In 1986, Ronald Reagan -- intent on distracting voters from the simmering Iran-Contra affair - thought so. Agriculture Secretary Richard Lyng observed the first-ever pizza week by commissioning "Why I Like Pizza" essays from elementary school students and issuing a pizza fact sheet. But if the administration hoped to skirt controversy by focusing on everyone's favorite food, its plans were upended by the National Milk Producers Federation, which used the holiday as an occasion to lobby for laws restricting the use of fake cheese on frozen meat pizza.
The cheese fight has faded since the USDA decided to abandon its "pizza with meat" standard, explaining "today's consumers demand new styles of pizza." And the week has shrunk too: National Pizza Week now lasts a mere four days. Apparently Americans are eating three billion pizzas a year without any prodding from the federal government.
If you're moved to mark the weeklet, which begins today, you're probably someone who takes declared food days very seriously. So you might consider multitasking your holiday obligations by sticking to pizzas topped with whichever edible is the day's other honoree. Here, a suggested schedule for the week ahead; follow the links for the recipes: