The 12th of December is Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day.
This is a dedicated pizza day for everyone except people who like anchovies! Whoever invented this day uninvited them!
There are various ways of phrasing a pizza “with the works”: with everything, supreme, loaded…
But what the term actually means in practice will vary. Different pizzerias will define the terms differently.
But whatever the definition, even pineapple is allowed on your pizza today — just no fishy!
This concept of this day may perhaps exemplify just how dumb so many of these food holidays can be. In fact, it may be peak dumbness, a jump-the-shark moment for these made-up food holidays.
The problem with the proposition is that anchovies on pizza are actually experiencing a resurgence in popularity. As so often happens, there was a small band of negative nellies who managed to generate the impression that their numbers were far greater than they actually were. Notice that anchovies never went away as a choice. Other topping fads came and went over the years and decades, but, anchovies remained: someone was ordering them! It’s probably the same as how the instant coffee haters manage to make people think the whole world hates instant coffee, but if you look at your supermarket aisles, it’s actually still a best seller, as the silent majority just shrugs and keeps on making it the best-selling form of coffee in the world today.
And, it turns out, anchovies, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids — in fact, right up there at the top of the list! — are an extremely healthy addition to your pizza, and dieticians are now urging us to sneak more omega-3s into our diets however we can. Anchovies can be a key part of turning your pizza into a nutritional powerhouse meal.
So be a rebel today, and make your pizza truly with the works, starting with anchovies!
The earliest print mention that CooksInfo is aware of for a “Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day” in November dates from 2001 in Florida:
“Today is: National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day” — Classifieds page. Pensacola, Florida: Pensacola News Journal. Monday, 12 November 2001. Page 1E, col. 1.
A writer for The Counter food magazine, Jimin Kang, credits the invention of the day to food blogger John-Bryan Hopkins:
“Hopkins himself is known for arbitrarily making up food holidays, oddities like National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day…” — Kang, Jimin. Nobody knows why we have so many national food holidays. Boston, MA: The Counter. 1 August 2018. Accessed December 2021 at https://thecounter.org/national-food-holiday-origin/
The problem with that assertion is that Hopkins did not being food blogging until 2005, 4 years after the day had already first appeared in print media.
Greer, Denise. Happy National Pizza with the Works Day (except anchovies). Louisville, KY: Pizza Today. 9 November 2015. Accessed October 2021 at https://www.pizzatoday.com/news/pizza-headlines/happy-national-pizza-with-the-works-day-except-anchovies-nov-12/
Finally! It’s Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day. Miami, Florida: South Florida Reporter. 11 November 2018. Accessed October 2021 at https://southfloridareporter.com/finally-its-pizza-with-the-works-except-anchovies-day/
Sturrock, Staci. Hold the fish! It’s National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day. Palm Beach, Florida: The Palm Beach Post. 12 November 2014. Accessed October 2021 at https://www.palmbeachpost.com/article/20141112/ENTERTAINMENT/812023989
Talavera, Rosemary. National Pizza With The Works Except Anchovies Day. Inquisitr. 12 November 2017. Accessed October 2021 at https://www.inquisitr.com/4617193/november-12-2017-national-pizza-with-the-works-except-anchovies-day/