Brief mention: Origin myths

In this morning’s e-mail, via the AAA, an ad offering deals from Pizza Guys in Campbell CA (which counts as San Jose in directories of the company’s sites):

Pizza Guys – S. Winchester Boulevard [Campbell CA] – Pizza’s origins date back to prehistoric times, with early favorites being Cave Dweller’s All-Mammoth Delight and Velociraptor’s Feast. Munch on this tasty dish’s present-day descendants with Today’s Deal from the Pizza Guys.

Ah yes, those amazing prehistoric days when cave-dwelling humans, mammoths, and dinosaurs roamed the earth together, in the world of the cartoons (think the Flintstones and their pet dinosaur Dino) and the Creation Museum.

Ok, a jokey origin myth for pizza; maybe the hope is that you’ll be amused enough to check out a Pizza Guys place (if you’re in northern California and you’re not too far from one of their locations).

On origin myths for food, from an earlier posting on this blog:

Origin myths abound in the world of food, as they do in the world of word and phrase origins, and in fact amateur scholar Barry Popik has managed to do serious research in the intersection of these two worlds, for instance on the origin of the name hot dog.

It’s easy to tell (and pass on) plausible stories about origins, especially stories that are colorful, full of specific details, and favor people you admire or revere… But it can take grinding work to check out these stories, and then many of them, especially the best ones, turn out to be false, as [chef] Musa [Dağdevireyn] discovered when he investigated the döner story.

And on the offerings at the Campbell Pizza Guys, beyond the build-your own option (choose regular or thin crust; red tomato sauce or white garlic sauce; and toppings – pepperoni, salami, Canadian bacon, linguica, Italian sausage, ground beef, diced chicken, bacon, anchovies, and that’s just the meaty stuff), there are their specialty pizzas:

Tuscan garlic chicken (with white garlic sauce, diced chicken breast, artichoke hearts, diced tomatoes, green onions, mozzarella)

California garlic chicken (with white garlic sauce, diced chicken breast, red onions, green onions, mozzarella)

Garlic lovers (with white garlic sauce, mushrooms, Italian sausage, diced tomatoes, green onions, mozzarella)

Bacon chicken supreme (with white garlic sauce, diced chicken breast, bacon, diced tomatoes, cheddar)

All meat (with red tomato sauce, Canadian bacon, pepperoni, salami, bacon bits, Italian sausage, mozzarella)

Classic vegitarian [sic] (with red tomato sauce, mushrooms, red onions, green peppers, black olives, diced tomatoes, mozzarella)

Pizza Guys combo (with red tomato sauce, salami, pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, yellow onions, black olives, beef, Italian sausage, mozzarella)

Artichoke fiesta (with white garlic sauce, mushrooms, red onions, black olives, artichoke hearts, green onions, diced tomatoes, mozzarella, cheddar)

Hawaiian delight (with red tomato sauce, Canadian bacon, pineapple chunks, mozzarella)

Mexican taco (with taco sauce, ground beef, chopped lettuce, green onions, black olives, diced tomatoes, mozzarella, cheddar, jalapeno optional)

Texas BBQ (with spice BBQ sauce, diced chicken breast, sliced red onion, bacon, mozzarella)

I haven’t eaten their pizzas — excellent pizza is available much closer to me than Campbell — but they get good (though not spectacular) ratings on-line. In the world of pizza chains (not a very distinguished company), they come out pretty well.

Unfortunately, the All-Mammoth Delight and Velociraptor’s Feast are no longer available. Times change.


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