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Craving: Old Forge Pizza

Half meatball, half cheese tray in Old Forge

Half meatball, half cheese tray in Old Forge

We’ve all heard of New York style, Chicago deep dish, authentic Neapolitan. But the small town of Old Forge, Pennsylvania has a pizza style all its own. My mom grew up near Old Forge (in Scranton, now famous thanks to The Office) and last weekend while visiting family, we had to get our pizza fix.

Arcaro & Genell's is a favorite on the main pizza drag

Several pizza joints line the town’s main street, all serving variations of the distinctive rectangular pies known as Old Forge pizza. They’re ordered by “tray” or “cut” (cut = a large rectangular slice, tray = 12 cuts). The not-quite-deep-dish crust has a wonderfully crisp exterior, almost biscuit-like. There’s a generous amount of oozy cheese on every pie, especially the stuffed “double crust” ones.

Double-crust pizza: Love that cracker-crisp top crust

Though I do love the white pizzas—the double-crust white with broccoli (above) is garlicky deliciousness—what I crave most about Old Forge pies is the flavorful, onion-flecked tomato sauce. I could eat jars of the stuff.

It’s a bit ambitious for a tiny Pennsylvania town to call itself the Pizza Capital of the World (the sign above is one of many), but it’s definitely worth a road trip for pizza fanatics. Check out Facebook’s Old Forge Pizza group: Over 10,000 fans and counting.

If this gets you craving pizza, make some at home with one of Cooking Channel’s many pizza recipes. Make David Rocco’s Nonna Giulia’s Pizza Dough and get creative with your own toppings. Embrace grilling season with Grilled Eggplant Pizza, or go classic Italian and make traditional Pizza Margherita. Inspired by that double-crust white pie? Try Mario Batali’s version, Pizza Rustica from Puglia.

What’s your regional pizza style of choice?

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  14. nepapizzareview posted 02/05/2013

    Bud,
    I couldn't agree more that PA should be the Pizza State, although I feel that Northeast PA carries the torch pretty well for the state. Although, we are known for our famous Old Forge Pizza, we also boast many pizzerias with amazing New York and Sicilian Style Pizzas. We also have another type of pizza which is very popular just south of old forge in the Pittston area called "Pan Fried Sicilian" which is amazing. Basically it's a fluffier Old Forge Crust which has a pool of oil poured under the dough and the crust fries while baking. Traditionally, the sauce is a very simple crushed tomato and the cheese is a standard mozzarella. Most of the locals like chopped onion to be sprinkled under the cheese. Victory Pig, Pizza L'Oven, Ernie G's, and Pizza Perfect are famouse for this type of pizza, but there are several more. If anyone is interested in the NEPA pizza scene, I am a very active blogger in the area and my website can be found at http://www.nepapizzareview.com

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