They took his love for the Boston Red Sox and swallowed it like a bitter pill.
But for the city whose fate now rests in his all-too-clean hands, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's pizza faux pas maybe too much to stomach.
He came in good faith for a "roundtable" visit to Staten Island pizza joint Goodfellas. But surrounded by half a dozen New Yorkers and a few steaming pies, he reached for his knife and fork and started slicing away.
"In my ancestral homeland, it is more typical to eat with a fork and knife," de Blasio, whose mother is an Italian-American, told the media by way of explanation, according to New York 4. "I have been in Italy a lot and I have picked up the habit for certain types of pizza."
You see, the pizza "had a lot on it," he added.
He should have stopped there, but he continued.
"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."
Predictably, New Yorkers were not pleased. "Forkgate" declared the New York Daily News.
It's a second strike against de Blasio, who remarkably won by a landslide in November despite openly admitting to a cardinal sin of New York sports: loving the Boston Red Sox.
"I have my loyalty to the team of my youth," he told the New York Times in an interview.
New Yorkers shrugged.
Comedian Jon Stewart might have captured the sentiment of New Yorkers nicely: "Why don't you just take that fork and stick it right in New York's eye."
SCANDAL! SCANDOLA! NYC MAYOR de BLASIO EATS PIZZA WITH KNIFE AND FORK! DETAILS EMERGING! pic.twitter.com/HmwM8iIoOS
- Josh Robin (@joshrobin) January 10, 2014
- Joel Pavelski (@joelcifer) January 10, 2014
- Paul Kalfa (@PKalfa) January 10, 2014
- Courtney Forrest (@courtyforrest) January 10, 2014
These New York Mayors took a more hands on approach: