Today is National Pizza Day

Feb 9, 2017

Pizza is an American staple, next to apple pie, baseball and the bald eagle.

According to a 2014 study from the Department of Agriculture, 12.5 percent of Americans consume pizza on any given day.

A $3 billion industry in the states, pizzerias make up 17 percent of all American restaurants. Although October has been officially named National Pizza Month since 1987 in the United States, today Americans will be celebrating National Pizza Day.

“(Working at a pizzeria) is harder than they think,” said April Miller, owner of Al’s Sub and Pizza Shop in Castile. “You really have to be able to multitask, like, a lot.”

Preparing a pizza starts out with the basics of dough, stretching it before spreading the sauce. After putting cheese and toppings on the pizza, it goes into the oven for eight to 15 minutes.

Cheese and pepperoni is the most popular pizza, with pepperoni being the most popular topping; different pizzerias report close seconds.

Victor Marchese, owner of Main Street Pizza in Batavia, said their Sicilian Godfather sells pretty well.

“It’s cheese, pepperoni, salami, capicola, Italian sausage and hot peppers. We sell quite a few of those; it mixes well with our sweet sauce,” he said.

Al’s Sub and Pizza Shop sells a lot of chicken finger pizzas. According to Miller, it can come with a pizza or butter garlic sauce, blue cheese or ranch, and the fingers are dipped in the customer’s favorite wing or BBQ sauce.

Marchese said thinking up new pizza varieties isn’t hard, explaining it’s throwing different combinations together and see what tastes better than others.

As for unusual or interesting pizza combinations, nobody could think of anything which stood out to them. However, Dan Passalaequa, co-owner of Avanti Pizza Bar and Grill in Medina, said it’s interesting when people ask for things to be written on the pizza with food toppings.

“For example, ‘Happy Birthday’ or ‘I love you’ or things like that,” he said. “That’s what makes things pretty interesting. As for weird — I don’t think I’ve had anything that really shocks me. After all these years, we pretty much seen it all I think.”

By MALLORY DIEFENBACH, Batavia Daily News

Category: Food & Dining