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In defense of “veggie pizza”

In Microtones, our newsletter-first column.

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MICROTONES by Ben Munson, contributor

Abhorrent swine like former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker deserve all the scorn heaped upon them. But sometimes undeserving targets get caught in periphery of Walker’s maniacally bland aura. There are sometimes innocent things that get caught up in the ratio carnage that follows Walker’s Tweets, things that shouldn’t be maligned just because Walker likes them. The most recent casualty of the internet’s otherwise justified Walker-dunking? “Veggie pizza.” 

Over the holiday weekend, Walker tweeted out a photo of what appeared to be chopped vegetables, shredded cheddar cheese, and ranch dressing on a square crust, accompanied by the words: “Veggie pizza by the lake! Mmmmmm!” The tweet attracted a bigger reaction than Walker’s usual mix of Bible verses and partisan hackery, and most of the responses were intended to convey that both Walker and the foods he chooses to eat are pieces of shit. (Relentlessly on-brand, Walker later tweeted out his disbelief that people were talking so much about his weird food content rather than about the national debt.)

Walker is the worst. I’m not going to argue against that. But “veggie pizza,” while its name is a misnomer, is a beloved Midwestern appetizer. It’s a colorful and refreshing dish popular at holiday get-togethers, family picnics, and graduation parties. As a person who doesn’t generally like eating vegetables, I find that it’s a top-three all-time vehicle for getting more veggies into my diet. It’s a comfort food that might actually not make you irregular. It’s a snack made with love that says, “Hey, I know you’re hungry, but don’t go having a massive coronary episode on me just yet.” 

It’s clear that Walker is aware of his terrible food reputation and leans into his “aggressively normal” persona to stick it to those Madison elites, so maybe he just tweeted out this photo to annoy people. He throws out a lot yucky or puzzling food photos, typically stamped with a disingenuous “Mmmmmm!” If that’s the case, he needs to think harder before he dirties up another perfectly good food in his slop trough. 

I’m not trying to say “veggie pizza” isn’t lazy. It’s essentially taking a veggie tray and dumping it out on a starchy substrate. It’s clearly not pizza. But it is a pure-hearted and tasty treat that needn’t be cast aside just because a horrible man eats it by the lake. 

Here’s a solid recipe if you’re ready to give it a try.


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