Stick a fork in him.
Mayor Bill de Blasio visited a Staten Island pizzeria today to meet with local residents. There, he ate pizza using a fork and a knife, drawing widespread mockery on Twitter.
In the past, other prominent political figures, including Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, have been skewered for the utensil faux pas. “No!” The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart yelled during a profanity-filled tirade after Mr. Trump dared the transgression. “Why don’t you just take that fork and stick it in New York’s eye?”
New York politics is no stranger to pizza controversy, either. During the mayoral race, the Daily News reported that Mr. de Blasio’s favorite pizza joint was expensive, apparently making him eat pizza like a one-percenter. Meanwhile, his Republican rival, Joe Lhota, was mocked for citing Buffalo chicken as his favorite slice.
Today, Mr. de Blasio, munching on several slices, switched to properly using his hands before returning to the fork and knife, which he used a majority of the time. Most of the people at his table opted for their hands. (Scot Cosentino, the co-owner of the Goodfellas Pizza Mr. de Blasio ate lunch at, declined to comment. “I’m not going to go there, alright?” he said. “It’s very gourmet and to each his own.”)
Mr. de Blasio, asked if he always eats with a fork and knife, described his approach as “very complicated.”
“In my ancestral homeland it is more typical to eat with a fork and knife. And I have been in Italy a lot and I’ve picked up the habit for certain types of pizza. So when you have pizza like this–I had a lot on it–I often start with a knife and fork. But then I cross over to the American approach and pick it up when I go farther into the pizza,” the mayor explained, jokingly labeling a reporter’s inquiry as a “very important question.”
Still, Scott Weiner, of Scott’s Pizza Tours, told Politicker the proper way to eat pizza while in the five boroughs.
“In New York, we eat pizza with our hands just as the original pizza eaters in Naples have for centuries. There’s nothing inherently wrong with eating pizza with a knife and fork, but it’s much less fun,” Mr. Weiner wrote in an email.
“That being said, pizza is also all about options,” he added, “so it’s silly to pick on someone for enjoying pizza as they see fit.”
Here’s a sampling of reactions to Mr. de Blasio’s utensils:
The mayor is using his knife and fork on the “Smoking Goodfella.” Bad NY pizza form?
— Jillian Jorgensen (@Jill_Jorgensen) January 10, 2014
— Christopher Licata (@Licatacs) January 10, 2014
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) January 10, 2014
— Emily Cahn (@CahnEmily) January 10, 2014
— Yoav Gonen (@yoavgonen) January 10, 2014
— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) January 10, 2014