The place where pizza comes to be written about


Yes, it HAS been a long time, hasn’t it? Months and months and months. I guess I just fell out of love with pizza blogging, not that I in any way fell out of love with pizzas themselves – indeed, while I’ve been gone, Pizza Hut have bestowed the Meat Machine on the world, a pizza which is just meat, meat, meat and then some more meat on top of the meat and it’s BLOODY AMAZING. But I guess I’d just said everything that I had to say about pizzas. There’s only so many ways you can say “there’s some cheese in the crust, right, and it’s dead nice.”
The source of my downfall

The source of my downfall

Anyway, with great amounts of pizza comes great personal growth, and I ain’t talking about some voyage of self-discovery type flah here. Nope, what I am saying in my high-falutin’ way is that this blog, however neglected it hasx been in recent times, and the matter of its subject, has taken its toll on my physique. I have become, as they say in the nutritional trade, a big fat bastard.
“Peter, no!” I hear you chorus. “You have merely become a jolly, Falstaffian figure, a personage of heft and bearing as befits your age and standing!” But I know that you are just being kind, bless you. The figures speak for themselves. At the time of the recommencement of this blog, I weigh 17 stones and 12 pounds in old money. With a height of a touch over six feet and three inches, this means that my Body Mass Index is 30.8 and, if you’ll all open your textbooks to the chapter entitled You Fat Bastard, you’ll notice that this means I nestle snugly in the “obese” bracket. It means I have to lose eight pounds just to be considered overweight, and another 38(!!!!!!!!!!) if I want to be considered normal. Which is surely the aim of any modern citizen.
I’m not going to lose 46 pounds. That’s just silly. Why, I’d have wasted away to nothing! But I am going to lose two stone by the end of April. Yeah, you heard me, and by now are probably aware that 12 Inch Pete Treat, previously the blog home of gluttony and overfeeding and very much a one-stop shop for lovers of pizza and gratuitous brown-nosing of Adam Richman, is about to execute an ungainly, wheezing volte-face and become one of those “I am fat but I am going to get thin” blogs that are so popular nowadays. Sorry. I’ll try to make it interesting, but if it’s gushing tributes to Dominos and their magnificent jalapeno stuffed crust that you’re after, then you need to keep on truckin’, my friend. No pizzas will be harmed in the making of this blog from this point on. From here on in, joylessness, abstention and the occasional photograph of my shrinking belly – and it needs to shrink, because as it stands, I can’t see my penis when I look down without thinking about Nigella Lawson for twenty minutes beforehand – will be the order of the day. And it will be a small-portion order. Because that’s how I now do.
The sexiest woman on Earth

The sexiest woman on Earth

So basically, I have to lose 28 pounds in 92 days. I reckon I can do that. My colleague Nick Soldinger, who does krav maga and circuit training and boxing and weights and all sorts, will be my advisor and Bundini-style cornerman, shouting, “Skip, fatty! Skip faster! Skip until you weep!” at me by way of encouragement. Also, I’ve actually done it before. About five or six years ago, I was a Rubenesque 18 stone and 5 pounds, and in four months of reasonably intense, but by no means absurd, exercise and dieting, I lost two and a half stone. I am enclosing pictures for your delight, of the before and after – it was meant to be in a magazine piece but it never quite happened. See that one where I am waving, looking lean and content? That’s where I want to end up. See that one of me looking six months pregnant, rocking quiffy moobs and the despondent air of a punched cow? Take off half a stone and that’s what I look like right now. Only half a decade older, half a decade more defeated, half a decade nearer to my inevitably lonely and unnoticed death. Relax, ladies, I’m single!
A massive fat unhappy fucker

