Are there any tips or tricks for making a perfect altoona style pizza crust every time?

While I haven't tried all of the types of pizza listed in our great guide to pizza styles, there are only a few that deviate greatly from the product we all know and love as pizza. One of the most fascinating deviations is the Altoona style pizza, which starts with a perfectly reasonable Sicilian-style dough with red sauce. Then, slowly, the cake starts to deviate from the road. First, there's only one piece of salami per serving, which, okay, is a little different, but not that strange.

Then, a full cross section of a green pepper, which is still OK; I like any shape of bell pepper on pizza, it's just the ring shape that feels a little out of place. But then, and this is where it gets weird, you add the cheese. A piece of melted American cheese covers the top of each slice. An interesting peculiarity of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is that, even though it borders the two best places to eat pizza in the world, New York to the north and New Jersey to the east, it's not a particularly surprising state when it comes to producing really good pizzas.

While I admit that I have never eaten Old Forge pizza, which my friends in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania swear by, I have never, in all my time as a citizen of Pennsylvania, eaten a slice of pizza that really blew me away. Don't do what this guy did; he also recreated Altoona's pizza, but he made the mistake of baking the pizza with all the cheese. The first two pizzas I prepared were the standard Altoona pies, green peppers, salami and cheese, but since there was disagreement about whether a yellow blazer or a Velveeta was required, I decided to do both. So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that Altoona had its own regional pizza that I had never tried and that seemed like a punishment from an angry god.

Even though it's placed on pizza dough, it feels more like an open sandwich with pizza sauce, like a hot sandwich, or something like that.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

Proud social media ninja. Bacon expert. Unapologetic gamer. Proud zombie nerd. Freelance pop culture scholar.

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