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.