Pizza Today - May 2017 - 20

with TONY GEMIGNANI

respecting the craft

Old Forge

Tony Gemignani with Mary Lou

I

was on an East Coast book tour
and headed to Old Forge, Pennsylvania, with fellow pizzeria owner
Scott Anthony. I told Scott that Old
Forge was the pizza capital of the world
and we were going! Old Forge has a
rich history of Italian immigrants who
settled there. They mined anthracite,
which is coal that was common to heat
homes and was used in railroad transportation. Old Forge is a small town
with a population of around 8,000.
Many people from Pennsylvania have
never even heard of Old Forge.
A few days prior to visiting Old Forge
I received a Facebook message from a
fellow pizza man named Tony Cerimele.
He said, "I heard you are going to Old
Forge on a social media post - you have
to try Mary Lou's." I said it wasn't one
of my stops but I would take the advice

of a local and meet up. I love to meet
the people behind the pizzerias and hear
their hometown stories.
Walking into Mary Lou's was like
walking into your grandmother's house.
Everything was pristine and you could
eat off the floor. Her decorations were a
combination of antiques, knickknacks,
and crafts, and they were in all the right
places. There were three women. One of
them was Mary Lou, and she couldn't
wait to make me a pizza. She made me
several, actually. Tony Cerimele was
there along with another pizza man
named Cosmo Salerno. They were closed
that day, but she opened for us, and we
were in her kitchen. Mary Lou made
us a "tray," which is a pizza made in an
oiled half sheet pan. It had Mary's secret
sauce and a lot of cheese. I mean a LOT.
Her combination of cheeses is a secret,

but I believe it may have been a mix of
Brick, American and/or white cheddar.
The pizzas took a long time to cook
because she had the temperature set at
only 350!
"Just like home," Mary Lou said to
me. She tells her customers, "You have to
wait because that's what makes the pizza
special - the long bake."
It came out piping hot and the cheese
pull was out of this world. One of the
ladies said, "I cut the pizza and box it."
The other one said, "I make and apply
the stickers that go on top."
It was a friend and family run operation. After speaking with the ladies, I
quickly figured out that everyone in
this town seems to help one another
out. They said that if their mixer went
down and they couldn't get it fixed, that
someone from another pizzeria would
come help. I thought that was wonderful to hear, and you don't hear that often
these days. She then made me a stuffed
pizza that was different. It had a light
amount of thinly sliced onions and herbs
on top. It was square, baked in a pan,
and filled nicely. After the bake she let it
sit and set.
"Don't cut it early," Mary cried out.
So we waited. She said that's the important part. She was right: it was delicious.
Most of the time we are in a hurry to
cut a pizza and rush it out, but not for
this particular style. I noticed a T-shirt
that had most of the pizzerias from Old
Forge on it. It was very cool, and typically you don't see shirts with competitors' logos and pics on it. This type of
camaraderie was another highlight to
me. Old Forge is simply a different
place. That's why I'm going to tell you
more about it next month! ■

RESPECTING THE CRAFT features World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani, owner of Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco and Pizza Rock in Sacramento. Tony compiles the column with the help of his trusty assistants, Laura Meyer and Thiago Vasconcelos. If you have questions on any kitchen topic ranging from prep to finish, Tony's your guy. Send questions
via Twitter @PizzaToday, Facebook (search: Pizza Today) or e-mail jwhite@pizzatoday.com and we'll pass the best ones on to Tony.

2 0 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / M AY 2 0 1 7


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - May 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - May 2017

Pizza Today - May 2017
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
On Tap
Destinations
Knead to Know
Flooring Options
Specialty Cheese Pairings
Manchego
Eliminating Spoilage
Cheese Pricing
Grand Openings
Pizza Today on the Road: Riverboat Pizza Co., Savannah, GA
Pizza Today on the Road: Stoner’s Pizza Joint, Savannah, GA
International Pizza Expo Wrap Up
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - May 2017 - CT1
Pizza Today - May 2017 - CT2
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Pizza Today - May 2017
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Cover2
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Commentary
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 4
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 5
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Contents
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 7
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 8
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 9
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Contributors
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 11
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 13
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Interact
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 15
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Conversation
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 17
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 19
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 21
Pizza Today - May 2017 - On Tap
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 23
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Destinations
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 25
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 27
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 28
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 29
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Flooring Options
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 31
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 32
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 33
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Specialty Cheese Pairings
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 35
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 36
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 37
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 38
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 39
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Manchego
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 41
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 42
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 43
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Eliminating Spoilage
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 45
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 46
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 47
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Cheese Pricing
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 49
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 50
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 51
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Grand Openings
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 53
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 54
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 55
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Pizza Today on the Road: Riverboat Pizza Co., Savannah, GA
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 57
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 58
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 59
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Pizza Today on the Road: Stoner’s Pizza Joint, Savannah, GA
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 61
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 62
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 63
Pizza Today - May 2017 - International Pizza Expo Wrap Up
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 65
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 66
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 68
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 69
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 71
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 72
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 73
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 74
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 75
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 76
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 77
Pizza Today - May 2017 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 79
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 80
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 81
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 82
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 83
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 84
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 85
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 86
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 87
Pizza Today - May 2017 - 88
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Cover3
Pizza Today - May 2017 - Cover4
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