Category Archives: food

Developing the Taco Price Index

By Sam Zipper (taco reviewer)

I’ve been in a mania over a recent economic discovery for a while now. I’ve finally exhausted my supply of papier mache (always the first thing I turn to in times of great delusion) and feel it’s necessary to share. I haven’t been able to stop shaking enough to develop it into a full-length article; however, in these tough economic times, I do feel it’s my duty as both an American and world-renowned taco reviewer to discuss an Earth-shatteringly important trend.

We used monthly USDA NASS data to construct a price index based on the primary ingredients of tacos: corn, pork, tomato, and labor. This was normalized to the maximum within the 30-year period. There are obviously a huge number of flaws – for example, it doesn’t take into account the relative weights necessary of corn and pork to make a taco, and is thus disproportionately driven by the more expensive items – but it does give a rough picture for the past 30 years. Two obvious examples are the price spike after the 1996 Phnom Penh Pupusa riots; and, the past 10 years during which international unease with European Taco Failure has driven prices steadily upwards.



My first encounter with deep-dish pizza

By: Chelsea Lawliss

I’ve lived within two hours of the Windy City for almost 15 years now and I just had my first taste of Chicago-style deep dish pizza this last weekend! Now I know what you’re thinking, “She must live under a rock.” In my defense, I’m a big fan of thin crust pizza; there’s just something about that crispiness that allows for all the yummy topping flavors to really take center stage. Little did I know what I was missing!

My girlfriends and I were visiting Chicago for the weekend and ¬†Gino’s East was the closest restaurant to our hotel. Little traveling tip, if you’re planning on staying downtown, Affinia Hotel has wonderful accommodations, is centrally located a block away from the Magnificent Mile and pretty much a ten minute cab ride from everything else. Oh, and they offer a priority seating pass for Gino’s East, plus free breadsticks! If that’s not a selling point, I’m not sure what is.

Anyway, back to the pizza. We ordered a large, half pepperoni/half sausage (crumbled) deep dish pizza and settled in to wait the 45-50 minutes it takes to bake. Being the mature, composed 20-somethings that we are, we proceeded to play a game that entailed writing down a random sentence on a napkin and then passing it to the person on our left who then had to draw a picture representing what the sentence said. This process repeated until the original ideas were so convoluted that we could only laugh hysterically.

When the pizza finally arrived, I was so hungry that I almost forgot to snap a photo of the gooey monstrosity that was presented to us. However, much to my companions’ dismay, I whipped out my camera and did what I do best- embarrass myself in a public place!

Almost two inches thick!

I can’t say that I’ve been converted from thin-crust to deep-dish; however, ¬†there is something to be said about consuming what is probably a two pounds of cheese, sauce, and some of the most delicious crust I’ve ever had!

Word to fellow foodies, don’t wait 15 years to try Chicago-style deep dish pizza. It’s truly as good as they say.