A massive fat unhappy fucker

Screen shot 2013-01-30 at 08.58.46
That’s where I want to be. So here’s the plan. In the morning, I will awaken, early. For breakfast, I shall “enjoy” a bowl of porridge with fruit – actually, those quote marks are a bit facetious, I really don’t mind fruity porridge. Once fuelled, I will cycle to work – EVERY DAY. I’ll then tootle into my work gym and row for half an hour – nothing too strenuous, just a leisurely jaunt along imagined rivers while my iPod blasts motivational hip-hop. You’ll be surprised how excited I get when Doug E. Fresh And The Get Fresh Crew’s The Show comes on.
That should account for a pre-work burning off of 300 calories plus however much I get through on the cycle in. Mid-morning snack of some fruit, lots of lovely delicious water, and then back to the gym in my lunch hour, either for forty minutes of varied-resistance cross-training or the fiendishly unpleasant programme of weights, lunges and dips that Mr Soldinger has dreamed up for me, the sadistic swine. All being as it should, that should account for another 550-600 calories and engender within me what I believe is technically known as “the burn”. Lunch will almost inevitably be sushi, unless I feel the need to push the rowing machine out and have a wrap of some kind. More water, and then I cycle home again at the end of play, gazing wistfully and in floods of tears at every last pub that I go past (although thankfully, I cycle through Peckham, where the pubs are somehow less enviable than in other bits of London). Dinner will be chicken or fish or soup with rice or wholemeal pasta or salad – why, there are a whole nine possible permutations right there – and then I can settle down for what is fancifully known as “rest”, which in my case means lounging around on my back playing Lexulous.
I reckon that if I can stick this out for three months, not go pizza and wine bonkers at weekends, and refrain from hurling myself from Blackfriars Bridge after the first week, then I will be okay. The bottom line is, I can’t allow myself to get any fatter than I am now, it’s just not good enough. I look like a sentient scrotum with eyes. And so I am doing something about it, and boring you with the progress reports. All that remains is for me to report my first readings…
WEIGHT: 17 stone 12 pounds
BMI: 31.8
…and hope that they start dropping. Tune in next week.

Filed under: Now I'm on a health kick, Uncategorized

12 Inch Pete Treat Lunch Club: Number 1 in a series of I don’t know how many

Despite this blog often receiving as many as two hundred hits IN A SINGLE DAY, which must be some kind of world record, it is essentially a thankless and rewardless task. I get no money for it. The book deal that I assumed would be a formality, has yet to materialise – the army of publishers inevitably chasing me down probably don’t know that I have moved flat. I’ve gotten some free pizzas out of it, but I expected that – indeed, I would never have started it in the first place if I thought I wouldn’t.

But occasionally, it justifies the long, hard hours I spend sweating over its creation and upkeep, and today was one of those occasions, as I spent a lovely lunch in the company of Claire McGill, talking about pizzas. We talked about crusts (mainly about how Pizza Hut appear to be going bonkers and coming up with crust concepts like Alan Partridge desperately pitching TV show ideas at a disinterested BBC commissioner), customer service (mainly about how Papa John’s effectively don’t have any) and above all about how the pizzas placed in front of us, from the estimable Blackfriars Wine Bar (who, brilliantly, are now displaying the address of this blog on their main pizza sign, which means I can now die a happy man), were so bloody lovely.

To explain, Claire McGill, or CMG as I don’t call her, is the PR for Dominos, and an entirely lovely lady to boot. I’m not saying that because she just bought me lunch, but because she makes the PR lark so very, very simple. No faffing, no painful negotiations, no doublespeak. Need pizzas for a picture? Here are some pizzas. Doing a charity rap battle event and want some pizza vouchers to give away as prizes? Here are some vouchers. Simples, as those irritating meerkats would say. And she’s also passionate about good pizza and preserving the essential aceness of Dominos too.

Claire is waving at you. Wave back!

Anyway, she was in town and I wanted to introduce her to the hidden treasure that is the Blackfriars Wine Bar and so she came, she ate, they conquered, and they even gave her a quick tour of the kitchen and the opportunity to fondle their fancy live yeast (because that is what makes their pizzas so fluffy and vibrant, fact fans) into the bargain. In the style of the Observer Food Monthly I can reveal that:

Claire ate: Chicken, chorizo and peppers pizza, two orange juice and lemonades

Pete ate: Double chicken, chorizo and jalapenos pizza, two large Fitous, diet Coke to deal with the pre-dinner thirst

What I ate. Sorry, I started without you.

And they were as good as they always are. So big up Claire, big up Terry and all the gang at the Blackfriars Wine Bar (mention my name and they won’t give you 10% off your pizza purchase but they may knock a few quid off mine, which is even better) and big up yourself because it’s the weekend. Yes, I just said “big up” three times. I’m having a mid-life crisis, deal with it.

Filed under: Pizzeria reviews, Uncategorized

You know that thing where you discover a totally unexpected pizza delight? That.

Sorry for the ongoing neglect of this blog which, were it a child, would almost certainly have been confiscated by social services by now and given a new life as sacrificial fodder for an Isle Of Man death cult. But I have been busy becoming Wolverhampton’s eighth best battle rapper, tending to the new Cashmore Heights, and generally having what I gather some people call “a life.”

