almost two years and in all my time, you’re like, only the second people to have ordered anchovies on a pizza. We mainly only serve them in Caesar salads.”
She cocked her head. “I think they’re better in Caesar salads.”
I snorted, took a sip of beer, must have looked at the girl like she was unsustainably insane. I’m sorry. In what world would 98% of customers to a pizza restaurant NOT order anchovies? It’s the best additional ingredient out there, surely. Olives? Too soggy. Onions? Way too strong. Pepper? Too crunchy. Pineapple? Don’t be a dick, this isn’t a fucking Florida cocktail party, it’s a PIZZA. Then I looked around.
It became quickly evident that this was not an anchovy crowd.
I am in Colorado. Colorado people feel not the lure of the ocean waves, smell less the fragrant wind wrapping its icy fingers round rocks as Poseidon beats his salty stick on the… on the… OK, I’m not sure where that came from, I have perhaps been watching too much Game of Thrones… but they hear not the siren’s song, the call to feel the zest of a shiny silver serpent on your tongue, inconceivably salty so it may be. Coloradans care not to edge closer, via their tastebuds, to the tantalizing blanket of blue glistening far beyond the mountains. They don’t give a shit, basically. There is no place for anchovies here.
You can always tell an anchovy crowd, and I’ll admit it… bearded, dog-walking, plaid-shirt wearing, meat-chomping, horse-herding, snow-sledding landlocked Coloradans are not it. Lovely as they are.
What proceeded to emerge from the firey innards of Old Chicago’s pizza kitchen just twenty minutes later was perhaps, to appease us, the entire remaining supply of the restaurant’s anchovies, on top of our pepperoni medium. I think the waitress realized, if only by my look of utter disdain, that by so blatantly disregarding the gastronomic greatness of the anchovy on a pizza – a fish so fishy it’s as though a fish shat a fish that had previously shat a fish and puked it up again, and then ate the puke, and so on – she had insulted her newest customers beyond measure.
The anchovy is a standalone shot of fishy perfection and you shouldn’t fuck with that. Ever.
I told the waitress I would be standing outside with a placard on the day they decide to kill anchovies. I think she believed me. Seriously though… watch out Colorado. We will not let you make anchovies extinct.
Anchovies. Extinct means forever. Endangered means we still have time.