Daily Slice: Pizzaz at Celebre's, Philadelphia
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
Philadelphia has a longstanding love affair with American cheese that many other cities just can't understand. Aside from being a cheesesteak cheese of choice, this love-it-or-hate-it processed cheese also finds its way into the cannon of Philadelphia pizza styles, by way of the curious pie known as the Pizzaz.
And before the American cheese ranting commences, let it be known that this isn't the first time the Pizzaz has been mentioned here on Slice. Last year Adam spotted a round up of Philly Pizzazs (Pizzazi?) compiled by Philadelphia City Paper's Drew Lazor and our own hog dogger about town, Hawk Krall checked out the bakery-style Pizzaz slices at Cacia. Predictably, the comments were heated.
I decided to check out Celebre's, a deep South Philly pizzeria where some say the Pizzaz was originated. As fan of this only in Philly style, I was looking forward to tasting the American cheese-topped pioneer.
Celebre's Pizzaz begins with a medium-thick crust with plenty of good chew and crunch. It's topped off with a layer of the tell-tale American, slices of fresh tomato, a generous scattering of bright yellow and red pickled peppers, and finished off with a good shake of oregano and salt. All together these gooey little slices are salty, spicy, and totally satisfying in a way that honestly has more to do with a hoagie or a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich than a slice of pizza. The Pizzaz might not be for everyone but it is one of those regional specialties that's absolutely worth a try next time you find yourself in Philly.