Under such circumstances, it’s only natural that I should be provoked back into the pizza blogging game by a happy accident, and quite honestly, accidents do not come as happy as those that involve pizza. To cut a long story slightly less long, there is a wine bar near my offices called the Blackfriars Wine Bar and a lovely little spot it is. Great food (they used to do a fish pie to absolutely die for), lengthy wine list, dashing proprietor who makes an unholy fuss of you the second you enter – it’s a great little spot for luncheon or after-work unwinding and it’s odd that I have only eaten there a handful of times.

Well, since I moved house, I have to walk past the Blackfriars on my way to my new bus stop, and about two weeks ago, I noticed it had one of those pub blackboard standees outside it informing the world that they were now doing wood-fired oven pizzas. “Hmmm,” I thought. “Pizzas. You like them. Indeed, if memory serves, you even write about them online from time to time, usually about how nice Dominos are or how the latest Pizza Hut stuffed edge monstrosity is a crime against nature. Maybe you should pop in sometime and see what their pizzas are like, mayhap to write a blog piece thereupon.” Well, today I went there for lunch with my friend Sarah, whose photographic handiwork you can now enjoy.

Hello. I look delicious, don’t I?

World, you need to know that the Blackfriars Wine Bar’s pizzas are INCREDIBLE. Like, among the best I have ever had in London standards of incredible – and I’m not just saying that in the hope that I’ll get a free lunch out of them. They are 13 inches or thereabouts of blast-furnaced perfection – judging by the topping blisters and the succulence of the meat, I’d imagine that their wood oven temperature is high and their cooking time relatively short, although not to the extent of Franco Manca’s 90-second dough blitzes. What you get is plumply fluffed, but by no means heavy, and loaded down with toppings. And at this point I should point out that you can have TWELVE toppings if you so wish – if you want to order the full topping menu of Parma ham, chicken, salami, chorizo, chilli beef (which is AMAZEBAGS), red onion, pepper, tomato, mushroom, olive, mozzerella and jalapenos, it costs you the same £8.50 as if you just ordered a basic marguerita. Why, in these recessional times, that’s little short of daylight robbery!

Me, helpfully indicating the pizza in this shot

I can’t recommend it highly enough – the only complaint, and this is no kind of complaint at all, is that the pizzas were a touch too big for a lunchtime feed, but all you have to do is ask and you get a traditional pizza box in which to carry away your leftovers, for redistribution or later reheating. I gave mine away to some work colleagues I ran into, and their verdict was approximately the same as mine. I think I may have discovered my new spiritual home – but then, it has pizzas and wine in it, so it was always going to be thus. To finish, and to fully communicate to the world the extent of my joy, here is a picture of a shark smiling.

He is happy because he is going to the Blackfriars Wine Bar later for a lovely pizza

Filed under: Uncategorized

An interview with Adam Richman

Firstly, allow me to apologise for the tardy running of this blog of late – I’ve been doing all manner of different things, including moving into my new home, dealing with a rather unpleasant bout of depression, becoming a top-tier battle rapper and generally living the life of a particularly miserable bull inside a strange and unfamiliar china shop.

Anyway. Regular visitors to this virtual pizzeria will know that I love the TV show Man Vs Food. I find its on-screen depictions of Stateside gluttony to be stimulating and comforting and they have, on occasion, even inspired me to do some cookery of my own, with spectacular results. The show’s presenter, Adam Richman, has become something of a hero to me. In fact, I want to be him.

A living god in human form

Well, baste my turkey and roll my meatballs if I haven’t gone and got an interview with him. Well, I say me – it was actually the esteemed journalist and friend of this blog, Jon Horsley, who purloined this exclusive chat with the man himself for me, so I would like to thank him and refer you to his own vastly superior food-related enterprise. Here, then, is the full transcript of the first 12 Inch Pete Treat interview with Adam “Man Vs Food” Richman.

12 Inch Pete Treat: What is your favourite pizza topping?

Adam Richman: Sausage. Or fresh garlic.

And there you have it. The questions that you all wanted answering, answered in the sparse, pared-down style of classic Elmore Leonard. I can tell you that this interview actually did happen and has appeared nowhere else on the web. Yep, another genuine exclusive for the blog for which, frankly, I’m starting to lose my enthusiasm.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Pete’s pizza entitlement rant

One of my great regrets about this blog is that, because of its general air of celebration and appreciation, I never get to use one of my favourite phrases, which is “you know what really makes my shit itch?” Brilliant phrase, that. Well, I’ve bided my time, lay in wait like a crocodile on the hunt, and now I get to use it.

