Welcome to another round of the Good. Food. Stories. Potluck, where I serve up a heaping helping of links to stories I’ve worked on for other online publications. They’re too good not to share with all of my dear funny Valentines here—and since February’s a short month, we’ll keep this short and sweet as well. (After all, I’ve got a book tour to rock out on.) Hit it!
- I was tasked with reviewing Pizza Hut’s new Big Pizza Sliders for Slice, and while I was at no loss for words about the mini pan pizzas (especially as a veteran of the Book It! program), Harry the cat demanded to share his opinions on the pies as well. I should have known he’d hijack the review (and the pizzas themselves); after all, this is the same cat who once tried to steal a plate of Totino’s pizza rolls.
- As regular readers know, I feel very strongly about my experiences growing up in western PA. For better or worse, I’m shaped by the quirks of the region, but I’m embarrassed to admit that there’s one culinary idiosyncrasy I never fully appreciated. Until now. Jioio’s pizza, which I finally had the opportunity to review for Slice, is one of the most unusual tastes I’ve ever encountered: a sweet crust more akin to pie crust than the usual stretchy, puffy dough. Coupled with the toppings on its white (topped with slices of fresh tomato instead of tomato sauce) and pierogi (mashed potato, onion, and cheese) pizzas, it’s a must-try experience for anyone stopping by the region. Believe me, you won’t find this pizza anywhere else in the country.
- On the flip side of things you’ll only find in western PA is one of Pittsburgh’s most famous exports: Heinz ketchup. Though the company just got itself snapped up by some major multi-national players, to me, it’ll always be a symbol of the city I love. I write about my deep-rooted feelings for Heinz on Leite’s Culinaria: “No matter where in the world I am—getting tipsy in an old stagecoach saloon miles from anywhere in the New Mexican desert, whiling away an afternoon under the dim bulbs of a Chicago dive bar, popping into a Glasgow chip shop at one in the morning—the sight of a bottle of Heinz evokes a primordial reaction, a frisson of happiness, within my chest.”
- Like Italian food? Like my recipes? Come see me on the new site Food Fanatic, where I’ll be contributing regularly and sharing modern interpretations of Italian dishes. It’s fun to do the classics (hey, we all know how I feel about spaghetti carbonara), but Italian is so much more than that! Start digging into the diverse world of Italian-inspired cooking with my pan-roasted cod with sundried tomato and caper relish and mozzarella in carrozza (aka Italian grilled cheese) with pesto.