USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘pizza’
Customs
Foodways
Material
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Sunday Pizza in Sao Paulo

Title: Sunday Pizza in Sao Paulo

Interviewee: Rafael Blay

Ethnicity: Brazilian

Age: 19

Situation (Location, ambience, gathering of people?): In his room in Webb, with 3 other friends playing video games in the background. It was a Thursday in April, all the work done for the week, so spirits were high. The interviewee sat on his bed to recount some tales and such.

Piece of Folklore:

Interviewee- “In my city, it is a huge tradition that everyone gets pizza delivered to them on Sunday night. It’s important that it’s Sunday night. It’s because the pizza is so good, and the maids and the people that clean the house do not work on Sunday, so it is easier to clean.”

Interviewer- “Have people been doing that for a while?”

Interviewee- “Well as long as I can remember, since I was a little kid.”

Interviewer- “Is it something important in your family?”

Interviewee- “Not really. I mean it’s nice knowing that on Sunday you are going to have dinner with your family and you get to see everyone. Even if you go to a friend’s house you can see their whole family because they come to dinner. On the other hand, maybe the reason I like it so much is because I don’t have to do the dishes (laughing).”

Analyzation:

What apparently started off as an innocent thing simply because it was the easiest thing for the family, probably due to hearing children complain about having to do the dishes, has turned into a real tradition. Of course the reasons for the tradition starting are practical, but it has grown to be something far more important than just not doing the dishes. It gives families an excuse to come together and eat good food and not have to worry about anything afterwards. Specifically with the Interviewee, it is something that he remembers fondly and misses from being back in Brazil. The Interviewee also says that Brazilian pizza is also far superior to American Pizza, which did not sit well with other Americans who heard his statement.

Tags: Pizza, Sao Paulo, Tradition

Foodways
Holidays
Material
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Family pizza

My informant is a graduating college senior from Atlanta, Georgia. She is very close with her family and family rituals mean a lot to her. She doesn’t remember how this tradition started, but essentially her family gets together to make pizza every year on the days before Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. This interview was conducted at a sushi restaurant on a sunny afternoon out.

“Ok so the day before Thanksgiving or New Years my family and I make pizza and invite our significant others over and eat the pizza. It’s always really fun, I do the crust and then my mom makes the ingredients and my brother, who usually has a girlfriend, puts the pizza together, so that he’s the one that brings everything together.”

“Nice!”

“Yeah. It works out.”

“So, do you have a normal recipe for the pizza?”

“Usually we do like, green peppers, red peppers, bell peppers, sausage, sausage, mucho queso, lots of queso, like shredded cheese not actual, you know, like melted queso… yeah. I don’t know, maybe sometimes we do like pineapples, sometimes my brother and I like to put pineapples on the pizza.”

“Nice. Do you make it from scratch?”

“Yeah we make it from scratch. We get the dough, and then I put the flour on it and I roll it out, and then I put cheese in the crust and turn it up and that’s when my brother gets there and is like—“ “Oh so you put cheese in the crust??”

“Yeah.”

“Oh shit! That is next level.”

“It’s pretty fun. And it ends up being like a lot of food so you can only eat like two pieces at a time.”

“Nice. Cheese crust pizza day before Thanksgiving or New Years.”

“Yeah, just cause it’s like, family time. And it’s pretty darn delicious, cause it’s from scratch obviously.”

“And when did you guys like, start this tradition? … Did your parents start it? Did you just decide you wanted pizza?”

“I think we just like did it, and then we were really into it—…Raquel’s so beautiful I can’t help it, I have to just sorta say it, ok back to the story—um. I don’t know! Maybe like five or ten years ago, we decided like, we should be together on the days before Thanksgiving and New Years, so, sometime in the past ten or so years.”

“You just made it once and got really into it.”

“Yeah. Whenever my mom’s trying to do family bonding she like, goes to the grocery store and gets the dough, gets everything ready, leaves it out on the counter the day before… yeah.”

Obviously family rituals are important to her but this one seems to stand out, as it is one that she can still engage in while in college, since it happens over the holidays when she goes home anyway. Considering age/time of life, it makes sense that this would be the first thing she would think of, as she can still engage in it.

Customs
general

Friday Pizza

Every work week from 1978 through 1998, my informant had pepperoni pizza on Friday nights. It changed pizzerias as the informant moved (Melo’s in Pleasant Hill, and then the main pizza place on Bainbridge Island), but the custom remained the same. The informant stopped when he moved to Hong Kong because he couldn’t find decent pepperoni pizza there, and then shifted the practice to the weekends when he returned to the United States.

This pizza was a celebratory event, a treat at the end of a work week no matter how stressful or easy that week was. It’s subconsciously carried on in his family, as Friday night is the most likely night on which they order pizza for celebrating the end of the week, relaxing afterwards and preparing for the week ahead. It’s an adaptable tradition, as it changed over time when other factors in his life changed.

Foodways

Jersey pizza

My grandfather called a new pizza parlor in the neighborhood to order a pizza pie (a lot of people in Jersey just refer to a pizza as “pie”) and when he asked for a large plain pie, they told him that they were sorry, but they didn’t serve pie.

My grandpa said it’s just something you know growing up in the area.

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