You know what really makes my shit itch? The fact that you can’t get a decent seafood pizza anywhere in this day and age. I don’t know why, you just can’t. I could count the number of good seafood pizzas I’ve had in London on the fingers of my hands, and it’s certainly true that none of the major chains do a decent seafood pizza. Order a seafood from most delivery pizzerias and you’ll most likely get one with tuna, maybe prawns if you’re lucky, probably anchovies, and that’s your lot. It will be bland, it will be aggregational and it usually won’t be very nice.

Basically, this, but on a pizza

Regular visitors to this parish will remember that I recently made a seafood pizza myself, partly because I really fancied one, but mainly because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to order it in from anywhere. Upon it I had the very bare bones of a good seafood pizza – scallops, octopus and prawns. Had I really been pushing the boat out I would also have thrown some New Zealand green-lipped mussels on there, perhaps some cockles or whelks too. Aah, whelks. Anyway, THAT was a seafood pizza, a miniature riot of deceased shellfish all jostling for my affection. You will also notice that I hardly used any cheese – this is key in a seafood pizza. Mussels and cheese don’t really mix, unless it is in a delightful dish of moules farciés, which I mention solely to get across how very cultured I am.

The only decent seafood pizza I have had in living memory was at an Italian bar in Camden whose name escapes me. I ate it after a rap battle and ended up paying for Micky Worthless‘ dinner, but the financial blow was softened by a seafood pizza on which they had basically dumped an entire octopus. I may go back there and sample it again sometime – or maybe you can help. If you happen to live near a pizzeria that does a good seafood option, then I want to know about it, and if it happens to be in South London, so much the better. There’s a prize for the person who suggests the best one. I don’t know what it is yet, but it will be shiny and impressive. Alright, friends – seafood me up. To finish, here is a picture of me being scared by a small tarantula, for a bit of colour.

Spiders: terrifying

Filed under: Uncategorized

The pizza and the damage done

It's a Neil Young reference, you see

There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to wake up and smell the coffee-flavoured pizzeria dessert item. For me, that time came this week when, as I showered myself down at Cashmore Acres one mild spring morning, I looked in my bathroom mirror and what looked back at me looked rather like that famous Baby Bird album cover. And, for those of you who are too young to remember who Baby Bird are – which I’m assuming is most of you – that album cover looked like this.

Me, yesterday

Yes, my slavish devotion to having a pizza every five days without fail has taken its toll on my otherwise perfect physique and I have become, in the parlance of the common man, a big fat fucking bastard. So I have decided to abandon the pleasures of the dough for a while in favour of wholemeal pasta and rice, chorizo and extra cheese will be replaced by chicken and fish, and chockarocka chunkychocka chockablocka chickachocka pie and all its variations will be replaced by two fingers jammed down the throat.

Of course, you can’t just expect a heroin addict to merrily descend into cold turkey with a smile on his face. It’s just not an option. So, last night I decided to enjoy my last pizza for a while, and enjoy it I did. I pulled out all the conceptual stops with this one, and went for  a chicken, spicy beef and jalapenos on a medium barbecue stuffed crust base with sun-dried tomato sauce from a local company who shall remain Dominos. And if you’re reading that back and thinking, “Criminy, that sounds rather delicious, actually!” then I can tell you that you are not wrong. It really was.

My idea of a two-course meal

As you can see from the above photo, I chased it down with a bottle of fancy Rioja that probably really isn’t that fancy at all, it just happens to come in a sack and so idiots like me think it’s posher than it is, and coincidentally, I am also knocking the wine on the head for a while too, mainly because I am participating in a rap battle next weekend (stop sniggering at the back – and indeed, everywhere else) and I want to do so with a clear head and functioning short-term memory, but also because I am moving flat next week and I’m not going to even be able to afford extra-long straws with which to slurp the pooling dregs from the bottom of bottle banks.

All this being the case, I would like to present this last pizza as the first, and maybe only, example of the Pre-Abstince Property Acquisition Pizza, or PAPA-P for short. PAPA-Ps can only be consumed when the pizza-lover is about to forego the object of his or her affection for a while, AND when he or she or they has just secured a fancy upscale new pad into which they must imminently move. Upon which subject, I need to hire one of these if anyone can recommend a local chap with reasonable rates.

