One of America’s Favorites – Italian Tomato Pie

July 2, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Italian Tomato pie

Italian tomato pie is an Italian-American baked good consisting of a thick, porous, focaccia-like dough covered with tomato sauce. It may be sprinkled with romano cheese or oregano. It is not usually served straight from the oven, but allowed to cool and then consumed at room temperature or reheated. Like Sicilian pizza, tomato pie is baked in a large rectangular pan and served in square slices. In Rhode Island it is cut into long strips and often called pizza strips. Tomato pie descends from and resembles the Italian sfincione, although it is not the same dish; for instance, sfincione may have toppings, is usually served hot, and has a crust more like brioche than foccacia.

Other names for tomato pie include gravy pie (“gravy” here refers to “Italian gravy”, i.e. tomato sauce) and church pie in Philadelphia, and red bread, strip pizza, party pizza and bakery pizza in Rhode Island.

A 1903 article in the New-York Tribune on the food of Italian-Americans described an early version of tomato pie. Tomato pie has been sold by Iannelli’s Bakery in Philadelphia since 1910 and O’Scugnizzo’s Pizzeria in Utica, New York since 1914. Tomato pie remains popular in Philadelphia, Utica, and Rhode Island.

 

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