Pizza Today - April 2018 - 41

menu until the 1960s." But even though
food lovers associate the topping with
New Haven, the widespread availability
of clams makes them an easy sell even for
consumers who have never even heard of
Frank Pepe.
Mike Giammarino, manager of Lombardi's Pizzeria Napoletana in New York
City, says: "The vast majority of our customers who order the clam pizza have no
idea it's based on the New Haven version.
Probably less than one percent." Clams
are a common enough food that the association with New Haven isn't a requirement for most customers. Bill Jacobs had
some trouble selling clam pizzas in 2001
when he opened Chicago-based Piece
Brewery and Pizzeria, perhaps the first
New Haven-style pizzeria outside of New
Haven. "Not everyone in the Midwest
was amenable to clams as a topping, but
once they tried it they embraced it." In a
town that's famous for its sausage, Jacobs
found he was moving more clams once
he started telling customers that they're
typical in New Haven.
A MUCH LESS ADAPTABLE REGIONAL
SPECIALTY COMES FROM ST. LOUIS BY WAY
OF A PRODUCT CALLED PROVEL. The FDA

may not consider this combination of
provolone, Swiss and cheddar to technically fall into the cheese category (it's
considered a pasteurized cheese product), but it is the single most identifiable
ingredient on the local pizza scene. Provel
was trademarked in 1947 but didn't reach
a large-scale market until Imo's Pizza
opened its doors in 1964. Now with over
90 locations in and around St Louis,
Imo's has created the region's indigenous
style of pizza and even controls all distribution for the product.
While it may be religion in St.
Louis, non-locals seem to have a different opinion. Holli Samet remembers her
introduction to Provel as a rite of passage
during her first St. Louis visit to meet
her boyfriend's family. "It was the first
thing we ate in St. Louis," she says of the
experience. "We got off the plane and he
wanted to go straight to Imo's Pizza. I
took three bites and couldn't eat any more.
It was disgusting. I felt so bad for not lik-

ing it." Meanwhile, St Louis native Sandy
Gogoralnik stands by her city's favorite
cheese product, but realizes that it's an
acquired taste that's limited to the St.
Louis area. "I'd be surprised to see it on
a menu anywhere outside the St. Louis
area," she says of the creamy, smoky substance.
ONE BROOKLYN PIZZERIA HAS CHALLENGED THE RESISTANCE BY HIGHLIGHTING
PROVEL ON THEIR PIZZAS. Since opening

in 2012, Speedy Romeo has garnered
major attention thanks to its use of Provel
cheese. Chef-owner Justin Bazdarich
remembers seeing early customers donning Cardinals caps trekking out from
Manhattan to his restaurant's relatively desolate Brooklyn neighborhood
in search of a familiar flavor. Including
Provel in his pizza recipes was "perfectly selfish," according to the classically trained chef, who was introduced
to Provel by his St. Louis native father.
Bazdarich calls Provel "the definition of
umami" and has incorporated it into most
of his restaurant's 10 pizzas -- although it
is only listed in the descriptions of two. In
the context of Speedy Romeo's carefully
tuned menu, Provel is an exotic attraction
that has garnered attention from both
press and food lovers alike.
The divisive cheese product of St.
Louis may be making landfall, but other
regional specialties appear to be confined
to their sources. Linguica is a popular
topping in pizzerias along Boston's South
Shore, but it doesn't seem to appear
anywhere else. This smoked pork sausage
made with garlic and paprika arrived in
the area via Portugese immigrants as early
as the 1920s. It became a staple topping
in taverns and bars that started serving
small-format pizzas in the 1940s, but
hasn't migrated out of the area. The same
lack of growth can be found with spiedie
(pronounced SPEE-dee), cubes of marinated meat brought by immigrants from
Abruzzo, Italy to Binghamton, New York,
in the 1920s. Both these toppings are
beloved in their adopted American cities,
but unknown beyond their borders.
OTHER REGIONAL TOPPINGS HAVE LIM-

ITED GROWTH POTENTIAL DUE TO LIMITED
AVAILABILITY. New Mexico's famous green

chilies are grown exclusively in the Hatch
Valley and harvested during a short season (late July through early September),
so supply is extremely limited.
Locals are fanatical about the chilies.
Ashlea Allen, who has owned Trail Rider
Pizza since 2006, remembers a recent
attempt by suppliers to substitute Texas
chilies. She and other Hatch devotees
insisted on using the real deal, which led
to new labeling identity standards, much
like the DOP certification of Italy. "I've
been to restaurants in New Mexico that
don't serve Hatch chiles and it's disappointing," she laments. Hatch green chiles
are available at New Mexico's pizzerias
year-round, but pizzerias beyond the
area are unable to secure their own supplies. This makes green chiles a hot item
outside the region for anyone who can get
their hands on them.
OF ALL THE REGIONAL TOPPINGS THAT
HAVE FOUND SUCCESS IN RECENT YEARS,
HONEY IS CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING THE
LARGEST EXPANSION. Colorado's Beau

Jo's Pizza has used local honey in their
dough since they opened in 1973, but it
transitioned to a popular topping after
a customer asked to drizzle some on his
crust in 1975. Now they offer bottles of
honey on every table, totaling over
26 tons across five locations annually.
Honey also became popular as a topping in Lawrence, Kansas, by the 1980s,
but its use has declined over the past
decade. "We stopped using it because of
the cost," says Chad Glazer, manager at
Rudy's Pizzeria. Pam Friedentag, of Beau
Jo's, agrees that "It's definitely not cost
effective," yet honey has become a staple
on every table.
UNCOMMON INGREDIENTS CAN BE
TRICKY TO INCORPORATE INTO A PIZZERIA
MENU, but taking a chance on a regional

specialty could help differentiate you from
the pizzeria next door. n
SCOTT WIENER is the founder of Scott's
Pizza Tours in New York City and
SliceOutHunger.org.
A P R I L 2 0 1 8 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 4 1


http://www.SliceOutHunger.org http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - April 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - April 2018

Pizza Today - April 2018
Commentary
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Tony’s Trending Recipe
At Your Service
Destinations
Knead to Know
The Overserved Customer
2018’s Hottest Toppings
Regional Toppings
Portion Control
Street Food Pizza
Promoting From Within
Writing a Best-Selling Menu
Pizza Today on the Road: A Tavola Cincinnati, Oh
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - April 2018 - CT1
Pizza Today - April 2018 - CT2
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Pizza Today - April 2018
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Cover2
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Commentary
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 4
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 5
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 6
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 7
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 8
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 9
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Contributors
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 11
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 13
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Interact
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 15
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Conversation
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 17
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 19
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 21
Pizza Today - April 2018 - At Your Service
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 23
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Destinations
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 25
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 27
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 28
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 29
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 30
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 31
Pizza Today - April 2018 - The Overserved Customer
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 33
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 34
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 35
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 2018’s Hottest Toppings
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 37
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 38
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 39
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Regional Toppings
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 41
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Portion Control
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 43
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 44
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 45
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Street Food Pizza
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 47
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Promoting From Within
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 49
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 50
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 51
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Writing a Best-Selling Menu
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 53
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 54
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 55
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Pizza Today on the Road: A Tavola Cincinnati, Oh
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 57
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 58
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 59
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 60
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 61
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 63
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 64
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 66
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 67
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 68
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 69
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 70
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 71
Pizza Today - April 2018 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 73
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 74
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 75
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 76
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 77
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 78
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 79
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 80
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 82
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Cover3
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Cover4
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