I want one of these and a man to drive it, basically

Filed under: Uncategorized

Introducing the concept of The Time When Only A Pizza Will Do

I have come to realise in my time doing this blog, which continues to shock and provoke with every new entry, that there are some times when only a pizza will do of an evening. With that in mind, I have created an entirely new concept, that of The Time When Only A Pizza Will Do, or TTWOAPWD for short. It’s pronounced “tertwope-wudder” in case you were wondering.


I had one last night. I had a TTWOAPWD and so I indulged it by dialling up my friends in Streatham and ordering this…


The pizza that I ordered last night, who now lives in my stomach

…which is a medium stuffed crust from Dominos with chorizo, chicken and extra cheese, which I then dusted with Cajun spices because that, my nizzles, is how I roll. As I nibbled away at its cheesy finery, I expunged all doubts and feelings of dietary guilt from my mind. This, after all, was a TTWOAPWD – that pizza and its smooth transition into my digestive system was as inevitable as the coming of the night, the rising of the sun the next day, and the bottle of Shiraz that washed it down. What was I supposed to do on a TTWOAPWD? Make myself a tuna pasta bake?

So, what makes a TTWOAPWD? I would say that a combination of at least three of the following factors:

1) Personal or emotional upheaval. And there has been plenty of that recently – indeed, by the time the next instalment of this sporadic blog comes up, I expect to be writing it in a new home, as the delights of Tulse Hill grow worn and tattered before my very eyes. Call me a snob, but there’s only so much dogshit I can take.

A man experiencing personal upheaval, last night

2) A bad day at the office. A classic influencing factor in any TTWOAPWD and one that should be familiar to those members of what I call “la cosa pizza nostra” everywhere.

3) The desire to pamper oneself. Because what could be more pampering, more self-loving, then kicking back on a chaise longue, ordering a pizza such as the one depicted above, and getting gently pissed over a couple of episodes of Game Of Thrones? I can honestly only think of masturbation.

4) A general all-pervasive air of sadness. I have this all the time so technically every night should be a TTWOAPWD, but I just don’t think my heart would take the strain.


A man exhibiting an all-pervasive air of sadness, last week

5) Withdrawal. When I gave in to the call of the TTWOAPWD last night, it was my first pizza for over a week, including self-constructed ones, and well, it’s obvious that that kind of nonsense isn’t going to sustain itself.

6) Big Life Decisions playing on one’s mind. Sometimes, it’s nice to switch off the brain when it has much to occupy it, and give it some rest. Well, the simple decision to get a pizza is like providing the tired mind with a doughy, cheese-coated pillow on which to gain sweet repose, which should be one of the ultimate aims of the TTWOAPWD.

Well, by my reckoning I scored 4.5 out of 6 for the above criteria, which more than qualified me for indulging in a TTWOAPWD, and I’m happy to report that it was one of the very finest. I was slightly weirded out by the fact that I tweeted the Dominos UK Twitter account to ask them for suggestions as to what I should have and they got it exactly right though. That rather suggests that they are watching me and listening to my calls. They’re probably reading this. I’d better stop now. But before I do, here’s a picture from Game Of Thrones. You need to get on this if you haven’t already. As a last word, I’d like to send out a big shout-out to Ben Hughes, a blogger right up there with the very best of them. He reads this blog and I’m very proud to know him. 12 Inch Pete Treat is all the richer for his support. *waves at Ben*


He's frowning because pizzas haven't been invented yet

Filed under: Uncategorized

Pizza and a box set: The brilliance of The Wire, and my presence in it

Bubbles: has troubles

This one is going out to Luke Mackay, who can probably make a better pizza than I ever will.

Last month, for a variety of reasons, I was more or less forced into doing something drastic, and joining a gymnasium. I’m not happy about it, but them’s the breaks. I am also cycling to work a lot too, and not eating as much pizza, hence the rather scattered nature of recent postings hereon. Anyway, what all this exercise means is that I am usually spark out by about 10pm, and also rather knackered when I get home from work. So knackered am I, on occasion, that I don’t want to cook, as was the case last night. And last night, after a few good weeks of restraint, I folded, and got Dominos on the blower. And then I put on season one of The Wire, a dinner/DVD decision which was taken by many of my peers to be a good one (see below).

