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Mark your calendar for National Pizza Day

and 'The Cheesiest Pizza Contest' – May 21 at Mall at Robinson


By Tara Yilmaz

→ Did you know there’s a national pizza party day? Mark your calendars for Friday, May 20 when millions of pizza lovers will fill their hungry bellies with crispy round dough topped with tomato sauce, cheese, meat and vegetables. Pizza is no doubt one of America’s favorites and the most likely ordered cuisines for occasions like Super Bowl parties, birthdays, poker night, or a plain pizza party. Just like toppings, there are an unlimited number of reasons to eat pizza.

→ Did you know since the mid-1980s schools around the country have used pizza as an incentive for young scholars to read? Pizza Hut sponsored the “Book It” program and schools would issue a “Free Pizza Award Certificate” when the student reached their reading goal. This reward was one free personal pan pizza with one topping to be enjoyed at participating Pizza Huts to congratulate a job well done. Enjoying a well-earned reward is fine, but nothing compares to the high stakes of waiting to hear if your name gets called over the school intercom to join other “Book It” honorees in the cafeteria for an afternoon pizza party.

→ Did you know there are eight different pizza styles? These styles are Neapolitan, Chicago, New York, Sicilian, Greek, California, Detroit and St. Louis. Some people may believe that all these styles of pizza are created the same—dough, sauce, topping and repeat. Pizza enthusiasts would greatly differ. Each different style comes with variations of toppings, sauces, and cheeses, not to mention a dedicated fan base. For the Neapolitan lovers, fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes and basil leaves topped with oregano and a drizzle of olive oil must lie on a perfect sheet of thin crust that is so delicate, it could be eaten with a fork and knife. That style is opposite to the Chicago-style deep dish, which boasts a thick crust with mile-high toasted edges bearing resemblance to meat pie while openly defying the laws of pizza making by reversing the order of creation. First, the mozzarella covers the dough from edge to edge, then sausage, ground beef, pepperoni, mushroom, onions and peppers, smothered under pizza sauce and sprinkled with parmesan cheese. It too is often eaten with a knife and fork, not for the delicateness but for the mass.

Like any good NFL fan rivalry like the Steelers versus Eagle fans, the ongoing debate between Chicagoans and New Yorkers on who makes the best pizza dates back decades. Pittsburghers face a similar debate.

Who makes the better pizza? Is it Mineo’s or Aiello’s in Squirrel Hill?

→ Did you know Pittsburgh is home to a unique pizza style? Doughboys in McKees Rocks embodies the Pittsburgh pizza style perfectly. With its medium charred, puffy, and chewy crust that is built to carry a heavy load of toppings and drenched in the right amount of savory sauce, it’s enough to make any Yinzer happy. Each neighborhood has one or two famous pizzerias including these favorites:

• Beto’s on Banksville Road

• Belle Notte in the Strip District

• Badamo’s Pizza on the Northside

• Ephesus Pizza in Bellevue

• Fiori’s in Dormont

• Juliano’s in Robinson

• Pizza Parma in Crafton

• and many more scattered throughout Steel City

→ Did you know Gazette 2.0 in conjunction with YaJagOff Media will host “The Cheesiest Pizza” contest?

Targeting pizzerias in the Western suburbs of Pittsburgh, there will be a series of online surveys focusing on overall favorites and which pizza has the tastiest sauces, crust and toppings.

Please join Gazette 2.0 and YaJagOff Media on May 21 at the Mall at Robinson Rotunda to sample pizza, chat with the folks at YaJagoff! and Gazette 2.0, spin the prize wheel, and vote for your favorite area pizza!


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