Went to Utica for Thanksgiving. What I like about Utica is it's ethnic/local food heritage.
There's Chicken Riggies, Utica Greens, and Tomato Pie....
At the turn of the last century there was an influx of immigrants, and many Italians among them.
Much of their influence remains more than a century later, and for that I am grateful.
Before we returned yesterday I picked up an upside down pizza at O'Scugnizzo's Pizzaria.
O'Scugnizzo's is an institution in Utica, having been in business since 1914.
Here's a bio from their webpage.
The O’Scugnizzo Legacy
As a youngster near Naples, Italy, Eugeno Burlino first learned the art of pizza making as a baker’s helper. Opportunity knocked in 1914 when Eugeno was offered a baker’s job in America. Eugeno had bigger ideas. When he wasn’t working at the bakery he made and sold his own little Tomato Pies from a cart at religious festivals. Enough people developed a taste for the pies to allow him to start his own business making them full time. Eugeno called his little Tomato Pies “Pizzas”. They were about 6” in diamter and the only toppings were cheese and anchovies. They cost a nickel a piece!
The Burlino family opened Utica’s first pizzeria in 1938 at the corner of Kossuth and Jay streets and began making the 12” pies that would make them famous. That’s when they adopted the name “O’scugnizzo’s” (pronounced OH-SCOO-NEETS-OHS) which means “Shrewd” or “Street Smart” in a little known Italian dialect. Thay must be true because when the pizzeria moved to 614 Bleeker St. in 1943 it was still the only one in Utica.
In 1956 Eugeno’s son, Angelo (Chops) Burline took over the business. He expanded the operation to a scope and size his father could never have foreseen. Chops brought two trucks and began the first pizza delivery service in the area. He sold the first “Bake At Home Pizza” and the first square pizza (still O’scugnizzo’s trademark today). These innovations and Chop’s unique style and love of the craft earned him the distinction “The King of Pizza!”
In 1989 his son Steven inherited the O’scugnizzo legacy. Steve has strived to keep the pizzeria true to itself by using the same recipes from generations past to produce the dough, sauce & sausage everyday. In 1997 Steve and Bill Conley expanded O’scugnizzo’s with a new store in Washington Mills and the introduction of Bill's fabulous Focaccia sandwiches, heavenly homemade soups, unique signature salads & more! Now Bill and Karla Conley are proud to serve “O’scugnizzo’s Original Style Pizza” and our other unique and delicious products in Washington Mills. Come in and sample our famous original style and gourmet specialty pizzas, buffalo and specialty chicken wings, daily specials, homemade soups, salads, “the best sandwiches in the universe” and delicious desserts. In 2009 we introduced our gluten free menu including delicious gluten free pizza and sandwiches. We hope you enjoy our products as much as O’scugnizzo’s has enjoyed serving you for almost 100 years.
Thank you and “Buon Appetito!”
I had heard of them, but had never had their pie until yesterday.
It's a square pie. The dough and mozz get cooked in the oven, when that's done, out it comes and on goes the sauce and parm.
I reheated it on my pizza stone last night and it was very, very good.
The reheat Saturday morning. Therre's only one way too reheat pizza properly, in a frying pan, with a little bit of oil and the lid on until the cheese melts. This was perfect.
And the money shot....
If you're ever in Utica, check out the local fare, it's well worth it!
Stay Hungry My Friends!