Praise for my decision to get a pizza and watch The Wire

I love The Wire. I know it’s a cliché nowadays to say it’s the best TV show in the entire history of ever, but some clichés, of course, become clichés because they stem from a kernel of absolute truth. The Wire really is that good, and in loving it as I do, I am simply exhibiting basic good sense and taste. But there’s another reason why I love it, which is that YOU CAN SEE MY WORK ON SCREEN IN EVERY SERIES OF THE WIRE. Yes, in a roundabout way, something that I wrought with my own fair hands, appears in every series of The Best TV Show That Ever There Was.

Jimmy McNulty: judgment sometimes faulty

Okay, to explain. Regular visitors to this virtual pizzeria will know that my first job was as a sub-editor, and then as a deputy editor, on a porn magazine, specifically Club magazine for the US market. You may even recall that, for a time, I was the ghost writer for Jenna Jameson, and, given the amount of hits that the merest presence of her name generated for this tinpot organisation the last time I mentioned her name, I am happy to reiterate this point once more.

I was there when we did this photoshoot!

Now, in the grand scheme of porn magazine things, Club magazine came a very distant fourth place behind the Big Three of Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler, none of whom actually consider themselves to be porn magazines, bless them. Club was very much the leader in a chasing pack that included the likes of Swank, High Society, Cheri, Genesis, and crikey, I really am trolling for blog hits now.

Carver and Herc: puttin' in work

We may not have sold much, but one thing Club was very good at was getting ourselves product placement in films and TV shows – our team aggressively targeted film studios and TV companies to let them know that, if they needed adult magazines as a prop for a scene, Club would be happy to furnish them with all the copies they needed, something which the Big Three apparently refrained from doing. As a result, you can see copies of Club festooned about the place in the likes of Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin… Indeed, in Little Miss Sunshine, when the camper van is pulled over by a cop and he finds a stash of porn magazines in the trunk, he picks up a copy of The Best Of Club that I compiled, and you can quite clearly make out the cover line ‘Janine Shakes It In Your Face’ – and that’s one of mine! Likewise, when Michael Madsen is killed in Kill Bill 2, he falls over and knocks over a huge pile of Club magazines in his trailer. The top one falls open at the Up Front section, a porn news round-up WRITTEN BY ME – it’s at 1:37 on the clip to which I have linked.

Dead Michael Madsen and some smut that I wrote

Anyway. One of the TV shows who embraced the presence of Club magazine the most enthusiastically was The Wire – it’s up there in every series, and indeed I once asked the show’s creator David Simon about its recurrence and he revealed that it became a bit of a running gag in the show. I hesitate to ever use the phrase “how cool is that?” but HOW COOL IS THAT? Anyway, the long and short of it is that every issue of Club magazine that is featured in The Wire comes from my spell as deputy editor, when one of my duties was the writing of pithy, amusing, often distressingly pun-laded lines for the cover. So when, in season one, Herc is seen reading a copy of the magazine while on a stake-out, that’s my work you can see there being clutched by his meaty mitts. In season two, when dockers’ union boss Frank Sobotka’s flabby sidekick Horseface is seen leering at a copy, he is leering at something WHAT I MADE. Seasons three and four see Jay Landesman reading well-thumbed copies around his office, well-thumbed because MY PUNS WERE SO BLOODY GOOD. And it also features in season five, although I can’t for the life of me remember where, because that’s my least favourite season. Everybody knows that journalists aren’t that noble.

Omar Little: indeed

So there you have it. The Wire, and my tenuous but not completely unremarkable presence in it. All that remains is to report that I accompanied the first two episodes of season one with a medium stuffed crust with chicken and spicy beef from Dominos and it was ace – the base was as thin as I think as I’ve ever had on a stuffed crust, while the crust itself was extravagantly plump and oozing piping herby cheese. Simple pleasures, dear pizza lovers, simple pleasures.

To finish, lest we forget what this blog is all about, here's the pizza I had last night

Filed under: Movie And A Pizza, Uncategorized, Weird stuff from the pizza world

The first pizza of a new era!

Yippee! Whizz! Bang! Eeeeek!

Happy new year! And indeed it is a happy new year for some of you, although God only knows why. Perhaps you have a fulfilling job or a healthy bank balance or work somewhere sunny or something, in which case, what are you even DOING HERE? Why do you even need the quirky mixture of irreverence and recipe tips that is 12 Inch Pete Treat? You’ve already got it going on! You don’t need this! Go on, be off with you! Sorry if I seem to be in a bad mood, but in the last half an hour alone I have been emailed pictures of a man in a Santa hat with a ruptured scrotum, and some CCTV footage of a woman defecating in a supermarket aisle. WHY?

