New York City's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, raised eyebrows on Staten Island Friday when he sat down and enjoyed a slice of pizza with a knife and fork.
The mayor, who often boasts of his Italian heritage, defended the eating style as authentically European.
"In my ancestral homeland, it is more typical to eat with a fork and knife," he said. "I have been in Italy a lot and I have picked up the habit for certain types of pizza."
De Blasio was on Staten Island for a "roundtable" with residents.
Photos of him eating pizza with utensils ignited a firestorm of mocking comments on Twitter.
"He's officially worse than Bloomberg," tweeted one woman.
De Blasio pointed out that his pizza "had a lot on it."
"I often start with a knife and fork but then I cross over to the American approach and pick it up when I go farther into the pizza," he said. "It's a very complicated approach but I like it."