Is altoona style pizza real?

Altoona style pizza is truly a local delicacy for many residents of the city of Altoona, Pennsylvania. Altoona style pizza, also known as Altoona hotel pizza or Altoona Sicilian pizza, is a style that even many Blair County residents have never heard of. However, I assure you that it is a real style that can be found in several different restaurants in the city of Altoona. Some users tweeted about the strange pizza creations that came out of Pittsburgh, whose style consisted of square baked doughs covered with cold ingredients.

So what is this type of pizza and how does it compare? According to The Takeout, this pizza comes from the Altoona Hotel, located in central Pennsylvania. Other Twitter users from all over the world participated in the thread: one from Sweden shared a photo of a pizza topped with pineapple rings, slices of banana and ham, while someone from the United Kingdom presented a pizza topped with a full English breakfast and another from Scotland uploaded an image showing a fried pizza served with French fries. I grew up in the 60s and 70s going to the Altoona Hotel for dinner every Friday night and eating pizza often. John Berry, a local from Pennsylvania, reminded the Pittsburgh City Paper that Altoona-style pizza probably came from someone's grandmother who made unbranded pizza the way she wanted.

I grew up in Altoona in the late '50s and '60s. I went to the hotel after the soccer games. The hotel had the best pizza. Nor do I remember that the salami or the dough were as thin as paper.

Jim Cheney, who writes on the website Uncovering PA, points out that this particular style of pizza was invented at the Altoona Hotel in the 1960s or 1970s. Pizza is cooked on a Sicilian pizza crust, which makes it thicker than many other types of pizza you'll find in the area. I ate Altoona pizza at the Altoona Hotel in 1974 and have been looking for a place where I can eat it again. 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.

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. However, there is a thread on Reddit where people are looking for pizza to try it and others give recommendations on who has an incredible Altoona style pizza.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

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

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