Dude Food #2 - Steel, Jim Tressel & Wedgewood Pizza
The Youngstown I know can be summed up in three nouns: steel, Jim Tressel and Wedgewood Pizza.(I could probably throw Handles Ice Cream on the list, but that’s worthy of an entire Dude Food entry of its own).
For the most part, pizza is pizza.There’s some bread, some tomato sauce, some cheese and maybe some veggies or meat.It doesn’t really change from place to place.The pizza in Beijing didn’t taste much different from pizza in Columbus (the Domino’s in Mumbai was awful, but so is the Domino’s in America). People from Chicago or New York would like you to believe that the rest of the world is simply copying their pizza design.Wedgewood, however, is a truly unique, mouthwatering pizza experience.It’s a Youngstown staple that cannot be replicated.
Wedgewood is deep dish Sicilian style with fresh dough made daily combined with a thick layer of cheese and a heaping pile of toppings.That in itself is not special.The unique taste comes from the thick homemade tomato sauce, which consists of merging heavy amounts of salt and oil and balancing it perfectly with a light sweetness.The recipe is a family secret of the owner, Fernando Riccioni, who was born in Sicily.
My toppings of choice tonight are Italian salami and mushrooms.The salami is superior to any red meat I’ve ever devoured on a pizza.The toppings are applied in such generous portions that the pizza can only be enjoyed with one or maybe two topping at a time.A combination pizza like a meat lovers or a supreme from Wedgewood would have to come with an emergency angioplasty.
Friday night at Wedgewood Pizza might be the only booming business left in Youngstown.Clearly Fernando is single handedly causing an obesity epidemic in the Valley.The State of Ohio should let him pass on paying normal business taxes and instead allow him make a direct contribution to the state Medicaid fund.Wedgewood Pizza will always be at the top of the short list of things I will recommend to any poor soul visiting my hometown.
Wedgewood will forever be rated Five Ron Swansons.