So What is Tomato Pie, Anyway?


Eater delves into the history behind the popular (and delicious) regional pizza...

This article, written by , appears on Eater.

Philadelphia’s most glorious foodstuff is this thick-crust, no-cheese, sauce-y pizza

Anyone who has done the deep dive into regional American pizza styles knows that the familiar, floppy street slice is just the tip of the iceberg. Charred, clam-studded pies are the name of the game in New Havenmarinara-topped squares run Detroit, chicken and barbecue sauce aberrations rose from California, and in certain corners of the Mid-Atlantic region, tomato pie is king. Baked in rectangular sheet pans and minimally topped with tomato gravy — or baked into crisp rounds that could double as plain old pizza — it’s virtually impossible to pinpoint where this saucy variant was born.

But what is a tomato pie exactly? Certain tomato pies, like the ones popular in Philadelphia bakeries, clearly trace their roots back to Sicily, where thick, rectangular pizzas were topped with chopped tomatoes, anchovies, onions, and oregano — but rarely ever cheese — before sliding into wood-fired ovens. This cheese-free recipe stems from the Southern portion of Italy, where tomatoes and olives are more plentiful than dairy cows. Somehow during its transatlantic journey, Sicilian pizza shed the onions and anchovies and was renamed, Ellis Island–style, “tomato pie.” Read more at Eater…

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