Yes, it’s 2012 (insert “which means the world is going to end this year” style comment here) and I have started it as I mean to go on – with a pizza. Yesterday, you see, was January 3rd, which is deemed by those in the know to be “the most depressing day of the year”, and it’s fair to say that I didn’t exactly skip home whistling Dixie and yelping cheery halloos to woodland creatures as I passed them gleefully by. It pissed down with rain, I felt like crap – and when that happens, ladies and germs, only a stomach full of pizza is going to ease my woes.

So I decided to go for the supermarket option. No, don’t worry, I haven’t gone mad, it’s just that it’s that time of year when fiduciary concerns (rather than my appalling diet) lead to a tightening of the old belt, and besides, me and The Better Half have decided to boycott Papa John’s for a while, while they attempt to address their “total inability to get a customer’s order right” gremlins to a satisfactory degree. So I went to Co-Op, picked up one of their fancy thin crust margueritas (which come with a dusting of pesto and baby plum tomatoes) and pimped it with some of our left-over New Year’s Eve salami and some turkey breast, and then gave it a little injection of tabasco just so that I’d know it meant business. I then baked it on my fancy new pizza stone that I got for Christmas. And here is the resultant pizza, nestling snugly on my legs.

Legs: model's own

Well, I can report that my first pizza of 2012 was solid, tasty without being spectacular, and lifted me out of my rain-soaked ennui into a much heartier mindframe, accompanied as it was by a bottle of Chilean Shiraz and the excellent Deadheads, which is such a good comedy zombie caper that I decided to watch it, and indeed plug it in this blog, a second time. I am now officially Twitter chums with some of the cast, and say what you like, you don’t get that kind of after-film service with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Technically, the first pizza of the new era for this blog and its affiliates was the Iberica (chorizo and black pudding) snarfed by TBH on January 2nd at Rocca of Dulwich Village, but we forgot to take a photo of it. She seemed to enjoy it.

Right then, onwards and upwards. I’m intending to now not have any pizza for a month, but a) that won’t be stopping me from writing on the subject, and b) I tried to go a year without pizza once and lasted three weeks, so I don’t hold out much hope for my succeeding.

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Why is pizza great? The social network community responds!

Generally, I have what I believe to be a healthy distrust of Twitter. It seems to be generally a rather silly and transitory thing, heavily populated by spammers and freaks and people like this dude and people pretending to be Sam Allardyce when they are actually not. But occasionally, like a frog vomiting up its own stomach to better aid its own digestion, it throws up something startling and worthwhile and amusing, and one such endeavour was produced by the much-more-successful-journalist-than-me and Scritti Politti musician Rhodri Marsden, who in August of this year Tweeted a request for 140-characters-or-less summaries of awful first dates and was inundated with miniature accounts that were as hilarious as they were varied. Indeed, I hear that Rhodri – that’s a portrait of him up there – bagged himself a bad date book deal as a result (see: much more successful than me) and I shall be keeping an eye out for it, being as I am someone who has been on, and indeed the cause of, a great many bad dates.

Anyway, to keep the Christmas pizza blog productivity ball rolling, I decided to utilise the social media outlets of Twitter and Facebook to provoke a similar inundation of content, by simply positing this thought-provoking teaser: “Complete the following phrase: ‘Pizza is the greatest thing in the world because…?’” And what I got in return from the world out there, is about to follow. Generally, these are from Twitter, should you feel the need to seek out those who wrought them and follow them. And why shouldn’t you?

@mullies “You must not ask ‘what is great about pizza?’ You must instead ask, ‘what is NOT great about pizza?’”

Pete’s note: I can’t possibly let Rosie win this competition, but she tries again later anyway and that one is much better so that’s something to which you can look forward.

Mat Dale, Wolverhampton. “…Pete Cashmore says so!”

@comedyfish “Surely that is complete as it is.”

@lordcarla “…They demonstrate not everything can be explained.”

Pete’s note: Not only is this one of my favourite suggestions, but the good Lord then went on to try to goad Russell Grant into submitting an entry. Sadly, Russell decided to decline to take him up on it.

Grant: Simply will not be provoked into giving an opinion on pizza

@bagpuss75 “…Of the calories.”

