The pizza emoji controversy, explained

When you close your eyes and dream of pizza, what do you see? For most, it’s the classic New York-style slice – thin, triangular, and gloriously greasy, especially when topped with pepperoni.

That would explain the design of the pizza emoji ( 🍕), but some folks have a big problem with that little slice. In fact, one Italian citizen launched a petition on to revamp the pizza emoji to better represent the preferred style of pizza’s native land:

This slice, from user Dissapore, swaps the pepperoni and shredded mozz for bright red tomato sauce, swaths of fresh mozzarella, and bits of fresh basil. In what might be an attempted cross-Atlantic compromise, the reimagined emoji retains its triangle shape, even though traditional Neapolitan pies are served whole and eaten with utensils. 

We tend to stay out of hot-oven issues such as this, but we’re all about pizza positivity and fair representation.  Pizza comes in all shapes and sizes from all different parts of the globe, and they all deserve their due. 

Why shouldn’t we have a Neapolitan pizza emoji to go along with the existing pepperoni slice? How about a Sicilian square? A Detroit-style slab? By our count, there are roughly 40 definitive styles of pizza, and that’s not even counting borderline ones like Pittsburgh-style. As far as we’re concerned, every single one is delicious, super necessary, and way more useful than the “Alembic” emoji (This one: ⚗️. Don’t worry, we had to Google “alembic,” too. )  

Will this crusty coalition succeed? The petition calls for 2,500 signatures – as of this writing, they’re about 900 signatures short of their goal. Still, there’s reason for hope. A 2014 petition demanding a taco emoji ( 🌮) raised 33,000 signatures got the job done and forced Unicode to introduce one in 2015. Ditto for the dumpling emoji ( 🥟), which found its way to our phones and hearts in 2017.

Are you in favor of the Italian pizza emoji? Let your voice be heard. Someday, you can tell your grandchildren that you were at the forefront of the progress that paved the way for the Taylor Ham & Cheese mega-emoji.   

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