Can You Believe Rhode Island Calls This Pizza? New Jersey Woman’s Reaction
We have a new Digital Program Director here at Beasley Media, New Jersey. His name is Josh, and he is in the process of moving to New Jersey from Rhode Island.
After introducing myself to Josh and letting him know that he’s probably getting a cake baked for his birthday by the chief cook, baker, and food writer for WRAT.
I went on to tell him about the article on Sicilian Pizza I just wrote. He proceeded to tell me about the pizza in Rhode Island.
I was all ears, knowing deep down that there is absolutely no state other than New York that can compete with New Jersey when it comes to pizza. I let the man flap his gums.
His description of what passes for pizza in the Ocean State, and it’s gorgeous 400 miles of coastline, made me think he was joking around.
They don’t even call this concoction pizza. It’s called “Pizza Strips”, or “Party Pizza.”
I tried to conjure up visions of this food stuff as he described it.
According to the The Providence Journal, a pizza strip is a rectangular strip of pizza, served on a crust that would be best described as focaccia, topped with a tomato sauce and often a dusting of grated Romano cheese. It’s served at room temperature.
No mozzarella, no basil, no olive oil, no garlic?
A few days later, Josh showed up at WRAT with a box that resembled the kind of regular pizza box that you see here in New Jersey.
Jackie, our Marketing Director popped into the studio to find out when my next break was, so she can watch the company’s resident foodie and baker’s facial expressions after seeing what passes for pizza in Rhode Island.
I looked inside the open box and saw a huge square of bread covered in what looked like tomato paste with a hint of grated cheese. These things were cut into brownie sized pieces, not big squares like a real Jersey Sicilian slice.
I bit into an end square and immediately noticed that it was tough and near stale, probably because it took a car ride from Rhode Island the day before. Then I grabbed a middle square, took a bite, and said, “I don’t hate it.”
Jackie said, you’re the only one. Josh said, “You should use that as the title of your article. “Rhode Island Pizza” – I Don’t Hate it.”
The sauce had a tomato paste consistency, but not the bitterness of tomato paste. It wasn’t bad. Not too sweet and not really all that tart. The slight sprinkling of Romano cheese was a nice finish.
Josh’s wife, Sarah is a Jersey girl who took one for the team and purchased the pizza strips from Borelli’s Pastry Shop, a neighborhood bakery in Coventry, Rhode Island and was nice enough to schlep it to New Jersey so we can experience what she’s been putting up with for all these years being deprived of real Jersey pizza.
I’ll bet she had her bags packed in no time flat when she heard her husband got a job offer to work in New Jersey.
Bottom line: I’d eat it again if I was starving.