@sharronf9eom “#ikea gift card”

Pete’s note: I suspect that this one may have come from a Spambot.

@dannyuk “…You’d never accept any other food delivered hot in a cardboard box.”

Erica Grima, Sutton. “…They were invented by the Italians.”

Holly Miller, Ironbridge. “…They’ve not yet invented triple Decker pizzas that dispense cash and give you compliments about how healthy and terrific you look.”

Adam Ralph, London. “…They potentially mean that Pete’s time on this planet will be relatively short-lived compared to someone who doesn’t base their existence on a combination of dough, cheese, tomato and toppings.”

Pete’s note: Adam is someone with whom I used to work, and whose intelligence levels are reflected in two celebrated anecdotes. One is from the time when Adam, a self-proclaimed Manchester United fan, met United’s Denis Irwin at a dinner and asked him where he was the night that United first won the Champions League. He was met with the response, “I was playing at left back.” The second comes from the day that the rapper Lethal Bizzle visited our offices, and Adam bounded up to him and said, “Can I get an autograph, please Dizzee?” Lovely chap, mind.

Lethal Bizzle: Not to be confused with Dizzee Rascal

@helenwrites “…There was an apocalypse and all other food (that isn’t cheese, bread and sauce) ceased to exist.”

@auntselly “…They are a great example of stimulus diffusion and you can make smiley faces on them with vegetables when you are lonely.”

@danbeames “…Of the cheese and the sauce and the bread and the oh great now I want a pizza.”

Robert Wilde, Leeds. “They just are. Okay?”

@MandrewB “…No matter how many times I look at this it’s still funny.”

The funny thing to which MandrewB is referring

@thegarethmclean “…Pizza adverts just tell you what’s on them and that they taste nice.”

Pete’s note: Gareth, in addition to being a superb writer, shares my – and probably your – hearty disdain for seasonally absurd perfume and aftershave adverts. In that since, this is ostensibly  a private joke between he and I. But now you can all share in it, and enjoy a terrible seasonal perfume advert by clicking here.

@EffBeeee “…You can fit every food group on one slice and can insert in mouth without any need for cutlery. Innit?”

@mullies “…Life is like a Papa John’s pizza. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Pete’s note: What Mrs Pete is referring to is the lottery-style approach to processing an order with which Papa John’s of Crouch End seem to operate. Order something seemingly simple like her favourite – chicken strips with a barbecue drizzle – and you will inevitably get something else entirely, and then you have to enter into a process of bargain and counter-bargain with the store itself, which usually takes about 20 minutes and will consist of them offering you fresh dips, free garlic bread, but never the original pizza you actually ordered. Tell them that they have gotten your order wrong yet again and they will flatly deny this has happened, even claiming to have “no record” of messing up an order before as if your own memory is not a reliable enough witness for the prosecution. Eventually exasperation will take hold and you ultimately have one and a half options left: either eating, or looking at, a pizza for which you have paid but which you did not actually order. One last avenue of recourse is to Tweet at Papa John’s nearly-inactive UK Twitter feed, or email them a complaint which will 99% certainly be ignored. This is why we tend to use Dominos nowadays, to be honest.

Matt ‘Bowski’ Sharpe, Lancaster. “…Pete Cashmore said so!”

Pete’s note: Sadly, Bowski is the second person to pursue this line of thinking, so probably won’t win. But he is an excellent battle MC and you can see him taking on another excellent battler, Innuendo, at the Barmageddon battle event in Wolverhampton on January 28th.

Bowsk dog: Has the skills to pay many household bills

Tracy Kiss, Portsmouth. “…They just ‘izza’!”

Adam ‘Mos Prob’ Felman, Brighton. “…They look exactly like Neil Sedaka.”

Pete’s note: This one might actually be in with a good shout.

Sedaka: Pizza-esque?

@katherinealee “…It’s not bloody turkey.”

@gillpea “…It’s whatever food you fancy on a ready-made plate and there’s no washing up.”

Suzy Griffiths, London. “…They are bloody tasty, there are loads of flavours and you can eat them whilst lying down.”

Suzy: Eats pizzas lying down.
Well, that’s all for the moment, although I am hoping that this one will run for a while and I can keep adding to it as more and more people are stirred from their Boxing Day sloth and feel compelled to explain their own, unique reasons for loving pizza. I can’t imagine I’ll get a book deal out of it but it should be a laugh.

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