Hey Guys. Have you met Iain?

This is Iain. He lives in Pennsylvania. He likes to bake. What kind of things does he like to bake? Boy, I’m so glad you asked. Iain likes to bake muffins. Iain likes to bake just about anything, but one of the reasons why I like Iain so much is because he likes to bake pizza.

Iain is known in the blogging community as “The Muffin Man”. Some people call him the Sufjan Stevens of baking. If you’re really wondering why he’s called the Muffin Man, and if the apron isn’t a dead giveaway, maybe this will help:

Mmmmmmmuffins

This is a batch of Iain’s apple streusel muffins. Really, who doesn’t like muffins? Don’t they look great?

Well, that’s not why I’m writing about Iain. Muffins are one thing, but back to Sufjan Stevens. In an endeavor that can only be described as Herculean, Iain has taken it upon himself to create and execute something that every man has dreamed of, but few ever attempt. Even fewer, I might add, document it on the internet for the world to see. What is it, you ask?

Here’s how it works: According to the Muffin Man himself, the 50 State Pizza Project, hatched out of a lengthy latenight Facebook conversation with friends and family, is “An exploration of the American food identity, and my attempt to create a pizza for each state, in the shape of that state, using ingredients native to or associated with that state.”

What a great idea. As a fellow blogger, and a mostly food-oriented blogger at that, I fully support this idea. Pizza number one is from his current state, Pennsylvania.

For the purpose of authenticity, he used a map of the state, with its unique east/west geographical culinary divide, for the mold. To the east, representing the City of Brotherly Love, Rocky Balboa, and all things that fill us with a swell of pride whenever we hear the word “Liberty”, an homage to Cheesesteak. To the west, an ode to the legendary Pittsburgh institution, the Primanti Brothers Sandwich- Steak, Coleslaw, and French Fries. Ladies and gentlemen, you are what you eat. I give you the State of Pennsylvania:

Up next is Washington State, where I hung my hat for two years. It is the land of beautiful waters, pristine seafood, and apples as far as the eye can see. What does the future hold for the 50 State Pizza Project? Check out the link on my blogroll (on the right hand menu bar and down), or find all the excitement at http://muffin-man-blog.tumblr.com/.

I’ve offered my services to assist with Wisconsin at some point in the near future, but I don’t yet know how ramps, cranberries and bratwurst will all fit on the same pie. We shall see. Indeed we will.

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