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Joe Holleman is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Toasted ravioli

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is the perfect monument to an (almost?) perfect food, the toasted ravioli dripping in meat sauce. Photo by Erik M. Lunsford of the  Post-Dispatch

Will it take someone from (shudder) Chicago to help spread the word that the "t-rav" is the world's greatest fried appetizer?

Clint Worthington of The Takeout — who in his past has defended St. Louis-style pizza — posted an article Sunday proclaiming the superiority of the delectable deep-fried dumplings:

"Look out mozzarella sticks," the article states boldly. "St. Louis-style toasted ravioli is the fried appetizer to beat."

In the article, Worthington goes on to gush: "Forget pizza, forget vertically-sliced bagels — it’s toasted ravioli (and Ted Drewes custard) that St. Louisans can present to the nation with less of an arched brow."

A senior writer at Consequence of Sound, Worthington reveals he attended college at Truman State University and became aware of the t-rav through the many St. Louis kids on the Kirksville campus. 

He even touches on history of the dish, giving proper credit to The Hill neighborhood for its creation, but questioning — as some Hill residents still do — the exact location of the discovery.

In 2010, this bureau extensively researched the issue and found two agreed-upon truths:

The dish emerged at a restaurant owned by Angelo Oldani; and it was the result of a non-Italian cook erroneously dropping the pasta pockets into boiling oil, instead of boiling water.

Some claim the dish started at Angelo's Pasta House (now Charlie Gitto's on the Hill) at 5226 Shaw Avenue. Others say it happened at Oldani's (now Mama's on the Hill and formerly Mama Campisi's) at Edwards Street and Bischoff Avenue, and that Oldani took the dish with him when he later opened Angelo's.

But regardless of the history, Worthington is simply a fan.

"If it’s on the menu, I’ll order it over mozz sticks or onion rings any day," he wrote. "Like pizza, there’s no such thing as bad toasted ravioli."

So tell me, Clint, have you tried the gooey-butter cake?

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