March 16, 2006

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Divining your personality from pizza
What your favorite pie says about you
By Susan Reilly  news@hippopress.com

Domino’s Pizza recently asked Dr. Alan Hirsch, director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, to conduct a study on pizza toppings. The study reveals that pizza toppings reflect personality and might correspond with the ways in which people interact with each other.

I asked local pizza shops for their take on the study — do pizza toppings really give you a window into someone’s soul?

Jim Constant, owner of Constantly Pizza in Concord, has been in the business for 17 years and says he has seen it all.

“Crazy, crazy topping requests,” he said. Lately he has had requests for pickles, something he just shakes his head at. “If they ask for it, we try to do it. Whatever they want they get,” said Constant.

He agrees with the study and says he can tell what a person’s order will be pretty much by looking at them.

“Guys like pepperoni, the ladies like veggies. Vegetarians, you know the crowd, like things like pineapple and mushroom together,” he said.

At Constantly Pizza, the kitchen is offering other alternatives to a red sauce pizza pie. Constant says that pizzas such as the buffalo chicken with ranch dressing instead of sauce are popular.

“What category they fit into, who knows,” he said.

Hirsch’s study says that people who prefer non-traditional toppings such as pineapple and onion tend to be aggressive, achievement-oriented, natural leaders. They do not easily suffer fools.

Pizza eaters who prefer pizzas with a one-vegetable topping are empathetic, understanding, well adjusted and easygoing, making them the ideal parents.

Those who prefer multiple vegetable toppings are trustworthy, loyal and dependable. They value friendship as the ultimate manifestation of life’s ideals. They function best in a group environment. They are humble and introverted, and avoid the spotlight.

Multiple meat toppings lovers are dramatic, seductive extroverts who thrive as the center of attention. They crave novelty in all aspects of their life and are fashionable and impeccably groomed.

And finally, people who prefer single meat toppings described themselves as being irritable, argumentative procrastinators who frequently conveniently “forget” obligations at work and at home.

With pepperoni being hands-down the most popular topping at all of the pizza shops surveyed, what does that say about the population?

“I agree that what people order really reflects their personality,” said Kendra Theriault from Pizza Top in Milford.

“Besides predicting quirky behaviors, such as aggression, what someone orders also tells a lot about how they take care of themselves,” she said.

Archie Syrene, the manager of Alley Cat in Manchester, agrees.

He has a lot of experience with people and pizza and said there may be something to it.

“The more toppings someone orders, the heavier they tend to be. As for the person’s ability to be a loyal friend or seductive extrovert, who knows,” Syrene said.

In another survey, Domino’s polled the delivery crew for their observations.

Drivers in the survey observed that men wearing muscle shirts when answering the door order pepperoni three times more often than any other topping. People who have pierced noses, lips or eyebrows ask for a vegetarian topping 23 percent more often than a meat topping. And those who have wind chimes on the porch are four times more likely than the average to want olives.

Syrene, who is one of the city’s favorite pizza delivery guys, laughed about the survey and said that over the years he has seen it all.

Syrene said that women tend to go for lighter pizzas, he thinks because it makes them feel like they are on a diet. Also, whenever he gets an order for a couple of plain pizzas, it is usually kids.

“Not little kids, but teenagers. I think they order plain because they never have any money,” he said.

At Lui Lui in Nashua, customers tend to order traditional pizzas. But over and over, meat rules.

“Men are meat eaters, plain and simple,” said Lauren Legere, the manager of Lui Lui in Nashua.

While it is easy to dismiss many surveys as psycho-babble, there seems to be something to this one. Or maybe it is as simple as meat is from Mars and vegetables are from Venus?

“We are what we eat, right?” Syrene laughed.


Comments? Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com  

Get your slice
The single greatest hour for pizza delivery in national pizza history was the hour in 1994 when O.J. Simpson was in the white Ford Bronco on the L.A. freeways. Should another celebrity take to the highways, check out one of these pizza purveyors mentioned in the story. And, yes, we know, these aren’t all of them and, yes, we know, everybody’s neighborhood pizza shop is the best.
• Constantly Pizza, 35 South Main St, Concord, 224-9366
• Alley Cat, 486 Chestnut St, Manchester, 669-4533
• Lui Lui, 259 DW Highway, Nashua, 888-2588
• Pizza Top, 185 Elm St., Milford, 673-0037


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