Evaluate and Distinction: Previous Forge Pizza vs. Sicilian Pan Fried Pizza

By Jim Mirabelli, NEPA Pizza Evaluation

Editor’s be aware: This text was reposted with permission from NEPA Pizza Evaluation. Click on right here for the unique article and images.

Previous Forge Pizza vs Pan Fried Sicilian Pizza—what’s the distinction? Previous Forge and Pan Fried Sicilian are two regional kinds of pizza distinctive to Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA). The kinds typically get confused or lumped collectively on account of an identical look from the highest view. Nevertheless, whenever you dig a bit of bit deeper, these are two very totally different pizzas!

Previous Forge and Pan Fried Sicilian: Related But So Totally different!
Tucked away within the Pocono and Limitless Mountains is a coal mining area house to industrial cities like Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton, that are wealthy in custom and a wealth of pizza. Some might have heard of Previous Forge, Pennsylvania, which lays declare to the moniker, “The Pizza Capital of the World,” and is house to its personal distinctive rectangular “sq.” type of pizza served by the “tray” and divided into “cuts” (not slices). This pizza is accessible each within the tiny city of Previous Forge itself and within the surrounding areas, however typically it’s not discovered exterior of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Maybe lesser recognized to those that don’t reside in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, is the truth that NEPA is house to a second native type of pizza generally known as Pan Fried Sicilian Pizza. Some seek advice from this as “Again Mountain Pizza,” fried pizza, or “Victory Pig Model” pizza, as Victory Pig, situated in Wyoming, Pennsylvania, is alleged to be the unique to carry the sort of pizza to the plenty manner again in 1942. Many native eating places have adopted their very own model of Pan Fried Sicilian Pizza. A few of these operators “branched off” the Victory Pig household tree by working there, studying the craft and finally opening their very own retailers.

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An Previous Forge pizza from Cucina Rinaldi in Moosic, Pennsylvania

What’s Previous Forge Pizza?
Previous Forge Pizza incorporates a toasted crust historically cooked to a lightweight brown across the edges and baked to a darkish brown on the underside. The crust is uniform, with little or no bubble variation, and much like a sponge.

Previous Forge Pizza is an oblong pizza sliced into 12 cuts. It’s made on a medium-thickness crust that has a good crumb, is a bit of spongy within the center, and has a crispy backside. The crust is often parbaked (partially baked) earlier than making the pizza. The sauce is extra akin to a slow-simmered pasta sauce than it’s to a conventional uncooked pizza sauce. Moreover, the sauce is steadily made with candy onion simmered in, however not all the time.

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The cheese is the place it will get attention-grabbing and controversial. Many will shun Previous Forge Pizza for its use of American cheese in its mix. The reality is, many Previous Forge trays don’t embrace American cheese in any respect! Definitely, blends can embrace American cheese, however brick, mozzarella, cheddar, cooper and others are additionally fashionable cheeses to incorporate.

this photo shows the edge of a Pan-Fried Sicilian pizza with a thick bubble in the golden-brown crust
A Pan Fried Sicilian pizza from Pizza L’Oven in Wyoming, Pennsylvania

What’s Pan Fried Sicilian Pizza?
Pan Fried Sicilian Pizza crust incorporates a fried end, a glistening sheen from oil, and a “pork rind” texture with mini bubbles and blisters. The crust varies with bubbles all through, with a crunchy exterior and delicate chewy middle.

Pan Fried Sicilian Pizza can be bought by the lower. Somewhat than shopping for a “full tray” or “half tray” like Previous Forge, you merely order the variety of cuts you need. The crust is often a same-day recent dough that goes by means of a extremely regimented technique of proofing and focaccia-like urgent all through the day. As soon as the dough is prepared, it’s coated with a easy, evenly seasoned crushed tomato sauce. The crust is positioned in a really closely oiled pan. The standard oil to make use of is peanut oil or any oil with a excessive smoke level. Some locations use as a lot as a full cup of oil within the pan! The dough is positioned on prime of the oil, and the crust fries whereas baking within the oven. The result’s a pork-rind like texture that’s supremely scrumptious and in contrast to different pan pizzas.

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The sauce comes default with thinly sliced and diced uncooked candy onions positioned on prime and baked. You’ll be able to order it with out onions, in fact, however be able to specify the way you need to order the pizza whenever you name! Lastly, the cheese is usually a mix, nevertheless it’s typically a thinly sliced Wisconsin white cheddar cheese. When the pizza is full, it’s faraway from the pan and positioned on a cooling rack to permit oil the oil to empty.

What Makes These NEPA Pizza Types So Totally different?
To study extra, try this breakdown of the Previous Forge and Pan Fried Sicilian pizza kinds. Should you learn it and nonetheless can’t perceive the nuances between the 2 trays, I’d encourage you to attempt one in every of every after which attempt to argue that they’re the identical pizza, as a result of they aren’t in any respect!

Courtesy NEPA Pizza Evaluation

Jim Mirabelli created NEPA Pizza Evaluation in 2012 to shine a highlight on the Northeastern Pennsylvania pizza scene and share his pizza passions with the world. He’s a number one pizza trade influencer and content material creator with greater than 16,000 followers on his Instagram account and 21,000 followers on his Fb account. It’s also possible to observe him on Twitter and Pinterest.