Yesterday, via the gift that is Twitter, I learned about a little something called “Altoona-style pizza,” which involves salami, green bell peppers, and, for some reason, American cheese. Know who else learned about it yesterday? Most of the residents of Altoona, Pennsylvania, including its local news team:
Shortly after the original tweet went viral, Ryan Detto, an intrepid reporter for the Pittsburgh City Paper, was hot on the case. He found Altoona-style pizza on the menu of a restaurant called 29th Street Pizza Subs & More and tracked down its owner, Steve Corklic. Corklic told the City Paper that the style originated sometime in the 1960s or ’70s at the Altoona Hotel. The base is a thick-crust Sicilian-style pizza dough, which is then slathered with sweet tomato sauce, covered with sliced deli salami and sliced green bell peppers, and topped with a layer of melted yellow American cheese. Corklic says that in the original recipe, Altoona-style pizzas were covered with Velveeta, but he prefers using American cheese at his restaurant.
If, after the initial shock of all this news wears off, you find yourself morbidly curious about what Altoona-style pizza tastes like, head to the 5:10 mark in that video above to see a brave newscaster take one for the team. Then mark Altoona on your regional pizza road trip map.