For Our Consideration: A food critic explains why Pizza Hut remains the paradigm of pizza

I grew up in Wichita, Kansas, in the 1980s, a golden age for fast food before society demanded restaurants at least pretend to be interested in their customers’ health. The food? Greasy, cheap, and guilt-free. Wichita, the birthplace of not one, but two fast food behemoths—Pizza Hut and White Castle—was the epicenter of it all. The town was lunchtime Valhalla for the OxyPad set, and it’s not just hearsay: A 2011 Business Insider story puts Wichita at number three, behind Plano, Texas, and Madison, Wisconsin, in terms of fast food consumption.

At my high school, we got 50 minutes for lunch, which was more than enough time to cram five or six hungry boys into the bed of Jason Ahles’ Chevy pickup and hit one of the hundreds of fast food options available within a two-mile perimeter. Our options included the holy trinity, of course—McDonald’s …

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