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Saturday, May 17, 2008

[Pizza History] Pizza History according to American Heritage

Here's an excerpt:

"The modern pizza industry was born in the Midwest, not coincidentally a place of sparse Italian settlement. Although pizza had pushed into the suburbs as second-generation Italians relocated, most of the heartland was pizza-free. Its inhabitants had neither allegiance nor aversion to the traditional pie. The region also boasted an enviable supply of cheese.

Sewell’s lightly seasoned deep-dish pie, introduced in 1943, the signature item at Pizzeria Uno, was the first true American pizza. The pie was a uniquely Chicago institution, like a perennially losing major-league baseball team, that other cities showed no interest in adopting. Until Uno’s opened its first location outside Chicago in 1979, people had to go to East Ohio Street to sample anything like Sewell’s idea of a pie. But its success liberated pizzeria owners nationwide to tinker with their product, ultimately paving the way for the megafranchises."

I take issue with the reference to losing baseball teams, backhanded compliments and inaccurate top ten list but they've managed to collect at least some useful information.

Read more at American Heritage

1 comment:

  1. Here is one more tidbit of info: Ike Sewell who opened Pizzeria Uno in 1943 also opened Pizzeria Due at corner of Wabash and Ontario in 1956 to handle the over flow of customers from Uno's. Also, the Malnati's Father and Son team worked for Ike at Pizzeria Due and had a falling out and left to open their own restaurant - Lou Malnati's in Lincolnwood. So if you happend to have a Malnati's pizza side by side with either a Due or Uno, you might notice some similiarties.
    Both great pizza! I happen to be biased toward Pizzeria Due as the best Deep Dish Pizza in Chicago!