The place where pizza comes to be written about

Codsall: pizza capital of THE WORLD

Pleasant leafy Codsall in all her glory

Warning: this blog post may contain wistfulness.

I come from, and am currently staying contentedly in, a village near Wolverhampton called Codsall. Not much happens in Codsall – the wrestler William Regal is from here, a few years back a train with a crane on its back knocked our station’s footbridge over, that’s about it. Codsall is so sleepy that for a while I was listed on its Wikipedia page as a “notable Codsall resident.” Desperate times. Actually, I still am. Lordy.

And yet we have three pizzerias!!!

Yes, incredibly, the village in which I grew up has not one, not two, but three active pizzerias, including the most incongruously positioned branch of Papa John’s in all of Christendom. It’s Pizza Central all up in this bitch! So let me take you by the hand and show you through the streets of Codsall. I’ll show you something that will, if not change your mind (thanks, Ralph McTell) then certainly make it think, “That’s quite a high concentration of pizzerias, isn’t it?”

A local pizzeria for local people

FRESCA. The nearest to my family home as the crow flies, or indeed walks for that matter, Fresca is a fancy little joint with laudable delusions of fanciness. Quite honestly, I couldn’t quite believe it when it opened up, and practically set up camp in anticipation of its opening. I had their 12″ festa di carne and it was… pretty meh, actually. It was like a superior supermarket pizza, and if I want one of those, I’ll go to a superior supermarket. It was ages ago and I don’t have a photo of it, so here’s one of me making my feelings known about the next contestant.

Father! FATHER!

This way, there be toppings

PAPA JOHN’S. This truly is baffling. Even now, I cannot reason it out. Why would Papa John open one of his stores in sleepy little Codsall, other than to pay me back for my years of support? There’s just no other explanation for it. Anyway, I haven’t eaten from the Codsall branch of Papa John’s yet, but it’s nice to know that it’s there. You never know when you might have an emergency to which Papa John’s is the only solution. These things happen. And finally…

Hello, I am a menu

LUCIANO’S. I believe I am right in saying that Luciano’s is the longest-serving pizzeria in Codsall. But I haven’t eaten a pizza from there and so they can’t say they have arrived yet. Sorry. It’s in Bilbrook and I’m fucked if I’m hauling my carcass all the way over there.

So there you have it. The village that raised me is also a village that raises a very large amount of pizza dough, which is exactly as it should be. If you should ever happen to visit Codsall, be sure to visit The Bentlands pub, where, in the height of late summer, Rosie and I played an epic game of Scrabble. I think there may even be a plaque there to commemorate it. They serve draft wine there, and there’s not enough of that in this modern world of ours. Sigh…


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