MOST POPULAR LOCAL PIZZA TOPPINGS + YOU WILL NEVER GUESS THE TOPPING THAT’S GAINING POPULARITY FAST
Thin crust, Chicago or Sicilian-style, every week almost 10,000 pizzas are sold in our area. We are unapologetic about our passion for who makes our pizza and what we put on it.
The New York Post reported pizza topping trends in New York City proclaiming “the fall” of the “relic” sausage pizza. They claimed “nobody is buying sausage pizza anymore,” citing a 15 year-long shift towards healthier eating.
Could the sausage be history here too?
Our area is such a unique epicurean environment influenced by culture, ancestry, costs, health, decadence, travel, nostalgia… and sea air. Pizza chefs here say there are definitive topping trends and like everything else, our taste buds are unique.
“We see customers here focused on quality and seasonal freshness,” said Mark Hinchliffe, brand strategist for Porta in Asbury Park. “Specialty items like cured meats and (unaverage) cheeses are most popular for our sophisticated customer. Quality of ingredients trumps everything.”
Some of Porta’s customers look at pizza as a decadence and others (like me) see it as one of the primary food groups.
“We offer customers a variety of curated toppings – from comfort food to vegetarian,” said Hinchliffe. “Our Italian Stallion sausage pizza continues to be one of our most popular because every ingredient is the best possible. If someone has a craving for sausage, there is no better than here.”
At TJ’s Pizza on Main Street in Asbury Park – where Bruce Springsteen ordered 30 pies to feed his crew during rehearsals a few years ago – pepperoni is king.
“Hands-down, pepperoni pizza is the favorite,” said Tony Dalia, co-owner with his brother Sam. “During the summer, sometimes I use 30 pounds (of pepperoni) a day.”
After pepperoni, he says classic cheese, white, and the Dalia family’s famous sausage and pepper pizza are the top ordered. (more below)
TOP 3 AREA PIZZA TOPPINGS:
In Neptune, at Luigi’s Restaurant and Pizza the Grandma Pie gets the most requests.
“The Grandma has fresh mozzarella, lots of basil, garlic and oregano and my family’s special tomato sauce,” said Sebastian Tranchena, owner. “We also make a lot of the chicken Caesar salad pizza. Anything with chicken is getting more and more popular.”
Chris Tilton, owner of Serpico’s in Allenhurst agrees that chicken is the area’s fastest-growing topping of-choice.
“Our white pie with sautéed clams is another that customers love along with our meatball pie which is a classic all-time favorite,” said Tilton.
The recipe for Serpico’s meatballs, as well as the sauce, is a 30 year-old secret. Every morning Tilton and his team make “pounds and pounds” to satisfy the cult-like following for his pies and subs.
At Nick’s Pizzeria – celebrating 25 years in Wanamassa – owner Nick Marvagakis has seen tastes change over the years.
“Our sausage still sells well and the original cheese will always be what we make the most of,” said Marvagakis. “Right now anything with chicken my customers love – especially the chicken parmesan, buffalo chicken and chicken Caesar pizzas.”
Pies with Marvagakis’ special vodka sauce are a new addition to his menu, growing in popularity and – according to customer Bill Hart – may be a future trend.
“Pizza is a staple in my diet,” said Hart. “Using vodka sauce (instead of marinara) makes it a completely new meal. People like me want to try new things.”
Whatever the topping of-choice, Serpico’s owner shared the secret to his decades-long success.
“We put the sauce in between the dough and the cheese, then whatever the customer wants on top,” said a smiling Tilton. “We came up with that a while ago and it’s still working.”
What is your topping of-choice? Richard@TheBPlot.com
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