I Don’t Understand This Central NY Food Obsession
It’s well known by now that I have just moved to Central New York. I am looking forward to exploring all that this area has to offer. This not only means the search for interesting locations but also experiencing things that are held sacred to this area. As an outsider trying to get in, I do have some questions.
What is tomato pie?
I had never heard of it before someone walking through the halls stopped and made me an offer for a piece. It seemed to be in a pizza box, but I was told it was most definitely not a pizza. When it was offered to me, I recoiled in fear as it seemed to be bleeding. It reminded me of red Jell-o atop a large, cooked piece of dough. Seeing sauce evenly cut rather than haphazardly smeared was jarring, to say the least. I hid my terror while politely declining this generous offer and retreated back into the studio to find out more about this local food item.
I consulted a friend who had once lived in the area. I was promptly told that tomato pie was basically, at its core, a pizza with no melted cheese and a heavier emphasis on the bread. I asked if it was like Chicago Style deep dish. I was promptly admonished for even speaking such a sacrilegious thought. Chicago Style hides the melty cheese and Utica Tomato Pie forgoes that together in favor of sprinkling grated Romano over the top. And it's not round (this is an important distinction among many others).
After thorough schooling, I have come away wiser in my understanding. Now all that is left, is the taste test.