The first time I visited New York City, I got laughed at for eating my slice of pizza (or, if I’m talking like a native, my “slice”) flat. You know, like a normal person? Apparently there are rules for eating New York pizza (just ask Mayor De Blasio, who was mocked after being photographed eating his slice with a knife and fork).

Rule Number One: Fold your pizza in half (NY pizza is typically cut into large slices).

Rule Number Two: If, upon folding, the grease doesn’t drip down your wrist, you’ve gotten a subpar slice.

As far as Rule Number Two, well, New Yorkers might find themselves disappointed by the information in the rest of this article. Healthy people, however, have reason to rejoice!

If you’re one of those people who uses napkins to blot the excess oil and grease off the top of your pizza slice, we have good news – it might actually be saving you some calories!


Credit: GIPHY

Given that federal funding to study pizza is surprisingly limited (I mean, what could possibly be more important to the American public?), we had to turn to pop science for answers to the age old question: Is your “healthy” friend wasting their time (and napkins)?

The people on The Food Network’s series Food Detectives took this one on. Host Ted Allen, along with researchers from Popular Science, found that blotting the excess oil from your pizza does, in fact, save you calories – approximately 25-50 calories per slice. Now, while that might not seem like much, think about this: when was the last time you ate just one slice of pizza?

25-50 calories a slice adds up quickly over your 3 (or 4 or 5) slices, so it might actually be worth it – especially if you’re watching your daily caloric intake. If an average slice of cheese pizza contains 272 calories, then eliminating 35 calories is a 13% reduction per slice. To put that in perspective, 35 calories is also 1% of 3500 calories, the amount doctors agree adds up to about 1 pound of human fat.

An infographic over at Labdoor Magazine broke it down like this: If every American consumes an average of 23 pounds of pizza a year (!!!), then blotting pizza grease saves approximately 2 pounds of fat from sliding down your gullet annually.

Keep in mind, of course, that anti-blotters will tell you the process strips not only fat and calories, but seasoning and cheese flavor as well. As always, blot with caution and please, remember to always enjoy your pizza.

I mean, this is still America.