Tara's Food Notebook

Pizza Pie That Tastes Like Home

Do you know all the regional pizza styles? Which makes you homesick? Which is your favorite?

Each one of your customers probably has a favorite style of pizza, and it's probably the kind they grew up with.

Ordering a pizza is the perfect antidote to a long day out in the world and not a lot of ideas for making a family dinner. Since I've moved back to my hometown, Lorain, Ohio, I've reveled in being able to order the exact pizza that I remember from my childhood.

It's a place right near the center of the city on Oberlin Avenue called Yala's, and the "pizza well done" is a masterpiece. It's like cuddling up in a cheesy, perfectly greasy security blanket. I think the sauce has a hint of rosemary in it and the crust is crispy and chewy at the same time. When it's cooked well done, the cheese is almost caramelized (can you caramelize cheese?) Ordering well done is akin to the "secret menu" at In-N-Out...my best friend's dad invented it, legend has it.

I'm sure I'd have a different taste of home if I was from Chicago. I like the deep dish pizza there, even though I pretty much need to lay down for the rest of the day after eating it (NOT ideal for the restaurant show!).

And when I go to New York, one of my first stops (maybe after going to that Belgian french fry place or for a falafel on 2nd Ave.), is always a foldable "New York slice," preferably late at night while shopping the boutiques on St. Mark's Place.

This slideshow, "Do You Know These Regional Pizza Styles" on Serious Eats http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2008/01/a-list-of-regional-pizza-styles.html?ref=search is something I go back to for reference and just out of curiosity for the different regional styles of pizza. Did you know that in Philly, they have something called "Tomato Pie?" I didn't. It's baked in a sheet pan and looks like kids might like it... Check it out and impress your customers with a taste of home, wherever that may be.



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Tara Fitzpatrick

Tara Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Food Management and has been a full time staff editor since 2008. She covers food, culinary and menu trends. Favorite food? “Lox on a bagel....
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