Tomato Pie is a beloved regional specialty in Philadelphia.
In the early 1900s, bread bakeries, like Sarcone’s, would take leftover bread and top it with tomato sauce, or “gravy,” and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Many Phildelphians cherish Tomato Pie, as it was one of the go-to meals they enjoyed with their families growing up.
Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a full transcript of this video.
Taryn Varricchio: If you’re visiting Philly for the first time, this rectangular loaf of bread dressed in red tomato sauce might not be at the top of your food bucket list, but locals will tell you it’s a must-try. This is tomato pie, and it’s one of the city’s oldest and most favorite dishes.
Customer: It’s a legend. Staple. Doesn’t get any better than this.
Taryn: We’re in South Philly today, which is basically like the Italian neighborhood of Philadelphia, and we’re heading to Sarcone’s Bakery to try tomato pie. I have never heard of it because I’m not from this area, so we wanna know, why are Philadelphians so into tomato pie? Let’s go find out. Tomato pie has been a beloved piece of Philly’s culinary scene for decades. It starts with a thick bottom layer of bread dough molded into a rectangular shape. At Sarcone’s, the pie is partially baked in a massive, decades-old brick oven until lightly crisped. Current owner Lou and his father, Luigi, use a 15-foot peel to pull it out before spreading on heavy helpings of the family’s original tomato sauce, what they call “gravy” at the shop. Once the gravy is spread evenly, the pie heads back into the oven for several minutes more, ensuring the crust cooks all the way through and turns a golden brown. It becomes firm on the bottom with a soft, fluffy texture on top that absorbs each bite of savory gravy.
Customer: Been eating it since I was a little kid. By far, this is my favorite tomato pie. It’s got good gravy on basically a loaf of bread.
Taryn: Lou sprinkles a handful of Parmesan cheese, but the pie is otherwise void of dairy. From just one look, this red sea of sauce is the most notable feature of the dish and what makes it distinctly not pizza.
Customer: Whenever I tell people about it, they’re always confused, and they just go, “Is that pizza?” And it’s not pizza. You know, it’s totally different. So, I think it is something regional and special for here.
Taryn: Thick square slices are set at the front of the store, where they’re wrapped in wax paper and often served at room temperature. Some customers grab a slice on the go, while others pick up whole pies to bring back to the office.
Customer: I started eating it really young. I think it is special for here, you know what I mean? So when I have a chance to share that with other people that maybe aren’t from around here, I think it’s a really cool treat to bring …read more
Source:: Business Insider