School children learn that Columbus is the governmental capital of Ohio, but a new study teaches us all a new lesson: Columbus is the pizza-eating capital of the state, too. East of Chicago Pizza Company’s Heartland Pizza Lovers Survey, conducted by TRIAD Research Group of Cleveland, reveals other surprising differences in the pizza-eating habits of Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Toledo.

The survey of the four Ohio cities was launched to explore the depths of our pizza-eating psyches and to celebrate the company’s tenth anniversary, “The results give us lots to celebrate,” says Dennis Stevenson, East of Chicago Director of Marketing, “Ohioans love pizza even more than we imagined, if that’s possible.”

For instance, the survey found that we eat pizza, on average, 3.4 times a month, which illustrates how important it has become as a replacement meal. But the real pizza-chomping champs come from Columbus, where a whopping 25.3% of survey respondents say they eat pizza more than four times a month. In contrast, Cincinnati residents are much more temperate in their tastes — only 10.6% report they eat pizza more than four times a month.

The East of Chicago Pizza Survey also discovered a major north/south rift. Many Ohio pizzerias serve their product cut into so-called Party slices (Square-shaped pieces), but the survey indicates that respondents in the northern cities of Cleveland (70%) and Toledo (66.7%) overwhelmingly prefer their pizza served as traditional wedges, while only 46% of Cincinnati residents and a low 34% of Columbus residents say they like the triangle- shaped slices.

Another interesting survey result comes from the question “Do you consider pizza to be a comfort food?” No wonder Columbus residents eat so much pizza, since so many say it makes them feel good — a wide majority of 63.3%, in fact. Toledoans, on the other hand, are a bit less devoted to the curative properties of pizza; only 54.7% declare pizza to be a comfort food.

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