For me, the only important part of a pizza box is what's inside.
But with a new book, "Viva la Pizza! The Art of the Pizza Box," Scott Wiener wants you to take a closer look at that cardboard box.
A self-proclaimed pizza aficionado since college, Wiener created a pizza tour company in New York City for individuals, tour groups and parties to try the best slices in the city. His tours were selected as one America's top 10 by TripAdvisor in 2009.
"Pizza is something everyone holds on to, and has childhood memories of. It's cultural. And the box is the unspoken thing that falls into that," Wiener said. "Because it's made to be garbage, it doesn't get its fair shake. I found that everyone grows up with a different box. I thought it was interesting. You start to notice patterns. It's fascinating to me."
Wiener's book tour hits Comet Ping Pong for a pizza party Wednesday at 7 p.m. Wiener will talk about his book and judge a pizza box decorating contest with a $100 bar tab for the winner. At the very least, it'll be an educational experience for Wiener, who said he believes the Washington pizza scene is all about the jumbo slice. (Perhaps Wiener hasn't spent much time in the city lately.)
"D.C. to me is a transit city," Wiener said. "It doesn't necessarily have any strong, old immigrant population with a food heritage. It's an interesting city though. The pizza culture of the city is definitely the jumbo slice."
When asked what restaurants he planned on visiting, Wiener said he plans on hitting 2 Amys and Pizza Paradiso. "That's my big one," Wiener said of 2 Amys. "It's just a short trip. I'll have to come back."
(Photos courtesy of Melville House Publishing).