The Real Reason New Jersey And Connecticut Are Arguing Over Pizza

It all started with a modest proposal: Two Connecticut state representatives, Rep. Patricia Dillon and Sen. Gary Winfield, thought that their state could use a symbol. Connecticut has a state bird, a state fossil, a state folk dance, and even a state insect. Catastrophically, it does not have a state cuisine. Dillon and Winfield settled on their proposal in order, as per what State representative Dillon told Hartford Courant, to celebrate "the joy that we have." Their proposed H.B. 5656, if passed, would make pizza into Connecticut's state food.

What now? Even Dan Rather, who usually sticks to his oath of neutrality as a journalist, took offense via Tweet. New York's Lieutenant Governor huffed and puffed, as expected (via Twitter). (Although New York has three different officially consecrated foods already: apples, apple muffins, and yogurt, per State Symbols USA. Had it been serious about claiming pizza, it could have done so ages ago). It was New Jersey's response to the suggestion that caught us by surprise. New Jersey's official Twitter account went firmly into denial, simply tweeting "no," (via Twitter).

Is the New Jersey vs. Connecticut pizza debate even worth having?

New Jersey has a state fruit, according to State Symbols USA: blueberries, which it manages (magnanimously, we're sure) to share with Maine. There is no reason that, should they want to claim pizza as their own, they could not share pizza with Connecticut if they also had their sights set on it. But the Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, Sheila Oliver, doesn't want to. "Call it pork roll or Taylor ham — just don't call pizza Connecticut's official state food. Stick to the grinders," she snarked on Twitter. To which the Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut, Susan Bysiewicz, tweeted back, "don't worry, we'll send you a slice. In the meantime, stick to the pork rolls."

And while everyone else and their great uncle twice removed gets in on the debate, has anyone stopped to think, but why? Because, when was the last time John Travolta ate pizza in either New Jersey or Connecticut, the way he did at New York City's Lenny's Pizza in the movie Saturday Night Fever (via The Wrap)? Never. And have you ever heard of Connecticut and New Jersey's police departments duking it out over the correct way to eat a slice, the way New York City and Chicago do (via ABC)? We haven't. Because before now, no one has put a lot of thought into their respective pizza offerings. And after today, we don't intend to keep doing so.